Take one local man, his Triumph motorcycle and a journey through 10,000 years of local Northern Irish history. Combine it the discovery of one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe, interspersed with archaeological and historical facts, and what do you get?
Well I would suggest that the best answer to that is local author Peter Moore’s new book, Valhalla and Fjörd: A Spiritual Motorcycle Journey through the History of Strangford Lough.
Published by Clahan Publishing, Valhalla and Fjörd is a “historical travel guide of Strangford Lough and the surrounding area”, and Moore’s first book in what he hopes will become a series.
A passionate motorbike enthusiast and graduate of archaeology and paleoecology, Moore has explored the natural beauty and retold the unique history of this hugely significant area of natural beauty.
Speaking at the launch of Valhalla and Fjörd at the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre in Belfast, Peter said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be celebrating the launch of my first book.
“Archaeology inspired travel has been a long-loved passion of mine and to have the pleasure of combining it with writing about one of my favourite areas in the world, has been an absolute joy.
“There is so much wonderful history in and around Strangford Lough, and my hope is that others will be inspired to further explore the area and enjoy the stories which have remained untold for decades.
“The lough itself has been used by mankind for millennia.
“The most obvious evidence of this is its very name; Strangford Lough is a derivative of the Norse Strangr-fjoror or Strandfjörthr meaning ‘strong ford’, referring to the exceptional tidal forces located at the lough narrows.
“At the start of this journey I was unaware of just how much history there was to uncover around Strangford Lough and the fascinating stories of those that lived here over the past 10,000 years.
“I have always found travelling down the lough shore, particularly the western shore, spiritually very moving, as well as mentally and emotionally relaxing.
“Throughout my expedition, armed with not much more than a bunch of first edition ordnance survey maps, I visited monastic sites, mottes, castles, churches, burial sites, abbeys, and indeed ruins – many of which are off the beaten track, not marked on modern maps and largely forgotten.”
Peter concluded: “I hope that readers will be inspired to visit this hugely important, beautiful area and that they too can enjoy a spiritual adventure of their own.”