Our last stay in Ireland was in Portstewart. Our coastal apartment was called, The Beach Hut! We arrived in Portstewart at around 4pm and we were keen to take in an afternoon walk along the promenade. Our stroll quickly turned into a night walk as the dusk sky darkened ever so quickly after 4pm!!
The next day we drove around the evergreen dramatic cliffs of the Northern Ireland coast.
Jutting out on the sea edge we stopped to take in the sites of Dunluce Castle. Part of the abandoned castle collapsed into the sea in 1660.
We headed along our scenic adventure along the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s coastline of scenic natural beauty. The weather was overcast, cool and the wind was blowing a gale.
The Giant’s Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway is managed by the National Trust. It cost us in pounds 11-50 each to enter the visitors’ centre. This included our parking, entry to the visitors’ centre which was great and a free informative guided walk down to the Giant’s Causeway. Whilst waiting for our free guided walk, Rob tested his head phones pretending to be a slick security agent ready to take out his assassin. We were all set, assassin neutralised, area cleared thanks to Rob we were off on our guided tour!!! Don’t I feel safe when Rob’s around!!!
Our first rock formation was:
We learned about the stories of the Giant’s Causeway. Legend has it that the Giant’s Causeway was carved from the coast by the mighty giant, Finn McCool.
Locals believe there is real magic here!! There is a stone wishing chair out on the sea front to make a wish on.
The impressive hexagonal rocks tumble into the sea.
Standing on these geometric geological gems was definitely a bucket list experience for us.
There are over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns.
The Giant’s Causeway was caused by intense volcanic activity.
This area is a 60 million year old legacy to the cooling and shrinking from the lava flow.
We were impressed by the last formation:
Just as we returned from our walk from the Giant’s Causeway the heavens opened and a huge storm hit!!!
Leaving the storm behind us we took in the stunning views off the white sand coastline from Ballycastle.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Salmon fishermen traditionally used a rope bridge spanning a 20 metre wide chasm, to reach Carrick Island. Today the Atlantic Salmon is now an endangered species!! Now the rope bridge has become a huge tourist attraction! With this looming question aimed at tourist- Are you brave enough to follow in the fishermen’s footsteps!!! It is said that the rope bridge is thrown about by the winds like a fabric thread!! Swinging 100 feet above the sea Rob and I were unsure!! But our fate was decided as the ticket office closed at 3-30. Thank goodness for that!!!!! Our lucky day!!!!!
This area is managed by the National Trust Foundation. To park in the car park was free, but to cross the bridge off the main land cost 7 pounds. We did the breathtaking walk to the bridge which was well worth it.
The water below was aqua blue and the views were stunning even in stormy weather.
The Dark Hedges
The Dark Hedges has been listed as one of the top 5 hedge tunnels in the world.
It is a beautiful avenue of beech trees originally planted in the 18th century as part of an estate home. It has become a huge tourist attraction due to being used as the kings road in the TV Show Game of Thrones.
Cars are no longer able to drive down the road due to tourists parking on the side of the road which kills the surface roots of these beautiful old trees. If cars keep parking on the trees roots it is estimated that there will be no Dark Hedges in twenty years. There is a hefty thousand dollar fine and a sign that states no access for vehicles but despite this we still saw tourists entering and parking in the dark hedges!!!!!!!
There were once 150 trees and now 90 remain. The high winds and wet weather have also reduced their numbers.
This is where we ended our adventures around Ireland.