Meet one of our new bloggers – Orla McGrady
By ORLA MCGRADY 3 February, 2017
Live It Experience It is delighted to have contributing bloggers on board with us who want to share their experiences of Northern Ireland. We are always out and about get out and we want to tell you our stories. We would like to introduce you to our blogger, Orla McGrady, Co Down born and reared and a great lover of all things outdoors.
Brought up in rural Co Down, I have, my whole life, had a passion for nature and the great outdoors.
From an early age my playground was the local fields, brimming with rabbits, ancient trees and old church ruins.
I am from Castlewellan, Co Down and have lived in Belfast for over 20 years, where I moved to study in the 1990s.
I never moved away. I often dreamt of it and a couple of times I came close but something has kept me firmly rooted here.
In my formative years I was brought up in direct view of the Mourne Mountains, during some of the darkest times of Northern Ireland’s history. I have no doubt this offered me refuge and inspired in me a life-long passion for our earth, nature and animals.
My passion is also due, in no small part, to my parents who instilled in me then, and continue to do now, a true respect for the land.
One of my favourite memories as a child was watching dozens of rabbits devour my dad’s vegetable patch on a regular basis. My dad was not so thrilled by this. It’s been many years since a single rabbit has been seen in the garden – a sign of the times.
I feel so lucky to live in Belfast and have access within minutes to stunning landscapes, parks and scenery.
Whether it’s in 10 minutes or an hour, you can take your pick of mountains, forests, seaside or surf. I recently spoke with a tourist from California, who said something that made an impression, and that’s how lucky we are to live where the colours of the blue skies and the green field tapestries are like nothing they have seen in their lifetime.
I have always worked in the creative industries, and for the last 10 years have dedicated myself to working for a craft agency to support and promote our wealth of talented craftspeople. In my spare time I can always be found in nature, walking, hiking, gardening, growing vegetables or looking after honey bees.
I trained as a beekeeper in 2012 to learn more about how to help their plight, and am passionate about conservation of all our species. I suppose you could say it is my mission to ‘leave no trace’ of my time here on earth, while doing my bit to protect and conserve it for future generations.
I do hope you enjoy tales of my walks and experiences in some of the most beautiful parts of Northern Ireland, and come with me on a ‘Live It Experience It’ journey to truly appreciate how wonderful our part of the world is.
Live It Experience It’ is a group of journalists and travel writers who tell the story of our members. We work collaboratively with our members, which are tourism businesses, to promote Northern Ireland through water, air and land based activities, food and drink and great places to stay. Together we let our visitors know of all of the amazing things Northern Ireland has to offer. To become a member business in of ‘Live It Experience It’ call our office on 028 3756 8436 or please submit your information through our online form. T&Cs apply – Sign Up Here Let us tell your story! Live It Experience It is the NW200 tourism partner for 2018.