The next townland on the Greenway is Ballybeen. Since writing my blog post on “The Bally in Ballybeen” last October, I have done more research. From the PLACENAMESNI website I learned that Ballybeen means “Bean’s townland”, from the English surname Bean. (I hope it isn’t actually home to Mr Bean).
The boundaries of the townland now make more sense to me, and you can see them by clicking on “Show the Map” on PLACENAMESNI. Ballybeen townland covers the western half of Ballybeen Housing Estate, but also the Comber Road to the edge of Church Quarter, and housing developments like Wanstead and Ferndene along the Old Dundonald Road.
Does this mean that the Greenway loses its rural charm when it reaches Ballybeen? It no longer runs through farmland, but it gains new features of interest. The path isn’t just limited to the old railway line, and it connects with Longstone Meadow.
Then psych yourself up for a busy junction. When the railway was in use, there was a bridge across the Comber Road for trains approaching Dundonald station; now traffic lights help you cross the road. While waiting for the lights to change, you can admire the council’s floral display.
There are some wonderful old photos of this area on the website “Dundonald Railway Station, Then and Now”.
Finally, here is a local tip for hungry walkers: there are no refreshments on the Comber Greenway, but five minutes walk from Longstone Meadow will take you to the shops at the Enler Centre (named after the river).