Northern Ireland / Travels

The Coastal Causeway Route

We headed north from Belfast, and although a missed turn-off put a bit more time onto our journey, we ended up finding the Dark Hedges – more famously known as the King’s Road in the show Game of Thrones.

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We were not the only ones. It must have taken us over half an hour before a tour bus had left and the crowds dispersed enough that we could get a few photos without a dozen people in the way. I was especially irked by three tourists who drove their car half way down the road in front of everyone trying to get pictures, parked on the side of the road (it’s private property and there were signs asking people not to park) and got out to take their own pictures without the crowds in the way… just means them and their car were in the way of everyone else! The picture above was taken as we drove through on our way out, at the other end to the crowds.

Not long after the Dark Hedges we got to the coast and paid a visit to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. This bridge was originally erected by salmon fishermen over 300 years ago. It sits 30m above the sea between two sheer cliffs.

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You can’t take too long crossing it because there are ushers at either end directing traffic, as queues build up as either end is let through. We managed to get some photos though as we crossed it.

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There’s really nothing to do or see on the tiny island on the other side – just the views of the coastline – so after about half an hour we were back in the car and headed up the coast again. We stopped for lunch at Ballintoy Harbour, which I mistakenly believed to be the film site of the Stormlands beach where the old gods were burned in Game of Thrones. As soon as we got there though I knew I was wrong. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised the harbour was actually the film site of the Iron Islands harbour – and while I’d taken some photos of the beach, I’d taken none of the harbour!

Our last stop for the day along the Coastal Causeway Route was the Giant’s Causeway itself. I was marginally disappointed because I have always pictured the Giant’s Causeway in an overcast, gloomy atmosphere (because that’s how 90% of photos are taken) and we had the bluest, sunniest skies!

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You can get into the Giant’s Causeway for free if you are on foot – you only have to pay the entrance fee as soon as you use any of their services (parking, visitors’ centre, audio guide etc). We toyed with the idea of buying entrance only for one of us and sharing the audio guide, and me walking out at the end while Andre picked up the car. We decided the entrance fee was going to a good cause though so were happy to pay the £9(?) each.

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Then it was the drive on to our B&B outside of Derry/Londonderry. We had a giggle that we’d driven virtually across the whole country, stopping to see sights, in a day!

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