Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Causeway Coast, northern Ireland

This evening, I am focusing on Carrick-a- Rede Rope Bridge in Northern Ireland.

This famous attraction is located on the northern tip of Ireland, to the east of the Giant’s Causeway and close to the village of Ballintoy. A short distance north is Rathlin Island, a nature reserve.

The Rope Bridge was originally constructed by and for local fisherman in context of their netting of Atlantic Salmon. However, the fishing industry here is no longer active and the salmon are a protected species.

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.

To reach the Bridge entails an approximately 10 minute walk along a cliff trail with a section of steps. After completing the crossing visitors are required to turn around and return (across the Bridge).

At entrance to the site there is parking, bathroom facilities and refreshments although the latter can be overwhelmed when a tour bus arrives. Best to plan to arrive early and avoid the crowds.

Here is a video clip-

 

 

 

Antrim Town Centre, Northern Ireland

This afternoon, I visited the pleasant market town of Antrim in Northern Ireland in course of journey from Londonderry to Belfast.

The population of Antrim is about 20,000. The town impresses as prosperous with a wide range of shops, banks and churches. Close to the town centre runs the Six Mile Water, a small but fast flowing river.

Antrim is just half a mile to the east of Lough Neagh, a large lake. The distance to Belfast is 22 miles (35 km.)

 

All Saints’ Church, Antrim, Northern Ireland

Colourful Shop Front, Antrim, Northern Ireland

Entrance Gate to now demolished Antrim Castle, Ireland

Six Mile Water, ntrim, Northern ireland

Six Mile Water, Antrim, Northern Ireland

 

 

River Foyle at Londonderry, Northern Ireland

This morning, we departed our hotel on the outskirts of Londonderry and walked about 1 mile along the bank of the River Foyle into central Londonderry. Here we joined a small group walking tour which to or within sight of:

  • Historic 17th century city walls, the most complete in U.K.
  • Church of Ireland Cathedral.
  • 17th century cannons.
  • A portioned area containing an isolated and gated Protestant community.
  • The Catholic, Bogside area with extensive murals influenced by the infamous ‘troubles’ of 1970s and 1980s.
  • Various churches.
  • The early 20th century, Guildhall.
  • City centre and war memorial.
  • Peace Bridge over the River Foyle.

City Gate, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Mural in Bogside, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Here is a video clip of the Bogside area of Londonderry.

 

Bogside, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

War Memorial in Londonderry City Centre, Ireland

Peace Bridge, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

City Wall, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

 

Irish Pub, Derry, Ireland

 

Our guide was very objective and provided a non-partisan history of Londonderry dating from the original English Plantations ( colony) of the 16th and 17th centuries through the mass emigrations of the 19th and 20th centuries, key strategic role in WW2 to the sectarian conflicts and civil rights movements of the 1970s and 1980s.

Londonderry ( or Derry) gives an impression of being at peace with itself and provides a good tourist destination.