Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

This evening, I am reporting a popular tourist route in Northern Ireland.

The potential visitor sites listed here is predicated on a departure from Belfast then north and following the coastline round in a broadly east to west direction.

Firstly, Carrickfergus Castle, which was founded in the 12th century and ranks as one of the best preserved castles in Ireland.

Carrickfergus Castle, Northern Ireland

Carrickfergus Castle, Northern Ireland.

Next, Glenariff Waterfalls inside the Glenariff Nature Reserve. This is an impressive location with walkways to provide close access.

Waterfall at Glenariff, Northern Ireland

Waterfall at Glenariff, Northern Ireland.

Next, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This was originally constructed by and for local fisherman in context of their netting of Atlantic Salmon.

The Bridge is now owned by heritage organisation, the National Trust and is extremely popular with visitors. When numbers are high a queuing system is operated to ensure safe passage across the Bridge. Access entails a coastal walk along a rough trail taking about ten minute from the car park.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland.

Next, Giant’s Causeway. Here visitors can connect with thousands of polygonal columns which were formed about sixty million years ago as successive layers of lava cooled under pressure. The columns vary between 15-20 inches (38-51 cm) in diameter and up to 82 feet ( 25m) in height. The columns in the cliffs measure up to 330 feet (100m) in height. There is an extensive visitor centre with transport to the site for those not wishing to undertake the approx. fifteen minute walk.

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Next, Old Bushmills Distillery. Here is produced triple distilled, Irish Whiskey on a site with a history dating back to 1784.Production is about 4.5 million litres p.a. Informative tours of the distillery are available, together with tastings.

Old Bushmills Distillery, Northern Ireland

Old Bushmills Distillery, Northern Ireland.

Next, Dunluce Castle, an impressive ruin on the coast. The earliest standing remains date from around 1500 but the castle reached its zenith in the early 17th century under Randal MacDonnell and his son, also Randal MacDonnell both  of whom achieved status of Earls of Antrim under King James I.

Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland

Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland.

Coastline at Dunluce Castle, Ireland

Coastline at Dunluce Castle, Ireland

Allow about three hours driving time from Belfast to Dunluce Castle.

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