Exploring the Causeway Coastal Route

Ireland summer 2012 365I can’t believe that I haven’t written more posts about Ireland!

I feel incredibly lucky to be able to call myself Irish and to have grown up in Ireland. Jason has had the privilege of visiting Ireland three times. His first trip to Ireland was so busy. I wanted him to see as much of the country as possible so we were being massive tourists!Ireland summer 2012 423

One of the places that we went to was Northern Ireland. I’m quite embarrassed to say that I had never ventured up to Northern Ireland until 2011, when my sister moved to Belfast. I have been to visit her twice now and I can honestly say that if I ever move back to Ireland Belfast would be a strong contender as the place that I’d live. It is a beautiful city with low crime and beautiful buildings (But I’ll talk about that in another post).Ireland summer 2012 342

Another amazing thing about Belfast is that it is the beginning of the Causeway Coastal Route, a beautiful drive up to the Giants Causeway. My sisters boyfriend had a day off while we were visiting so myself, Jason and Neil jumped in to the car and headed north.Ireland summer 2012 375

Our first stop of the day was at Carrickfergus castle.Ireland summer 2012 358

It’s a beautifully maintained castle that is based on the sea. It was quite gloomy when we arrived but that just added to the atmosphere.Ireland summer 2012 351

Afterwards, we drove along the coast, stopping to watch a seal on some rocks and for some lunch at a pub.Ireland summer 2012 374

Our next stop was at the Carrick-a-Reid rope bridge.Ireland summer 2012 432

The views around this area are absolutely breathtaking. It is the Ireland that people dream about. The clouds cleared and the sun shone bright for us while we were here.Ireland summer 2012 403

The water is so clear and it makes you want to just jump in.Ireland summer 2012 413

Ireland summer 2012 404Once we had taken in the views and crossed the bridge, we were off for the final, and most famous stop of the day, the Giants Causeway.Ireland summer 2012 457

The Giants Causeway is named so because Irish folklore tells us that the the giant, Fionn McCumhaill had to cross the sea from Northern Ireland to Scotland to try to fight another giant. The columns that you now see are supposed to be the remains from a causeway that he made to cross the sea. Hence the name The Giant’s Causeway. Ireland summer 2012 439

The Giants Causeway itself is unbelievably beautiful and definitely deserves the attention that it gets.Ireland summer 2012 451

We had an incredible time on this day trip and I’d highly recommend adding Northern Ireland and the Giants Causeway to your Irish itinerary.Ireland summer 2012 466

How to get there: From Dublin, there are plenty of trains, leaving almost hourly. You can also drive there, which takes about two hours. There are plenty of Giants Causeway tours available in Belfast if you don’t have a car to get there.Ireland summer 2012 395Ireland summer 2012 371

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