Emerald Hearts: Northern Ireland

I've visited this remarkable place twice a year for the last decade - it's what happens when you fall head over heels for an Ulster girl away from her beloved motherland.

Initially, our trips to Emma's hometown of Downpatrick would largely be spent enjoying "the craic" (good old sociable Irish fun). We'd visit hotspots like Speedy's, Denvir's or the notorious Hotel Casa Bradley and enjoy traditional antics with family and locals alike. From roaring pub singalongs led by hometown heroes like Jerome or Edgie and their six strings, to perhaps less traditional Limóncello after parties… The Irish sure know how to enjoy themselves, and for years this meant our daytimes were often spent wrapped in duvets, reaching for the local delights of Suki, Tayto Bikers, Jammy Joeys and Herron's Super Chip to nurse our hangovers.

More recently, though, a new lady has entered the scene. Judy, the gorgeous family Springer. She, along with owners Chris and Smurf, have shown an alternative way to spend daytimes in Northern Ireland, opening hidden doors to some stunning scenery.

While these images alone may be enough to encourage a visit, the beauty of this land is nothing compared to that found in the hearts of the people that live upon it. Go and experience the most unimaginably warm welcome and generous spirit that I've been fortunate enough to enjoy for the last ten years. Sláinte.

@alexfostagram | FostersFolio.co.uk

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