We decided that it would be a great idea to try to go for a weekend in Northern Ireland about two weeks before the date we ended up going. Oops. The flights were right (and cheap) and it’s really convenient to fly in and out of Belfast, making it possible to do a quick 48 hours there. Had we planned further ahead , we probably would have done a DIY Giants causeway your and either hired a car or taken ours over on the ferry.
We stopped at Dunluce castle for a quick photos shoot, then at Bushmills for a shot of whisky (free) and a tour of the gift shop. Only about a 20 minute stop, I would have liked to have done a full tour, but our priorities for the day were on the coast.
The next stop was the Giant’s Causeway, where we learned the story of Finn McCool and his camel/organ/house (all basalt formations). The site is beautiful and the basalt columns are pretty amazing geology. The area is owned by the national trust, and they have a visitor centre there which offers guided tours. The admission charge is a lot if you aren’t a member, about £9, and it’s only one room of exhibits. If you are a member, it’s worth checking out, we took a guided tour and it was very informative. If not, you’ll be ok on your own. It’s about a half mile walk to the stones, but there is a bus which is especially helpful on the uphill journey back to the parking area.
After that, we headed to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. It takes about 20 seconds to cross but dangles precariously over a 100 foot deep gap between the mainland and a small island that fishermen used as a tax haven back in the day. (Apparently if fish were caught on the island and not in a boat, they weren’t taxed). The bridge is 5.90 pounds to cross (free for national trust members) and is not nearly as terrifying as it looks. I really dislike heights and it was fine, it doesn’t wobble too much.
Overall, it was a fantastic day out, and we really enjoyed seeing the Northern Irish coastline. The tour we took was nice, but it would definitely be easy to do yourself.