Antrim Coast - Belfast to Ballycastle

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October 16th 2018
Published: October 28th 2018
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Tuesday October 16 - Didn’t sleep very well and had to get up at 5am to get ready for the flight. We got to the car rental return around 6am, a little nervous that there would be problems, after our hideous pick-up in Bristol. But it was very easy and they drove us a few others back to the airport without any problems. We checked in with Easyjet, dropped off our bag and found a place to sit down. Our flight was at 8:45 so we were a bit early. We ate our sandwiches and played around on wifi. My computer had been acting up, and I was very worried it would die, but it still worked, even if it took a few failed attempts to get it going. The flight boarded before they even really announced it, and everyone was on early, so we left early.

An hour later we arrived in Belfast international airport. Here we got a car from Budget, and I was the main driver, due to credit card issues, but we decided to have Jeroen as a second driver, and he ended up doing all the driving here as well. I like driving, but shifting with my left hand seemed too much to deal with, so I happily played the passenger. Once we were sorted with the car, we drove north, to the Antrim coast, which is a beautiful drive, and the only real destination for this part of the trip. You can drive the whole thing in one day, but we decided to spend a few days in order to spend time at several parts, and I’m so glad we did.

First stop was Carrickfergus, to see the castle. It was a bit rainy, and we didn’t go in, but it made a nice rest point. It was also lunch time, and we realized we were just across from a supermarket, so we headed into Sainbury’s and got some lunch that we ate in the car. We consumed many sandwiches and bags of chips in these two weeks, and this day was no exception.

We drove on to Larne, where the coastal highway begins. We stopped whenever it was pretty and at all the main sights, including Garron Point, Torr Road, and then at the Glenariff Forest Park. There we walked the waterfall hike which was really scenic and beautiful. We made our way to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge that is pretty famous here. You can cross a rope bridge onto a small island where only fishermen used to go. The views are quite nice. We also decided to go to one last stop - Dark Hedges. It’s a street with very distinctive trees that have been used in Game of Thrones, and they look pretty dramatic. I thought sunset time of day would be good, and so did many others. It is always crowded there, but in October I expected it to be less so. It probably was, to be fair. I took some photos there while Jeroen parked and then we walked back to the car and headed on to our airbnb. We stayed in Ballycastle, which is close both to the rope bridge and to the Giant’s Causeway, one of the bug attractions in the area. The bed was not great, but the host was really nice, and I’m glad we stayed for two nights. There didn’t seem to be much going on in town, and we could only find two pubs right across the street from each other. We tried to walk there, but got lost and took the car. We chose the pub with live music. The food was a bit pricey, but probably the best we had on the trip. We were home later than normal and headed to bed not too much later.

Additional photos below
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30th October 2018
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

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