If you follow Fergul on his quest, you will enjoy a fantastic, anti-clockwise, tour of Ireland. Here are the locations I envisioned for the first book; Fergul & Blue (images to follow):
Newtownabbey - FARM - situated on Manse Road, this is a real place that I used go to when I was a child. Every Saturday my mum took me to buy carrots, potatoes, mushrooms and fruit in the large red doored barn. Billy was the owner who on occasion used to let me visit the goslings and baby chicks that lived at the bottom of the garden. His son now lives there and is a tree surgeon.
Antrim Road - TRACTOR - On one road you could help the hospice, have a quilt made, visit swans, buy a house, have your car tyres repaired, eat a fish finger sandwich, report a crime, visit the zoo, get a tan, have the car washed, learn the Irish language, attend mass in 9 different places, book your child into day care and enjoy 20 hair salons.
Dismissed as the 'road into town' by drivers using the quicker motorway, I would often choose to return from Belfast this way by public bus or car. Marvelling at the shops, schools, charity stores, parks, police and petrol stations, cafes, ice cream parlours and pubs. Then you had the castle and resident mansions, with their exotic stained glass windows and manicured gardens before hitting the zoo! Growing up, I enjoyed running up Cave Hill and stopping to listen to seals and lions. The Antrim Road really is a stretched out city and I think it worked perfectly for the book.
Belfast - TEA & BAKERY - One of two capital cities on the island, Belfast is Fergul's closest hub for transport.
Tollymore Forest - KINGDOM ENTRANCE - although Game of Thrones and others TV shows have been filmed in this magnificent forest, none have ever mentioned the magical Hermitage! Built into the wall of the strong river, I was excited to involve this cool piece of architecture.
Bush mills - GIANT
- a marvel of a tourist attraction where the giants are. There are also cool stone formation in the sea of a camel and turtle, along with Oonagh's Organ, a giants boot and a natural cliff rocked chimney that when smoking, lets visitors know the giants are at home.