Thing 3: Road trip of the County Antrim Coast

Staycationing can be fun. As nice as it would be to travel somewhere and explore a foreign country, which I always do, it’s just as nice, provided the weather holds up, to discover your own country. And even better, this was part of one of my “Things” to do! I’ve been to Northern Ireland a few times. My parents are from Sligo, so as kids we used to regularly travel to Fermanagh and Derry. I’ve only been to the east coast of Northern Ireland, namely Belfast, a handful of times, but it’s always been a dream of mine to go to the Giants Causeway and drive the Antrim Coast. So last week I did just that with a friend.

We set off from Limerick at 9:30 am and boy it was a very long long day in the car. Time was tight, so we didn’t get to stop much places along the way. The weather was atrocious the whole way up until we hit the coast. Like magic, the sun appeared and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Perfect.

Here’s a couple images of the drive up

Antrim Coast

Antrim Coast

We arrived at Giants Causeway at about 4pm. Quite late. Hence our rush to get there before closing time. The attraction recently opened a state of the art visitor centre, which was built to fit into the landscape and suitably looks like the Causeway itself. The centre itself is nice inside. But I would have one complaint to make. Entrance was £8.50, which is a little steep in my eyes. I have no problem paying an entrance fee to a natural attraction, but I felt we were paying more for the cost of the visitor centre (basically just a large restaurant, gift shop and a small exhibition), rather than for the upkeep of the attraction itself.

Giants Causeway Visitor Centre

The views around the Causeway are spectacular, especially with those lovely blue skies in the background!

Causeway Scenery

For those who aren’t familiar with the Giant’s Causeway, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. The area consists of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, which were formed as a result of a massive ancient volcanic eruption. The columns are generally hexagonal, but there are also columns with four, five, seven or eight sides. The columns form stepping stone that lead from the foot of the cliff and disappear under the sea, like so:

Causeway Columns

So here are some images of the Causeway itself. I was expecting something a lot bigger, but most of the Causeway is under water. But in saying that, it was well worth spending 7 hours in the car to get to. The scenery en route was spectacular and the Causeway really is beautiful and a site everyone should try to visit in Ireland.

View of the Giants Causeway

Giants Causeway

Giants Causeway

So that’s three ‘Things’ done now – 98 to go. Phew….