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Nature and Countryside, Places

The Causeway Coast : roaming the top of Northern Ireland

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I hadn’t been for many years but was excited to be back in Northern Ireland and itching to get back up to the Causeway Coast and take in some of the finest and beautiful coastline that you will see. Rugged, mysterious, wild and calming. If in these parts…. A Must see! I only had a day this time, but was determined to get to as much as possible. Yes I advise taking it in over many days, you will not be disappointed.

My days journey started over towards the West side, and Portrush. Park the car and wander. Take in Whiterocks Beach where many come to surf, windsurf, play family beach football or take in the views along the cliffs, dramatically standing over the surf. On a good lucky day in Portrush you may look out and even catch a glimpse of the whales and dolphins.

I headed Eastwards and came to the ruins of Dunluce Castle. Sat on a rocky outcrop it looks absolutely stunning, be it ruin or not. I find ruins add a more historic mystery and want to know. The quietness when I was there added to the scene. Saw quite a lot of people sitting and contemplating looking out. It has quite an affect.

The day I was there the Olympic Torch was making its way the other way, East to West along this magnificent coastline. I met it near the middle.. I hit the infamous Giant’s Causeway as the crowds started to gather. The Causeway, deep rooted in myth and legend is a sight that has to be seen with your own eyes. The car park is about a mile’s walk from the main section and the fact that so many take the time to walk down is testament to the scale of the wonder.

Absolutely unique, basalt columns created by ancient volcanic activity, rise out of the ground. In fact there are about 40,000 of these columns! They almost looked man made, hexagonal stepping stones in every direction, interlocking, across the shore, stepping out to sea. Some rise high some lay like paving stones. An incredible sight. The scale cannot be shown on photos, you have to see for yourself. A natural beauty with a massive twist.

Actually not far from the Giant’s Causeway is the town of Bushmills. Anybody that loves a drop of whiskey will know what this place is famous for. I have done the tour here and although not normally my thing in the past I found it and the hands on history enlightening, refreshing and worth the trip.

And again, it was not too far further down the coast I got more adventure. The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge! This tiny island is linked to the mainland by a 20m rope bride that stands above a 23m drop to the sea. The original rope bridge allowed the fishermen to get across to the island that was rich in surrounding salmon. Today it is an adventure for all. Kids or those scared of heights taking a challenge, the surrounding beauty and coves. Once on the little island though you get closer to unspoilt views across to Scotland and the bird life living on here in and around the rocks and clifftops is immense in diversity. All the better for calming before heading back along the bridge 😉

Every corner of this coast holds a surprise, be it a view, a path to tranquility, a wondrous beach, fields of green or an adventure to be undertaken. Raw natural beauty that can’t be missed.

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