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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!

Exploring Northern Ireland's natural beauty was a trip to remember.

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.

Northern Ireland's Natural Beauty
Christmas in Northern Ireland

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.

Northern Ireland's Natural Beauty
Northern Ireland's Natural Beauty - Rope Bridge

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.

Giants Causeway - Northern Ireland's Natural Beauty
Exploring Ireland's Natural Beauty - Giants Causeway

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.

Dublin Ireland

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!

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  1. Looks like fun! I’ve only ever been to Dublin, but I hope to make it back over there to explore more of Ireland and actually visit Northern Ireland.

  2. Oh well, thanks for sharing about Carrickfergus. I instantly remembered the name cause I had wondered what it meant. A German band Subway to Sally has a song titled Carrickfergus. And, I couldn’t find the translation until a friend informed me it was a town in Ireland.

  3. Ireland looks like such a ruggedly beautiful country. Love to visit there someday!

  4. How fun! Gosh you have me wanting a Full English! My husband is from the UK so we either eat that or a full Scottish, but I’ve never had a full Irish with white pudding! Yum!

  5. It’s my husband’s dream to go to Ireland someday. We both have ancestors from Ireland. It would be fun to find out if any of our extended family is still there. What were you drinking in the picture in the morning? Was it a coffee drink?

  6. The pictures look beautiful and I love accidentally coming upon a town’s celebration while traveling.

  7. I can’t wait to go to Ireland someday. I used to work with a number of Irish immigrants and they were some of the best people I knew.

  8. We have some Irish heritage and my mother has been talking with family we have over there. My uncle has gone to visit Ireland several times (and I’m soooo jealous). Visiting Ireland has always been on my bucket list, near the very top. This just made me want to go even more.

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