On Saturday, the Big Woof Halloween Howler Tour took place in Portrush amid the finals of the World Surf Kayaking Competition 2017. There was certainly a lot of activity around the strand as usual – Portmagic is certainly not quiet!
Tour participants meet under the Slimming World sign in East Strand car park, receiving a health and safety briefing before limbering up for the 5km walk around Portrush. Pooches on tour included, the ever so well behaved Rex who just so happened to have a Gold Good Citizens Dog Award!!! Honoured indeed to have such dog royalty on tour!! We also welcomed Schnauzer Rocco, Springador Jess, Cavalier King Charles Darcey and of course her ladyship Miss Georgie! As part of the tour price, all dogs receive a Dog Friendly Tours bandana, and for this tour a bespoke Halloween bandana was created by the very talented Gemma from Hiker Hounds NI. Such doggie style never before seen on the North Coast!
We stopped off for some scrummy scones, brownies, Halloween donuts, and cookies served with tea or coffee, and enjoyed the spectacular views of the East Strand and the Arcadia. After over indulging, we carried on our way and enjoyed the salty tastes of local delicacy Dulse before venturing up the coastal path of Ramore Head to enjoy the wonderfully creamy Abernethy Butter Fudge. There was a strong wind, but it was fabulous and we all enjoyed the fresh air and windswept look before reaching the warm and welcoming surroundings of the Harbour Bar and greeted by Spirit of Northern Ireland winner – Willie Gregg. We arrived to a lit fire, Guinness and Smoked salmon on wheaten bread, and heard the wonderful stories of the Harbour bar over the years. Willie aims to raise £2000 a month for his charity Willie’s Orphan Fund, and he has been raising money for 15 years – you do the math! Truly inspirational.
It was hard to leave the Harbour Bar as it was so cosy and relaxing, but we jumped up and went outside to sit on top of the Giant smashing pumpkins located outside the bar. A few hundred pumpkins were bought for the Ramore restaurants for Halloween!! Our next stop was a wonderful tour of the RNLI boat house, and a nosey in the gift shop – time for purchasing some Christmas cards! Both Willie’s Orphan Fund and the RNLI Portrush receive a £1 each from each Dog Friendly Tour ticket sale.
After a dander through the town, we ended up at our final destination Tillys for lunch where we enjoyed the uber tasty pumpkin soup, while the dogs were kept occupied with their doggie ice cream!! To finish off the afternoon, another superb beer tasting by Laurie of Lacada Brewery was delivered, and this was duly followed by tour participants swiftly heading to the local off licence and purchasing numerous bottles to take home! I think they must have liked it!
A great day out, with all tour participants thoroughly enjoying themselves. Keep your eyes peeled for exciting news about to come from Dog Friendly Tours HQ!!