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Overnight we had experienced very strong winds and rain which left a trail of minor damage including tree branches across roads. However, in course of the day the weather progressively improved with result that by afternoon we benefited from sunshine. mild temperatures and blue skies.

This morning, we departed our lodgings near Londonderry/Derry and, after navigating a tree branch across the road, proceeded along minor roads to the coast.

Our first stop was Dunluce Castle, a ruin located on the cliff edge. This has origins in the plantations of Ulster in the 16th century and was a high status power base of the MacDonnells but later went into decline as the associated community proved not economically viable.

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Next to  Bushmills Distillery where guests joined a one hour tour and learned about malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation, maturation and bottling culminating in a sampling of the single malt.

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Next, we drove to the nearby Giant’s Causeway, a geological feature comprising thousands of hexagonal columns of volcanic lava from about 60m years ago. We spent about one hour at the site and then availed of lunch at the Visitor Centre.

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Next, we moved on to Ballintoy Harbour which has been used for filming sequences from Game of Thrones.

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Next, we visited the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge which entails a hike of about 1.2 miles (round trip) along superb cliff side scenery with views of Rathlin Island and the Scottish Coast.

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Finally we drove S.E. to Belfast and our lodgings for the night thus concluding our five-day Ireland tour.

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