With the imminent re-opening of the Andrew Jackson Cottage and US Rangers Centre at Boneybefore, I am going to incorporate a visit there into a variation of the Tour.
The story of the US Rangers forms a significant part of the Tour, and the exhibitions in the Centre really add to that.
It’s a right wee dander (or “quite a walk” for any non-Northern folk out there) from the town to Boneybefore. It turns the Tour’s standard two-mile circuit into a three-and-a-half mile round trip. I think that for all but the most ambitious visitor, those are a few steps too far.
So, I’m going to try to do few variations of the Tour, to see how they work out.
My standard, “just turn up” scheduled Tours on most Saturday mornings at 10:30am will remain as they are: a two-mile, ninety-minute circular route that does not incorporate the US Rangers Centre. You can always visit the Centre at your leisure after the Tour.
I can also offer this standard Tour on other days and times, on request.
On a request-only basis (contact me to agree a day and time), if anyone wants to come on a Tour that includes a stop at the US Rangers Centre, I have a few permutations:
Walk the Walk. I don’t mind taking the extra steps. In fact, I could probably do with them! By doing the Tour (inclusive of visiting the US Rangers Centre), you will end up walking three and a half miles, in around two hours. You will follow most of the route we use in the Standard Tour, starting at the Castle, but deviate to Boneybefore, and then walk back along the promenade side of the Marine Highway. You get some decent photos of the Castle along this stretch. The standard Tour prices will apply.
Walk and Ride. This will be a combination of a shorter walk (about a mile and a half), followed by transportation to the US Rangers Centre, and then back to the Castle. The information I share during the Tour remains exactly the same as in the other Tours: you just do less walking. If you are able to provide your own transport, that’s great. If you don’t, I was planning just to use the local taxi service. The walking part of this Tour starts at the Castle, and ends at Taylors Avenue. From there, I will arrange for transportation to take us to the US Rangers Centre for 30-45 minutes, and then back to the Castle. I reckon, depending on how many are in the group taking the Tour, it should not add more than £2 to the standard cost of the Tour.
For these variations it really is only feasible if there are at least 3 people on the Tour, so you may need to rustle up a few additions from family & friends, or be prepared to join a waiting list until I get the necessary numbers. The more flexible you are about preferred days and times, the easier I may be able to cobble together a group.
A point to remember – the US Rangers Centre normally opens on Wednesdays to Sundays, from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Tours incorporating a visit need to work round those times. In some circumstances, though, if there is decent size Group booking, the Centre may open outside of those times. I would need to be given a decent bit of notice in advance to make a request.
I am trying to be as flexible as I can for anyone wishing to come on one of my Tours. I appreciate that not everyone may be comfortable walking two miles (though it feels less – honestly!), or the Saturday morning slot may not suit. If you have any special requests about how I can help you join a Tour, please get in touch. I’ll do my very best to accommodate you.
The story of Carrickfergus during the Second World War is much more interesting than you may think! Join me to find out more.
All Tours conclude with a complimentary regular size tea or coffee at Dobbins Inn.