For this tour, I travelled to Northern Ireland to see the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The bus started early in the morning so that we could see all the attractions during the day. Departing from central Dublin, we drove up to the Irish border, which is very much like a straight road, apart from the road sign informing travellers that kilometres are changing to miles. Throughout our drive to Belfast, our guide told us some Irish history, especially the history between Ireland and Northern Ireland, before stopping briefly at a station for shopping for some food and using the restrooms.
Once in Belfast, we the bus picked up some more passengers for the day and then headed out towards the Dark Hedges. On the way, we heard some more of the history of Northern Ireland before arriving at the Hedges to take some pictures. Most of the trees lining the road have fallen over the centuries but the remaining trees still form an impressive lane. After the Hedges, we drove to Dunluce Castle to take some more pictures while our guide told us the story behind this castle ruin and why parts of it had fallen into the sea.
Departing the castle and a short drive later, we arrived at the Giant’s Causeway for the first main attraction of the day. The weather started picking up at this point, but fortunately we had almost two hours to walk around, so the rain eased up towards the afternoon. If people don’t mind walking, there is a path up on the cliff from where you can see the entire Causeway before descending but you can also take a shuttle bus down the road for one euro. Bringing some rain gear and good shoes is recommended because of the weather and slippery steps but otherwise the sight is well worth it.
After seeing the Causeway we again drove a short distance to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. There is a bit of a walk down to the bridge and our guide told us to go to the bridge right away to avoid the line, since people are crossing the bridge in both directions and the staff only admits eight people at a time. Luckily the weather had cleared up again and we could see down to the clear waters below as well as to the Sheep Island off the coast.
Leaving the bridge, we arrived at Cushendun a few minutes later. We were told that on a clear day you could see all the way to Scotland from this town and even though the weather wasn’t as clear as we had hoped, we could still see a small part of the coast in the distance. The weather had cleared and on our drive through the Glens of Antrim we managed to even see a rainbow outside the bus’ window.
Our last stop for the day was at Belfast where we had about an hour to walk around and do some shopping before heading back to Dublin for the end of the tour. Overall people enjoyed the tour and had a great time with our guide, who kept the bus entertained throughout the day. This tour is sure one of the things you will remember about your visit to Ireland.
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Finn McCools Tours.
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