I recently spent a weekend on the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland and can hereby confirm that it is AMAZING. I can place a big CHECK off ‘Giants Causeway’ from my 30 before 30 list!
The weekend plan was that my mum, godmother, sister and I would all meet in Belfast before driving up to the causeway hotel on Friday night, exploring the area around the giants causeway on the Saturday then driving back to explore Belfast and do the Titanic exhibition on Sunday before all going our separate ways. Best laid plans and all that, what actually happened was a little bit of exploring on Saturday, and then a trip to Coleraine Hospital on the Sunday with my poorly Mum. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you already know that instead of me getting 3 buses home on Sunday afternoon Mr Clev drove up to Belfast to meet me and we stayed an extra night at our hotel and went to the Titanic exhibition on Monday. I thought I would blog the places we went to some of the things sadly we did not get to do but I’m going back again for sure so I can check them off.
1) We stayed at the Causeway Hotel, I loved it so much and they were so fabulous to us that I have an entire post devoted to them coming up this week.
2) The Giants Causeway – obviously the main attraction here. The visitors centre is great, lovely cafe and shop and exhibits. I’m a huge fan of the National Trust and fully believe that they do wonderful work in preserving important historical locations for future generations, we were members while we lived in the UK and it is money well spent. The Causeway itself is so wild, the way the basalt juts out from the ground is incredible. I’m more of a historian than a geographer but even I could appreciate the magnitude of this site. One of the highlights of my adult only stay was a very early morning run down to the stones with my sister, we were the only people there and its something I wont forget doing any time soon.
There’s loads of beautiful walks and hiking trails around the area that my sister and godmother enjoyed one afternoon (while I relaxed in the hotel!). From the visitor centre the causeway itself is about a mile walk down a steep hill, all of our kiddos could manage it but there was no way they would manage the walk back up. Thankfully there is a bus laid on by the National Trust (£1 adults, 50p children over 5) which we took full advantage of. This was Amelies favourite part of the entire trip.
The mini Clevs also loved climbing over the rocks and finding shapes, hexagons, squares, circles. Then we told stories of Giants and land fights – I love a good story so sitting huddled on the rocks and recounting tales of Finn MacCool and Benadonner was fun. Then we went to the gift shop and saw this… WIN!
3) Portrush – what a cute town. We stopped at two beaches on the way to check out the rolling waves. It was cold and windy but I quite like the beach like that, more atmospheric. We had a great coffee (literally a buckets worth) at the newly opened Galley Kitchen upstairs at Portrush Yacht Club which was yummy. It looks like a great town for a mooch, and I’m sure it really comes alive in the Summer.
4) Dunluce Castle. An amazing spot built right on top of the headland. We had a brief walk around here. Its worth paying the entry for the ruined castle alone. So much history and a fascinating back story, with two great exhibition rooms. I’m sure children would LOVE running around here and descending the steps to check out the caved area below the castle. There is also a great child centered ‘discovery room’ with lots of touchy feely stuff and puzzles. Our visit was cut short but I really want to go back with my children and let them explore, cant beat a wild and rustic castle for some memory making.
Ps – this is my sister, is she not just gorgeous? she took this on her gopro with a selfie stick – I have major selfie stick/gopro envy and want one SO BAD.
5) Bushmills Distillery. We never got to go in as it was closing by the time Katie, Jill and myself got there but we did hop into the gift shop where I picked up this lovely set for my darling husband. I’ve been to the Killbeggan distillery tour before so I kind of know how Whiskey is made, but I would still like to have lunch and a mooch at Bushmills in the future. Plus this is really yummers.
6) Titanic Exhibition Belfast. I have devoted an entire post to this to publish later this week. It was SO good!
7) Black Cab tours Belfast. Sadly I didn’t get to do this and its something I’m desperate to do. I really want to see the peace wall and murals. Belfast looked like an amazing city as we were driving through. Its 2/3 hours from here so not really doable in a day, I’d love to spend a night here in future though and really get into the city a bit more.
Even though the weekend didn’t go as planned it all worked out fine in the end, and other than my poor mum (who has only just got home after a week in Coleraine hospital) I think everyone had a good time. I loved spending time with my sissy and my godmother for two days, I got some ‘me’ time (which was weird) and the children certainly loved the hotel, causeway, and Titanic exhibition, Mr Clev enjoyed getting away from the daily grind too. I hope we will make it back perhaps in the summer for some more exploring.