You cannot beat a Road Trip and the Giant's Causeway is right up there with the best of them for spectacular scenery, stretching some 120 miles along the coast of Northern Ireland from Belfast to Limavady. Along this route, there are so many detours and interesting things to see and do, that you might be a while getting there! And that is without even venturing inland to the wild, romantic Glens of Antrim which are steeped in myths and legends. You could well be forgiven for taking a trip out to Rathlin Island, which is only 8 miles to Scotland. You can even take a fast ferry there from Ballycastle, but that is taking the detour thing to a whole different level, still? And you are not going to be able to pass the Carrick-a-rede ropebridge, assuming you have not got waylaid in Bushmills at the distillery there? Mind you there are some beautiful new viewing points that have been installed the last couple of years, which will save your legs if you don't fancy the clamber down to the rope bridge!
At the Causeway there is a brand new multi-million pound interpretative centre which explains the geology etc but the real action is outside and you will not really be happy until you get down and tramp all over them and take the obligatory photo. It's about a 15minute walk but there is a courtesy bus which runs up and down to the Causeway and costs just a £1 each way if you are in a hurry or just not great on your pins. However you get down there, you will soon see why the Giant’s Causeway got its name, as a series of stepping stones for the giants of Ireland to cross over into Scotland and beyond. These strange 6 sided basalt columns, the cooled remnants of volcanic activity some 60 million years ago appear to rise out of the sea and are quite rightly considered to be part of our worldwide heritage, so they are protected by Unesco.
10 Other Things to Do and See along this route are...
1 Dunluce Castle a little further on is perched on the side of a cliff, hardly surprising that part of it dropped in to the sea !
2 Carrick-a-rede rope bridge is on everybody’s list of scary things to do.
3 Rathlin Island take the puffin bus to see the upside down lighthouse and the seabird colonies at the Western tip of the island.
4 Torr Head is a cracking drive, unrivaled scenery, you can even see Scotland on a fine day.
5 Cushendun and Cushendall two of the most beautiful villages you will see anywhere in Ireland.
6 Glenarriff forest park woodland walks and waterfalls.
7 Carnlough too cute, gorgeous little harbour village with a renovated inland railway walk.
8 Glen of the Hedges head inland at Carnlough along the A42 to see these spooky hedges that meet in the middle of the road.
9 Glenarm Castle another beauty, with fabulous walled gardens and tearooms.
10 Carrickfergus Castle a mighty big Norman castle close to Belfast.
Bus Tours to the Causeway and the Games of Throne sites are available from Belfast City Centre.