After 4 days in London (and over 75 km of walking) I needed this road trip! It was a great mix of driving and exploring. I got in to Belfast the night before around 11 pm, took a hot shower and went straight to bed. I couldn’t get my phone to charge in the car the night before and it was so late I didn’t want to disturb everyone else in the hostel room so the next morning I stayed a little longer than I’d originally hoped to get my phone up to 100%. Turns out, I just didn’t have the USB connection in all the way! Oops.
Day 5: Dark Hedges, Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Belfast, Paddy Campbell’s Black Taxi Tour.
- Dark Hedges: First stop of the day and it was amazing! For Game of Thrones fans, it’s the setting for the King’s Road. I planned to get there early in the hopes that there would be little traffic/people and I planned correctly! About 3 cars drove along the roadway while I was there so I attempted a few self-timed jumping photos. It didn’t work out.
- Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge: I had also planned to get here early to miss the mass of people that might be visiting. Again, I planned correctly! I also didn’t have to pay the 7 GBP (bonus!) to walk across the rope bridge. The path is always free but you do need a ticket (and to wait in line) to cross the rope bridge. I was there for the pictures and got loads (yay!).
- Giant’s Causeway: An unexpected (because I didn’t look it up) cost of 10.50 GBP. You can see the causeway (rocks) for free but because I drove and would have had to pay for parking I had to buy a ticket. I recommend paying the admission price anyways because of the audio guide – it is amazing! It has folklore stories, geological information, historical facts of tour guides and farmers. It’s a nice walk and, of course, the causeway is beautiful.
- Dunluce Castle: Another unexpected fee (because I didn’t look it up) of 7 GBP so I just took a few pictures and made my way back to Belfast.
- Paddy Campbell’s Black Taxi Tour: 30 GBP but TOTALLY worth it. My driver was Jerry and he was very friendly and knowledgeable. I met him at the front of City Hall: the tour is about 1.5 hours to drive around Belfast to visit murals and learn about the history of Northern Ireland. It was fascinating and I love learning!
I didn’t get to make it to the Mussenden Temple because I slept in and spent much longer at the Causeway than I had planned but I don’t regret the decision at all. I wished I’d at least taken a (free) tour of Belfast City Hall but tried to get to all my other attractions before the sun set so I left right after the taxi tour. I loved Northern Ireland and expect to be back in the future to explore more (and actually visit Belfast).
What do you recommend I see on my next visit? Stay tuned for more from Ireland!