Back on the open road again and having just done Cork I am taking Tony on a magical mystery tour so to speak.

Being in bed a lot of the time means that you have to find ways of keeping yourself occupied and one of the ways that I do so, other than reading, blogging and praying, is watching DVD’s and movies.

Tony, is also very much into movies – far more than I am it has to be said and so I thought I would combine our mutual interest in movies with the fact that we were in County Cork.

The other day I posted a piece about Timoleague Friary/Abbey but being mindful that I would be posting this piece soon I kept a couple of pictures back.

Like this one for example which is of an old Telephone box just as you come into Timoleague.

As you have already seen Timoleague is a beautiful little place to visit and I would heartily recommend it to anyone.

The Friary/Abbey is beautiful and so very peaceful and the scenery surrounding it is absolutely gorgeous.

Especially, as can be seen in this and the next picture, the seascapes.

(By the way, clicking on any of these pictures should enlarge them and then all you have to do is hit your browser’s back button to return here)

I especially recommend doing so for this next picture.

Why Timoleague?  Well Timoleague, much like Bandon and Balleyvorney which we also visited was one of the sites where they filmed the movie ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ an excellent film depicting the Irish war of Independence against the British.

If you re into Irish history and looking for a good movie to watch I would recommend that you watch this one which certainly packs a punch so to speak.

Next on our magical movie mystery tour I navigated Tony and I to a small place called Castletownsend. (or Castletownshend depending on who you speak to.)

What was there in respect of movie locations?  Well effectively just one church (pictured right) and one school house.

Nothing iconic about either of them, unless of course they happen to feature in your favourite Irish movie of all time.

Which of course in my case they do.

Although to be honest whilst I am certain that was the actual church featured in the film, I am not so sure that this was the actual schoolhouse featured.  But I have a sneaky suspicion that the classroom scenes were filmed in this schoolhouse and the playground scenes in another.

But ever since I saw it many moons ago I have wanted to visit the places where it was filmed.

Movie connections not withstanding it is a very pretty little place with tight narrow roads leading down to a bay and a very ‘yachty’ feel about the place.

Beautiful scenery and glorious weather made this part of our trip extremely enjoyable and we even stopped off for a drink in the local hostelry.

But I was a man on a mission.

In the movie – my favourite Irish movie remember – there is a bridge which separates the two neighbouring villages and it was that bridge which I really wanted to see.

So as beautiful as the bay may have been it was not what we were looking for.

So we went in search of that bridge and this search took us out and away from Castletownshend to a place called Union Hall.

And boy what a pretty little place that is!

The above picture (which again you can click on to enlarge and then use your browser’s back button in order to return here) is of the causeway and Union Hall, County Cork West.  And it really shows how picturesque the area is.

Likewise, this picture (left) is a scenic view taken from the bridge at Union Hall.

Isn’t it glorious?  We were so pleased to have gone there and I have to tell you that the people of Union Hall were absolutely wonderful.  So friendly and so kind.

And what of the bridge that I was so desperate to find and visit?  Yep you guessed it, the above picture and indeed the one below are that self-same bridge which was featured in the film ‘War of The buttons.’

So again if you fancy watching an Irish film and one which is both sweet and moving and extremely good fun I strongly recommend the film War of The Buttons to you.

But of course the whole day was not about me and about my interests.

Nor indeed was it just about the commitment I made to myself (all those years ago when first seeing the film) that I would one day like to go visit the area in which it was filmed.

It was also about Tony – who after all was the one doing all the driving.

So from there we moved on to a quaint little fishing port called Youghal also in County Cork West.  And this time not to the set location of not a modern or an Irish film but an older more famous film.

Moby Dick – filmed in 1956, directed by John Huston, starring Gregory Peck and based on the novel of the same name (or The Whale) by Herman Melville.

As I said, Youghal ( pronounced Y’all) is a quaint little fishing port – long and narrow and a little quirky.  But again the people were wonderfully welcoming and helpful and obviously proud of their involvement in the film.

Driving down the narrow main street and through (yes that’s right through) the clock tower (see picture right), we parked up and went to have a bite to eat.

It was by now late afternoon and we were more than ready for some food.

We were soon to be in search of a pub of the same name as the film, and which I had read had lots of film memorabilia on display.  But felt that having some food first would be the best plan.  And we were right for as soon as we had our meal we asked and were given directions to the pub just a few feet away.

Deciding to go there for coffee, as much by way of excuse to check out the memorabilia as fo anything else, we were immediately welcomed by a really friendly and very knowledgable pub landlord who was more than happy to talk about the film, the town and the pub’s involvement in it.

He also showed not a single hesitation in agreeing to me taking some pictures of the pub or that memorabilia.

So my thanks obviously go out to him for his hospitality, excellent coffee and the warmth of the welcome that he offered us.

In truth we had such a wonderful day that day and I am so grateful to Tony for taking me and to all of the people we met on the way who helped make it such a fun and successful day.  Especially the landlord and staff of the Moby Dick Pub.

In truth, I took so many pictures that day and have only included a selection of them here.  After all I don’t want to bore you completely.

But I will leave you with just one more (enlargable) pic on this post – a panoramic pic of Youghal bay which I snapped before we left to return home.

As an Englishman living in Ireland I have developed such a love for the country and the people of Ireland.  I would recommend it as a holiday destination to anyone.

It has such a wealth of hospitality, history, beauty and culture and as this little snapshot from our magical movie mystery tour has I hoped demonstrated has been the setting for the filming – in full or in part – of so many films.

So if you are looking for somewhere to visit for a vacation why not come to Ireland and experience first had for yourself; that hospitality, that history, that beauty and that culture?

And if you have a mind too and an interest, why not hire a care and take a drive through movies?