Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Kilkee (Ireland): another stop on the Irish honeymoon trail of Charlotte Brontë and Arthur Bell Nicholls - Part II

The Kilkee cliff walk is a scenic loop walk which follows a cliff path along the coastline, passing the truly breathtaking and very varied rugged coastline and returns to Kilkee via the ingoing road. It is certainly worthwhile doing this cliff walk as you come along truly magnificent and stunning sea cliff views around every corner you take.



It is of course impossible to know where exactly Charlotte and Arthur sat at the cliffs to enjoy the scenery, but there was one place that I really thought could have been the place described in Charlottes’s letter to Catherine Winkworth (dated 27 July 1854),  in which she expressed great enthusiasm for Kilkee and its surroundings:
“… - went to the coast - such a wild iron-bound coast - with such an ocean-view as I had not yet seen - and such battling of waves with rocks as I had never imagined. My husband is not a poet or a poetical man - and one of my grand doubts before marriage was about 'congenial tastes' and so on. The first morning we went out on to the cliffs and saw the Atlantic coming in all white foam, I did not know whether I should get leave or time to take the matter in my own way. I did not want to talk - but I did want to look and be silent. Having hinted a petition, licence was not refused – covered with a rug to keep of the spray I was allowed to sit where I chose - and he only interrupted me when he thought I crept too near the edge of the cliff. So far he is always good in this way - and this protection which does not interfere or pretend is I believe a thousand times better than any half sort of pseudo sympathy ...”

Friday, 18 August 2017

Kilkee (Ireland): another stop on the Irish honeymoon trail of Charlotte Brontë and Arthur Bell Nicholls - Part I

As becomes tradition on our annual holidays to Ireland , Paul and I do “something Brontë”.
This year our holidays allowed for a two night stay in the area of Kilkee. We stayed in Hilltop B&B,  close to the town of Kilkee.

Kilkee (Irish: Cill Chaoi, meaning "Church of Chaoineadh Ita - lamentation for Ita") is a small town located on the South West coast of Ireland, in county Clare, on the Wild Atlantic Way.
It was in this town in July 1854, that Charlotte and Arthur stayed for about 10 days on their Irish honeymoon.


At that time, Kilkee, situated at the Loop Head peninsula - with its unique climate, natural amenities and bathing areas, beautiful sandy beach and spectacular Atlantic shore and cliff scenery - had become a very popular tourist destination for the Victorians. In July 1854 Kilkee was then little more than a village of about 419 houses and a total population of about 1869 people.