Today I am in a quiet corner of Strangford Lough, in the townland of Ballyabundant.
Cottages are built in an unusual style here, with grass instead of the thatch used elsewhere in Ireland.
The townland name comes from the Irish Baile Bunanna. Linguists are divided on the meaning of the second element of the name.
Ballyabundant can also be hard to find on the PLACENAMESNI website, Griffith’s Valuation and other historical records, but I’ve tracked down some reliable information on how to get there and back again.
READ ON, KNOWING THAT I FIRST POSTED THESE PHOTOS OF BALLYABUNDANT ON 1st APRIL 2016.
Are you having trouble finding Ballyabundant? The place really exists, and I spent a day there in November 2014, but it’s a long way from County Down.
The truth is that I was in New Zealand, visiting the set created for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. The guided tour is a lot of fun, and I will simply send you to their website for all the details: Click here for the link to Hobbitontours.com.
A few more photos from that trip are on my other “Distant Drumlin” blog: click here for the link.
And what about the bananas? Well, they are home-grown, but not from County Down. A few years ago I had a temporary home in India, and these bananas grew in my Bangalore garden. Again, the bananas featured on my Distant Drumlin blog: here is the link to a post about the banana harvest.
Which townlands border Ballyabundant?
To the north, Ballybaggins and Tullynahobbit.
To the west, Ballybilbo and Kiltolkien.
And if you think I’m travelling east to photograph Mordor, forget it.