Along with his wife Jill, Denis visited Ireland in May 2018. They rented a car from Belfast, Northern Ireland for a week, and dropped it off at Dublin Airport before flying back to Australia. Below Denis shares some of the highlights from his fantastic road trip.
We explored Belfast using the hop-on hop-off bus which was a great way to get around and see all the main tourist areas of the city. The commentary given by the Tour Guide provided a wealth of information on Belfast’s history and also an insight into this city’s troubled past.
We really enjoyed this exciting city especially visiting Titanic Belfast and the Crumlin Road Gaol, which was a working prison from 1845 to 1996. When visiting Titanic Belfast, allow yourself several hours to experience this world class attraction.
Northern Ireland coastal driving
A short drive north of Belfast is Carrickfergus Castle which dates back to 1177. After exploring the keep of the castle, a four-storey tower and various chambers, we walked along the outer walls overlooking the sea.
Continuing our drive along the spectacular coastal road, we stopped briefly at The Gobbins which is a restored 100 year old cliff path that skirts the coastline and goes through caves and over bridges suspended over the sea. We passed through many charming villages along the Causeway Coastal Route as we made our way to Londonderry.
Londonderry and the Giant’s Causeway
Londonderry, or Derry, is surrounded by walls constructed in the seventeenth century. It is fascinating to walk the ramparts and see the displays and placards explaining the history of the city.
About an hour drive away is the UNESCO Heritage Site of the Giant’s Causeway, which is made up of 40,000 basalt stone columns left by volcanic eruptions 60 million years ago. We spent several hours here exploring the rocky outcrops and had a hand-held audio-guide (included in the admission price) which gave a lot of interesting information on the Giant’s Causeway.
Game of Thrones
For those Game of Thrones fans out there, we visited some of the filming locations in County Antrim. These sites included the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, the 14th century Dunluce Castle and the famous Dark Hedges.