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Aldergrove, near Belfast in Northern Ireland, is best known as the home of the airfield that bears its name, a military site that has since become both the RAF station RAF Aldergrove and, simultaneously, Belfast International Airport.

The village itself is an ancient establishment that lies some 18 miles from the city of Belfast itself, and is within the borough of Antrim. Home to a Victorian railway station that first saw use in the early 1870’s, the diminutive size of Aldergrove makes it attractive to those seeking a tour of villages in this part of Northern Ireland, and the rail, air and road links make it accessible for tourists. There are a number of guest houses in the village that will accommodate tourists, and the village is a good place to make a base for an exploration of the surrounding countryside. Patterson's Spade Mill, 751 Antrim Road, Templepatrick, County Antrim BT39 0AP (028) 9443 3619

Previously a water-powered linen mill, the Patterson family arrived in Templepatrick and began manufacturing bespoke spades there from 1919 until 1990. Now owned and operated by the National Trust, Patterson’s Spade Mill keeps the furnace fires burning by telling the story of the humble spade, of which there are estimated to be 171 types in Northern Ireland alone!


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