Originally, I wanted to visit Northern Ireland to see two sites, but sadly, I missed out on both of them! The first item on my list was the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge–I have been wanting to cross this bridge since I happened upon a photo of it in middle school. Needless to say, I was super disappointed when we arrived to find out it was closed due to the wind. The second place I had wanted to visit for quite some time was the Titanic Museum, but due to our schedule, that didn’t work out either.
We still managed to have a great time and I really loved exploring Northern Ireland. Thankfully, I had planned on other adventures to fill our time, and I became equally excited about them in no time at all. We took a road trip up to the Giants Causeway and also took a Black Taxi Political Tour which was extremely interesting due to the shocking and sad history of Belfast. With the nice and helpful people everywhere we turned, it was a great couple of days even with the rainy weather we encountered. We took in castles, cliffs, gorgeous landscapes, and city murals, as well as ate fish and chips the size of our heads!
Without further ado, here is our photo essay of Northern Ireland:
The Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge has been used by fishermen for around 350 years to get to the island for fishing. It didn’t always look this sturdy though–there have been many versions. In the 70’s the bridge had one handrail and large gaps between the boards, while the one currently hanging today was built in 2008.
The Dunseverick Castle is located near the Giants Causeway and only the ruins of the gatelodge remain. Even though the remains are small, the surrounding scenery is worth a stop alone.
Dunluce Castle is hair-raisingly close to the edge of a cliff. In fact, during a storm in the 1600’s, part of the castle actually fell into the sea below.
Cemetery along the side of the road on our drive up the coast–the tombstones were all so old and eerie looking.
Tunnels made out of trees were pretty on our drive along the Northern Ireland coastline.
Driving on the “wrong” side of the road was quite terrifying, especially on city streets!
The roads twist and turn their way up and down the coastline and in and out of trees.
Legend has it, the Giant’s Causeway was created by a giant named Fionn.
Geologists say the Giant’s Causeway was created by rapidly cooling basalt lava which cracked to create columns or “biscuits” which is what we now see today.
The endless columns of varying heights and shapes was astounding and so much more beautiful than I ever have imagined. I could have spent hours wandering aimlessly around the causeway.
The new visitors’ center opened in 2012 and they offer self-guided audio tours of the causeway for any history buffs out there or those who want to hear Fionn’s side of the causeway story.
Beautiful rugged coastline along the north coast — one of the iconic sights on the island of Ireland.
Even with all the fog and rain, the coastline was still beautiful in every direction.
Phone booth peeking out of the grassy rocks at the Giants Causeway.
Field full of clovers — unfortunately we weren’t lucky enough to find a pot of gold too.
The Peace Wall in Belfast was built to separate the Catholics and Protestants in an attempt to instill peace in the area.
Black Taxi Tours are offered to show some insight into “The Troubles” of Northern Ireland that are still continuing to this day. The tour guides tell stories and the history of the political troubles and show you the murals in the city.
Ice cream for dessert at Made in Belfast, a restaurant that focuses on locally, ethically and environmentally sourced food.
The unique decor at Made in Belfast was found mainly at vintage and second-hand stores, and we love the quirky and fresh feel it gives the restaurant.
Belfast’s violent history may paint the city as a dangerous one, but that isn’t the case–the city really has a bright future and fun artistic vibe.
Belfast is turning into a very artistic city with it’s art galleries, new murals and Friday night art walks. This courtyard was lit up nicely with street art murals shining throughout.
The city of Belfast is not only artistic, it is also the city where the Titanic was built; a unique mix is created with the industrial and artsy side of the city.
Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland and the people were so nice and friendly. I would love to visit again soon!
Have you been to Northern Ireland? What did you think?