Top of the list for our Belfast trip was going out to see the Giant’s Causeway and we eventually booked on to a coach tour. We don’t have the best opinion of coach tours after our first Japan trip, and indeed there were some extremely annoying people on board, but overall it was worth it. We got to see 5 different places with discounted entry to the rope bridge and a free guided walk at Giant’s Causeway, plus the driver kept up a pretty interesting commentary.
First up was a quick stop at Carrickfergus, which had a pretty harbour and a castle. We went on the early bird tour so it was quite cold to start but it soon warmed up into a lovely day.
Next stop was Carrick-A-Rede, home to the famously scary rope bridge. It’s a bit of a trek down to the bridge, but so beautiful. Look at the colour of the water!
The bridge does look quite terrifying but I didn’t find it that bad as I’m short and the sides are high so it would be extremely difficult to fall off.
On the other side, there are no barriers at all and pretty steep drops so I didn’t explore much. You do get some lovely views and that’s Scotland just visible in the background!
Going back over the bridge was actually a little worse as it was quite windy and wobbly. The walk back was also a bit strenuous but lots of lovely views. You can walk up to the bridge and back for free so it’s worth doing even if the bridge is too much for you.
We then had a stop at Bushmills Distillery for lunch, though we brought our own packed lunch, and a very quick photo stop at Dunluce Castle ruins before the main event.
We were offered a free walking tour at the Giant’s Causeway so we decided to do that and were very glad we did. Our guide – Mark Rodgers – was very entertaining and from a local family of guides so he knew lots of interesting stuff. I recommend hunting him up.
We’ve been to the other end of the causeway at Staffa in Scotland and it’s difficult to say which was more impressive. The Giant’s Causeway is much bigger and more famous, but Staffa is so remote and wild. I seem not to have blogged about Staffa but you can see all my photos on Flickr.
It was extremely windy so we didn’t hang about too long but it was definitely worth the trip and so great that you can clamber around on it rather than being kept behind barriers. It’s also free to visit as long as you go by public transport and don’t use the visitor centre or audio guides.
Our tour was with McCombs which you can book online or at the tourist information centre in Belfast. I had a great time and even got myself a Giant’s Causeway print by Flax Fox to remember the trip by. You can also see lots more of my photos at Flickr.