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Bushmills Post Office, Northern Ireland

This morning we departed our lodgings at Glenmore Guest House near Ballintoy and proceeded as follows:

First to the stunning coastline of Larrybane near the access site to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The geology here is mainly limestone. Here a former quarry has featured in several key scenes in Game of Thrones. the beach area is stunning with extensive huge caves carved out of the limestone cliffs. Experience enhanced with heavy seas and surf coming in off the Atlantic Ocean.

Limestone Caves at Larrybane, Northern Ireland

Surf at Larrybane Coastline, Northern Ireland

Here is a video clip of Larrybane

Larrybane, Northern Ireland

 

Next, we drove east to the town of Bushmills where we stopped for refreshment before moving on to nearby Buashmills Distillery.

Bushmills Town Centre, Northern Ireland

 

Bushmills Distillery, Northern Ireland

Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Northern Ireland

At Bushmills Distillery we joined the standard 45 minute tour to learn about the whiskey making process from Malting and mashing through fermentation to distillation and maturation. The process is essentially identical to that used by distilleries in Scotland except (a) the spirit is distilled three times and (b) no peat is used. Bushmills is owned by drinks conglomerate, Diageo and as such has many sister distilleries in Scotland. The Bushmills range includes blends and single malts all under the same Bushmills brand.

After lunch at the Distillery we continued west to visit Dunluce Castle, an impressive positioned on the coast which dates from the 17th century. By time of our arrival at Dunluce the weather had become very overcast and windy but, thankfully, the threatened rain did not materialise.

Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland

 

Finally, we arrived at our destination of Londonderry where we checked into our hotel. Tomorrow, we plan a walking tour of the city.

 

 

 

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland

Today, we continued our Northern Ireland tour by focusing on the northern coastline and three places in particular: the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Ballintoy Harbour and the famous Giant’s Causeway.

All three sites are in relatively close proximity thereby facilitating a relaxing time at each one.

The Rope Bridge is very popular. To reach it entails a lengthy walk along a coastal path. At busy times access to the bridge is rationed by queuing.

Here is a video clip of the Rope Bridge

Ballintoy Harbour is very picturesque with sandy beach, crashing waves and limestone caves. This location has featured in the T.V. series ‘Game of Thrones’.

Due to clement weather we were able to spend most of the afternoon at the Giant’s Causeway site, which was absolutely stunning. The five sided volcanic pipes date from about 60 million years ago. In addition to scrambling over the famous rocks we were able to walk round the coastal path for excellent views of the entire bay where strong winds were forming large waves which crashed over the beach and rocks. The Visitor Centre has been re-built and is now an excellent facility.

Video clip of Giant’s Causeway

Video clip of Causeway Coast.

Tomorrow we head for Londonderry in the West whilst taking in castles and other scenic sites, including some associated with the Game of Thrones series. Fingers crossed for another spell of sunny weather!

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

 

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland

 

Video clip of Ballintoy Harbour

Ballintoy Church, Northern Ireland

Ballintoy Harbour, Northern Ireland

Ballintoy Harbour, Northern Ireland

Whitepark Bay, Northern Ireland

Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland

 

 

Glenariff, Northern Ireland

This morning we departed our lodgings in Belfast and drove north to Carrickfergus where w spent an enjoyable hour or so visiting the medieval castle, which has a long history of occupation. A team of archaeologists was at work there, uncovering the history of the castle.

Carrickfergus Castle, Northern Ireland

Next, we continued north along the stunning coastal route which afforded views of the Scottish Coast and Ailsa Craig.

Our next stop was the delightful small town of Waterfoot where a very helpful pub owner provided hints and tips. We visited the adjacent Red Bay and viewed the remains of Red Bay Castle on the coast.

Red Bay Castle, Waterfoot, Northern Ireland

Video clip of Red Bay.

Waterfoot, Northern Ireland

Next we turned west along the stunning Glenariff, the Queen of Glens. This afforded superb photo opportunities. After about 3 miles we found a wonderful hidden walkway through which flowed a stream which provided a couple of impressive waterfalls. Many Spring wildflowers were noticed including primroses.

Glenariff, Antrim, Ireland

Waterfall, Glenariff, Ireland

Glenariff Falls

Glenariff Falls

 

Sheep and young lambs populated the scenery.

After Glenariff we returned to the coastal route to Ballycastle and our lodgings for the night. Ballycastle is a pleasant and prosperous small town with a long history and attractive sandy beach.

Ballycastle Beach, Antrim, Ireland

 

Glenmore Guest House, Ballycastle

Tomorrow, we visit the Giant’s Causeway.