Northern Ireland’s Natural Beauty
Exploring Northern Ireland’s natural beauty was a trip to remember. Full Irish Breakfast – Sheep – Irish Sea – Sheep – Giants Causeway – Sheep – Royal Portrush Golf Course – Sheep – Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge – Sheep – Baaaaaaah!
We drove from Dublin to Portrush on our last visit to Ireland! The ride takes just under three hours, but the scenery is so beautiful, we stopped frequently to just enjoy the breathtaking vistas, enjoy a nibble to two, and chat with some lovely people.
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We connected with some friends, he grew up in Dublin, and began our journey north very early in the morning with the goal of getting to Portrush by dinner. We stopped at a small hamlet and for breakfast just outside of Dublin. Nothing but the Full Irish Breakfast for the guys – rashers (bacon), black and white pudding (sausage), eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms, beans, and potatoes all fried in butter! On the side is fresh soda bread with more butter and jam, tea and orange juice. So much food! I had beans (which just came from a can – go figure) and toast; not the best vacation breakfast I’ve every had, but fortifiying. The guys were stuffed!
We skirted Belfast and made our way up the coast, stopping frequently to take in the beautiful seashore along the Irish Sea, Like Tweed’s Port Carnfunnock Bay Slipway.
We stopped for lunch in Carrickfergus on the shore of Belfast Lough. After lunch we wandered around Carrickfergus Castle and stumbled upon the towns Christmas celebration. We could hear loud music and followed the sound. The street fair was fun and was a perfect diversion from the driving.
We reached our designation – the Inn on the Coast. It is a sweet little hotel with a view of the Atlantic. The staff was so nice and the rooms were comfy. We headed to the bar and restaurant for dinner, it was exactly what you would expect, cozy with a roaring fire, lots of Guinness and hearty entrees. After a leasurely dinner, we got in a few games of pool.
Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge
The morning brought lots of black ice. The parking lot was a skating rink, but we ventured out anyway. Off to the Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge first. We climbed the rocky mountainside along the Atlantic towards the bridge to take you to the outcrop. The experience was exhilarating and unnerving at the same time.
The Giants Causeway
Our next stop was The Giants Causeway. The hike from the parking lot seemed much shorter than it was, because the scenery was spectacular. Chris was climbing around the rocks like he was 12 years old. I was shocked by his agility, which was spurred on by his excitement at the amazing view.
We swung by the Royal Portrush Golf Cub to get a peak at a few of the golf holes. The 148th Open (British Open) will be played there in July 2019. I don’t know where all these people will stay – Portrush is not that big! I’m sure they will be bussing them in from all over.
Back to Dublin
With our siteseeing complete – we husted back to Dublin to meet Chris’ cousin for dinner and a little family catch up time.
The people of Northern Ireland just absorb you into their life, you feel like you have always belonged and can stay forever. Northern Ireland’s natural beauty will hang in my memory.
Wish you were having a Guinness? Check out this post about making a Baby Guinness!