Travels with Missy – Howth, Skerries & Mornington

Weekend Away –

Howth, Skerries & Mornington

Hi, my name is Missy Bonkers and I am a nine-year-old springer spaniel, even though everyone keeps saying that I look like a puppy. It’s really only because my human mom Tina takes me to the doggy hairdressers and has my hair cut. It’s fun there; I get treats and a new little bow for my collar.

But that’s not why I am here chatting today, human mom has finally given me my own space on her bloggy website thing, yeah and it’s called Travels with Missy. She said I could chat about our latest trip over the weekend.

Mom told me about the trip the night before and I was so excited I woke up at 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 and 7, just to see if we were all ready to go, apparently this didn’t impress mom and I didn’t get my morning walk. Tired humans always take so long to get ready to leave, I sat while bags and more bags left the house and headed for the car.

Finally, It was my turn. I always have the back seat, not that I like the back seat, I’d rather be up the front, but my happy dribble seems to cause some sort of issue. Not sure why, I’m happy, I dribble, when I dribble a lot, I have to shake my head, and human dad always groans. It seems that he doesn’t like splashes of my doggy drool on his face. I mean I really can’t help it, what’s a dog to do, all the smells and stuff.

So we drove, and drove and drove, humans love to drive. Thankfully they also like to drink coffee or I’d never get to pee. A quick pee and doo later we did more driving to a place called Howth.


Mom said she had a surprise in that “I love talking to my dog” tone. I do try really hard to concentrate on what she is saying, but between the smells and the sights, the birds and stuff I can only really focus on the main words, as long as WALK is in there somewhere I’m happy.

In Howth after a short walk we visited The Dog House, it wasn’t really a doghouse, but it was very cool, I could sit with mom and dad as they ate their vegetable stuff.

Mom was happy, dad was happy; mom said she was only ever going to eat in places we could all go together. I was happy, mainly because there was a crazy bird sitting on the back of a chair singing to me.

After, we went walking around Howth, my favourite thing to do walking, sometimes mom is a slow walker so I have to drag her, this can cause the battles.

Then it was back to the car for more driving. We went to Skerries, where we walked around windmills and I had to wait while the humans chatted with another human with a doggy kinda like me, just a bit bigger, then we went to a pub thingy where more humans chatted, I got some water, got kinda bored, then a little bit more bored, so I had a snooze.

Much, much later, like dark outside later we left and went to a small house. Mom said it was an Airbnb, whatever that is, but I could go in and that made me very happy, later I cuddled on my blanket and slept.

Then it was BEACH TIME – I love the beach, love, love, love the beach. Me my ball, the water, the sand, the smells, I ran and ran and ran, then we went for food. Well, I ate in the car and mom and dad ate in a place called the Eastern Seaboard.

Mom read me the rules so I could go in, I mostly listened, once I look like I am listening she’s happy. As long as she knows what I’m supposed to do, I’m always fine.

Then it was a long drive home, happy, happy, happy, mom was happy, dad was happy and I wagged a lot cause I was happy just being with my humans.

Waterford Walls

Waterford Walls

Late last year on a weekend trip to Waterford, whilst driving into the city we were greeted with a stunning image of a man’s body being embraced from behind with further unknown hands firmly clasped around his out stretched arms. The image literally sat up on a hill over looking the city.

A short while later, after booking into our hotel and out exploring we stumbled across another two striking images in a small square on either side of a house. The more we explored the more urban art images we discovered. With a pattern well and truly formed I Googled and quickly found the Waterford Walls project, an amazing initiative founded in 2015 as stated on their website ‘by a small team to bring much needed colour back to Waterford’, and they most certainly have.

It is an absolute joy to wander around and be greeted with thought provoking, smile inducing public art for everyone to enjoy. Sitting in a coffee shop looking up a larger than life image, wandering down side streets, filled with colour, an urban landscape used as a canvas to create striking, provocative and amusing visual images.

Intrigued I browsed their website discovering the artists who have been involved since the festivals initiation in 2015. Joe Caslin the creator of the stunning piece we first saw entering the city one of many Irish and international artists who have created the urban gallery in Waterford.

