Ireland the North 2. Ballycastle

Published: August 11th 2022
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Ireland the North Day 12. Ballintoy

Rest day today so only rode 25 miles.
One of our group was less fortunate as he became unwell last night and spent today being looked after by the medics. The good news is that he is on the mend and in good spirits.
Most of us did different things today but some went to the Dark Hedges near Ballymoney, which some of you may know is an avenue of 250 year old Beech trees. These trees form a canopy over the road and it is where some filming occurred for Game of Thrones and is now viewed by hordes of tourists. Our hotel has a replica throne in the entrance and an intricately carved door with scenes from the series.
Ballycastle was another popular destination and two of us visited the small museum with many old artefacts on show, including an old washing device which Brian would like to do his laundry each night.
Ballycastle was once home to about 40 coal mines, iron works, salt works, glass factory, soap factory, bleach works and of course a brewery. Much if this was owned by a local born industrialist William Boyd born in 1680.
These businesses brought about the building of the harbour for exporting these products and Boyd built the Church in the Diamond centre of the town. The town is now a busy tourist spot with a sandy beach and regular ferry trips to Rathlin Island to see the bird sanctuary, which has puffins in early summer and guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars and shags etc nesting in the cliffs by the lighthouse.
On the road to Ballycastle from Ballintoy there is a high viewpoint giving the best ever view of the Carrick a Rede rope bridge, which looks its best in late afternoon with the sun shining on it.

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