Northern Ireland

After we returned our rental car in Cork, we set out on foot for the train station carrying and rolling all our luggage with us. The ride was relaxing and I enjoyed watching the scenery go by.

Train from Cork to Dublin

The next day we arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland after another enjoyable train ride. After we were settled in our hotel we spent the afternoon visiting the Titanic Belfast. The Titanic was built and launched from Belfast. As we walked through the self guided tour we learned about the history of the boat industry in Belfast and about how the Titanic was constructed and built. In 1912 the Titanic left Belfast for what turned out to be a doomed first voyage.

Titanic Experience Belfast, Northern Ireland
Titanic Experience Belfast, Northern Ireland

After a big Irish breakfast the next morning we met our guide Emily and boarded a tour bus for an 8 hour tour. For most of the day we would be traveling beside the water on the scenic Causeway Coastal Route. Our first destination was the Giants Causeway.

Before arriving at the Giants Causeway our guide Emily told us two different theories about how the Giants Causeway was created. The first was scientific. The other was a tale about an Irish giant named Finn McCool and a Scottish giant named Benandonner. I like to think it was the giants who caused these unusual rock formations.

Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland
Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland
Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland

The bus made a quick stop at Dunluce Castle for a photo op. For you Game of Thrones fans the castle is one of the film locations from the series.

Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland

The Bushmills Irish Whiskey Distillery was just down the road. There wasn’t enough time to take a tour but we did have time for a tasting.

Bushmills Distillery, Northern Ireland
That’s a lot of Irish Whiskey!

The scenery was stunning all along the Causeway Coastal Route.

Coastal Causeway Route, Northern Ireland
Fields of sheep were a common sight as we traveled each day. These are on the Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland

For those with no fear of heights and a taste for adventure, the Rope Bridge at Carrick-a-Rede is must do attraction. With my fear of heights I can’t walk on swinging bridges but I enjoyed the scenery from the trail and had fun watching everyone else walk across the bridge.

The trail to the rope bridge was along these coastal cliffs
Stunning cliffs at Carrick-a-Rede on the Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland
Henry on the rope bridge at Carrick-a-Rede on the Causeway Coastal Route

We discovered palm trees grow in Northern Ireland.

Palm trees along the Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland

There was a quick stop at CarrickFergus Castle before returning to Belfast.

Carrickfergus Castle in County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Boat harbor near Carrickfergus Castle in County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Our guide Emily was awesome. She was a wonderful storyteller and kept us entertained as she told us some magical tales and a bit of Irish history. She even sang for us.

Next up, we say goodbye to Ireland and hello to Scotland.


17 thoughts on “Northern Ireland

    1. Judy, we also saw palm trees on the Wild Atlantic Way beside the Atlantic Ocean. The Gulf Stream flows close to there and affects the climate. The Titanic Museum was interesting and sad at the same time.

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  1. Beth, we took a similar tour, when we were there two years ago. The Giants Causeway was our #1 reason for booking that particular tour. Astoundingly beautiful does not adequately describe this place. You captured it perfectly in your photographs. Unfortunately, we did not get to walk on the swinging bridge because it had been vandalized just days before. I photographed it from high up on the hill, but next time I’m walking it! You mentioned that you took a train from Cork to Dublin, but how did you get to Belfast? Another train? Car? I am always curious about the behind the scenes details.

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    1. We took another train to Belfast. It departed from a different station than the one where we arrived from Cork. We both enjoyed the train. The Giant’s Causeway was the highlight of the day for me. I wish we had been able to spend more time there.


  2. Nicely done! We’re in Dublin now (arrived this morning from Florida, USA). We are going on the Game of Thrones tour tomorrow morning early for the whole day. We just heard about the Titanic tour… wow! ❤️

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