We are only company in Belfast that would let you cross the Rope Bridge for free when it is open;
0900 Boarding from outside the Top Shop entrance on Chichester Street, leaving at 0900
(This tour actually starts and ends in Dublin. Belfast is the second stop of the tour. If you are planning to go to Dublin on the same day after this tour, you can pay an extra £10 per person to get a ride to Dublin. Drop off in Dublin is around 7:30pm/ 8:30pm, on the top of O’Connell Street, around 5-minute walk to the Spire. You can bring your luggage. There is a storage compartment underneath the coach.)
1015 Stop at DARK HEDGES and get around 10 – 15 minutes here.
Planted by the Stuart family, who originally only wanted to impress visitors as they approached their Georgian mansion, this magnificent road of beech trees is now attracting half a million people from all over the world every year to come visit. See for yourself why even the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones” picked this place for their scene where Arya Stark escapes. Definitely a photo opportunity not to be missed.
1035 Driving past BUSHMILLS DISTILLERY
Licensed since 1608, there is no doubts why Bushmills whiskey is arguably the best whiskey in the world. As Bushmills Distillery has stopped giving out free shot of whiskey at the Distillery since 7 Sep this year, we will not be making a stop there anymore. Without the free shots of whiskey, the Distillery is only an overpriced gift shop. As everything (including the whiskey) they sell in the gift shop can be easily found in Belfast, we will instead add this time onto the tour so you can have more time at the other stops. Our guide will still be sharing with you how they make whiskey in Ireland and whisky in Scotland though.
1110 Arrive at DUNLUCE CASTLE for a 10-minute photo stop
Constructed in the 13th century by Richard Og de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, Dunluce Castle is the most striking castles in Ireland. Once you have seen it in person, it will not be hard to understand why it has been featured heavily in popular culture. Appearing in Led Zeppelin’s album, Houses of the Holy, American musician Jandek’s album, Glasgow Friday, Jackie Chan’s movie, The Medallion, to name a few. It is also said to have been the inspiration for C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.
1115 Arrive at the GIANT’S CAUSEWAY and spend around 1.5 hours here
Here comes highlight of the day and Northern Ireland’s most popular visitor attraction. You will experience the breathtaking sights, awe-inspiring hexagonal columns and unforgettable landscape of the “8th wonder of the world” on your Finn McCools coach tour.
At this stop you will be given the opportunity to glimpse the Irish landscape, sometimes even the White Park Bay, at its most idyllic: beautiful rolling hills, magnificent seascape and of course the hexagonal/ polygonal stone columns that form the legendary causeway itself, some of which reach 40 feet into the air.
Formed in the aftermath of an ancient volcanic eruption, the Causeway consists of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. Although this odd stone pattern stretches all the way to Scotland, nowhere is it more perfectly preserved, making it one of the top places to visit in Ireland. According to local legend, the Causeway was formed when an Irish giant named Finn McCool ripped the earth from the ground, creating a pathway for a rival giant. Outwitted by McCool, this giant (named Benandonner) ran back to Scotland, wrecking the earth as he went. Despite some skepticism from pesky scientists, the existence of similar stone formations at Fingal’s Cave in Scotland are said to be proof positive for the legend of Finn McCool.
1315 Stop at CARRICK-A-REDE ROPE BRIDGE for around 1 hour and 20 minutes – Crossing fee included
An extreme 30-metre deep and 20-metre wide chasm is traversed by a traditionally built rope bridge which rewards the daring visitor with arguably the best views in the country – and certainly the best photographs for any Irish holiday! “Carrickarede” is an abandoned fishing island located near the Giant’s Causeway. The name comes from the Irish, “Carraig a Raid,” meaning “rock of the casting.” The island connects to the mainland by a rope bridge. At 66 feet long and 98 feet high, crossing the bridge is a exciting experience indeed.
Although the bridge in its current form was constructed in the year 2000, it is believed that rope bridges have been used as a means of reaching the island for more than 350 years. The fishermen used to use the bridge to harvest salmon. The bridge has taken many forms over the years, and in the 70s consisted of just one handrail with large gaps between the slats.
At the rope bridge you will have ample opportunity to explore the island and enjoy the view of Scotland and Rathlin Island. When the weather is nice and the Rope Bridge is open, you will be able to cross it for free.
1445 Arrive at CUSHENDUN and spend around 20 minutes here.
This picturesque village is not just an absolutely beautiful village, but also the closest point between Ireland and Scotland. On a clear day, sight of Scotland looks like it is only a few miles away instead of the 15.5 miles that it actually is. Our wonderful funny guide will also tell you the story of Ireland’s most famous goat. You can even take a picture of his statue.
1515 Head back to Belfast through GLENS OF ANTRIM
As we cross between the glens and drive on the side of Glendun, you will have amazing views of Glenariff and also down at the valley below. Crossing through wood plantation with amazing views as far as the eye can see when we get to the top of the glens.
1700 – 1730 Back in Belfast
*Please note that all times are approximate. The locations might be visited in a different order, depends on traffic and weather.
**As people don’t want to spend that much time in the cold countryside, when it starts getting cold, we might give a little bit less time at the Giant’s Causeway and add the time onto the Belfast stop.