Along the Irish coast – Magical and wild
If you’ve read part one of our trip along the causeway coastal route in Northern Ireland you might remember that we ended in Portrush. Portrush is a coastal town that is a little bigger than we ones we visited so far. The number one activity in Portrush – and there is no escaping that fact – is golf. It’s the big thing here and if you’re a golfer you might have already heard of Portrush or you might have even played a game or two there. I don’t have anything with golf so I can’t tell you much about it but apparently Portrush is home to some of the best greens in the world.
And when you’re in Portrush I can highly recommend staying at the Craignamara Guesthouse. It is a wonderful B&B to stay. We were welcomed by Rod and his wife Kerry who started the guesthouse four years ago, after having managed a Scottish hotel for over 20 years. I’ve told you more about this little gem here.
The highlight of our visit to Portrush was a fishing trip with Causeway Foodie Tours. Now I am always a big fan of doing a local foodie tour as that is the perfect way to get to know more about the local foods and Causeway Foodie has a couple of really interesting ones. Sadly we only had time for the one during our trip and that was the fishing trip.
To be entirely honest I wasn’t feeling all too excited about it, because I am definitely not a fisher(wo)man plus we had questionable weather. The day before we couldn’t do the rope bridge because of the storm. So the prospect of going out onto the sea with a small boat and heavy wind, didn’t particularly excite me all that much.
Getting up in the middle of the night (well it felt like it anyway) and arriving at the harbour in pitch black darkness was not too great, but the trip itself made more than up for it. It did help that I turned out to be hero fisher of the day. Who would have thought…. You can read all about our fishing adventures here.
When you’re out and about this early the day seems a lot longer all of a sudden, which is nice. After breakfast and after having changed clothing we went on our way to the Giant’s Causeway. Probably by far the most famous attraction along the Irish coast. The landscape here is bizar and apparantly formed about 60 million years ago when hot lava came into contact with cold sea water and created magical columns.
The visitors centre of The Giant’s Causeway has won all sorts of prices and has a shape that disappears into the landscape, so you only notice the building once you’re almost inside. If you think you can walk around the Giant’s Causeway all on your own, think again… Because it is busy, very busy. So if you want to take photos without a lot of tourists make sure that you arrive early. We were there around mid afternoon and so it was really busy. I can only imagine how it would be in the summer. Something to take into account for sure.
And before you know it the trip had to come to an end. But before we took the plane home at the end of the afternoon, we had a little time left for a visit to the Bushmill distillery; a must if you’re a whisky drinker. I am not a big fan but Ellen wanted to bring a bottle home, so we went in for a quick visit.
Another beauty along the coast is Mussenden temple. The small dome is situated at the edge of a cliff and gives beautiful views. The old mansion is also pretty impressive although not much more than a ruin these days. The entire area here is wonderful to walk around too.
And with this pretty temple our visit to Northern Ireland comes to an end. Definitely worth a repeat visit and I don’t think it will take a lot of persuasion to take Tom along there. We would have loved to visit Londonderry too but it was too far out of the way. The causeway coastal route is longer than what we have done so yes, definitely need to go back!
Disclaimer: We were in ireland by invitation of the Irish Tourist board but all opinions are mine