top of page
  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

TV | LIVING OFF GRID… the new series looking at homes with a twist in NI

Updated: May 1, 2023

Thatched Irish cottage.


People from Northern Ireland who embrace a different way of living is the focus of two special programmes coming to UTV, starting this Tuesday 2nd May at 8.30pm.


The aptly-named ‘Living off Grid’ is presented by UTV reporter Emma Patterson who meets several local people who have turned their backs on conventional living.  She explores how and why people have chosen to live this way; what prompted the move; how they overcome daily challenges; and what motivates them.

For some of those she speaks to, it’s a financial decision in a time when mortgage rates are rising, and for others it's to protect and preserve the environment.

Emma Patterson interviewing elderly lady in her thatched cottage.


From boats to eco farms, thatched cottages to vans, Emma takes the viewer into their worlds.


We'll meet Margaret, who has lived in the same three-century old cottage outside Belcoo for her whole 81-year old life. Margaret says:

"I was born into this house and if God is gracious enough he'll let me die in it. I love it to bits. It's moulded around me and part of me.”  

Despite having to collect her own water every day and storing firewood, she says:

“Everyone has challenges but I don't call those challenges. Things are never worth worrying about because they'll always work themselves out."


Young couple sitting on a yacht smiling with two pet dogs.

Also in the programmes is a young couple who sold their house in Carrickfergus to travel the Mediterranean Sea in a yacht. Laura and Peter's decision was sparked by a bad day at the office. Laura said:

“I came home and told Peter to look up boats. Two weeks later we'd sold our house.”


Peter commented: “We had the perfect life and the perfect home. But after two years of doing it up and just working, we thought 'this is boring.'"


Laura, who has a fear of the sea, said boating was never on her radar. Peter added: "We initially thought we'd go as far as possible. But we never factored in that we might just love this lifestyle. It's less about the destination and more about the journey to get there."

Ginger haired man with beard opening gate and feeding horse in a field.


Closer to home, Emma meets a newly-engaged couple managing life and work on a narrowboat on the beautiful Lough Erne.

Young couple on board a yacht talking and looking at each other.


And we'll visit a family living on an eco-farm near Banbridge. From wind turbines to solar panels Steve, Claire and Lyra have made Lackan Cottage farm their personal haven.


‘Living Off Grid’ airs on UTV on Tuesday 2nd May and Tuesday 9th May at 8.30pm on UTV.


bottom of page