And it is all happening again this year – “17th-26th August, 2018 will see over 50 artists descend on our city to paint beautiful artwork on over 50 walls. Accompanying the artists at work there will be workshops, art jams expert panel talks, art and music trails all across Waterford city. Hang out with the WW team and artists over the 10 days in our two hub areas-The Yard and The Plaza.”

Now I definitely know where I will be heading in August, if not before hand as well. There are still so many of the pieces I have yet to see.

For all the details of the 2018 festival visit their website or their FB page

Benbulben Forest Walk & Trip to Strandhill

Benbulben Forest Walk, Sligo

I spend most of my working week with my head stuck in a computer. Which means at this time of the year, with the shorter days, I definitely don’t get enough walking done in the evenings. So when the weekends come around I take every opportunity to spend most of them outside and as much as possible in trees, by the sea or up a mountain.

I’ve had it in my head to walk Mount Errigal near Gweedore in Co Donegal, since late last year, but as I am relative new to mountain walking I’m waiting for the weather to warm up a bit before we do.

In the meanwhile I had been looking in the Sligo direction and stumbled across a really nice website ( listing all of the different walks and trails throughout the county. So over last weekend we thought we’d leave Galway early on Sunday morning and walk the Benbulben Forest Park trail and do the sea shore walk in the dunes in Strandhill. Actually there were so many trails to choose from I would need to spend at least a week in Sligo.

Benbulben (Gortarowey) Looped walk

Length 5.5 km, Ascent 60 m, Time 1.5 hours

Benbulben Forest walk

Opting for the Benbulben forest walk was the most obvious one for me, the mountain itself rises dramatically from the side of the forest and is part of the Dartry Mountain range. (Note to self definitely want to walk the mountain)

Benbulben sits distinctly on the horizon as you drive into Sligo, and I really just wanted to see it up close. The forest park is a perfect opportunity to do this and with the day being so sunny I couldn’t resist. The walk itself is really easy to find, I have included the directions below or you can visit the Sligo Walks website for more details. The walkway runs directly parallel to the mountain giving ample opportunity to take in all its features and on a sunny day they are spectacular. In all it took us just over an hour to walk it. The walk itself runs around the circumference of the forest and the path is quite hard with loose small stones so I would recommend good walking shoes.


Take the N15 road north of Sligo for 8km. Continue for1.6km after Drumcliff village. Take the right-hand turn signposted Barnaribbon up by a thatched cottage. Follow the road straight ahead, and keep left where the road veers right. This will bring you to a car park on your left under Benbulben.

As we didn’t want to lose any of the precious daylight, immediately after we finished the forest walk we headed straight over to Strandhill, which is just a 30-minute drive and we were directly on the Wild Atlantic Coast.

Being as the day was sunny and bright, Strandhill was quite busy; we opted to park away from the beach and walk down to the start of prom, take a right and do the beach walk alongside the dunes. If you follow the walk all the way out it brings you past Sligo airport.

After walking we stopped for tea in Shells Café, which is right next to Voya Seaweed Baths and then watched the sun set on the bay – definitely a day well spent.

Strandhill Beach Walk, Sligo

Tips for walking:


Wear comfortable walking shoes, and clothing in layers. I find it is easier to regulate my temperature by taking on and off the layers, also at this time of year I always have a hat and gloves.

What I bring with me:

I always bring a small backpack with me so my hands can be free. In it I have water, small snacks such as bananas, nuts, fruit bars, if it’s a longer walk I always pop in a sandwich as well. And of course my phone, fully charged, I love taking pictures as I go. I also have a USB battery pack for my mobile, just in case I get carried away taking pictures. Then finally I have a small collapsible bowl, water and a small packet of food for my permanent doggy companion Missy, she comes everywhere with us.

Tracking my walk:

I like to track most of my walks using an app; the one I most use is Wikiloc. There are loads out on the market at the moment and they can be good fun for collecting all the walks you do in one place and keeping a record of them.

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