One of the best decisions we made while visiting Ireland was planning a day to go to Northern Ireland. A couple of my favorite sights and attractions are located in Northern Ireland, and it’s worth a trip to see what it’s all about!
Once my friends and I completed our road trip through southern and western parts of Ireland, we dropped off the rental car in Dublin. Our driver sure was happy to not worry about driving the winding, narrow back roads. We had two more days left to explore Dublin by foot, and one day to be chauffeured up to Northern Ireland by bus!
My friend was kind enough to do the research on bus tours to Northern Ireland from Dublin, and I think she picked a great tour! Through Wild Rover Tours, we hopped on a bus at a stop near our hotel at 8am and headed up north to see four amazing attractions.
The first stop was Belfast, where you could do a black cab political tour or check out the Titanic Museum. Belfast was the home where the Titanic was built, and they still have the original cranes hovering over the water. Mostly everyone on the bus chose to do the black cab political tour, including my friends and I. We learned all about fighting between the Protestants and the Catholics, visited the Peace Wall (which was especially neat considering it was 9/11), and saw the barriers between neighborhoods. I had no idea this war had just ended so recently in time. It was a great history lesson, and I highly recommend visiting Belfast and learning about it yourself.
House of Greyjoy
The second stop was a real quick stop to check out a castle featured on Game of Thrones – House of Greyjoy! I was amazed at this, because I’m a big game-o fan. I really wanted to get closer and walk around the castle, but unfortunately the tour didn’t allow time for this. I was only able to capture pictures from afar. This was the only downside to this Wild Rover Tour, but that’s why we decided to road trip on our own time the majority of this Europe getaway.
The Giant’s Causeway
The next and third stop was The Giant’s Causeway. Our tour guide told us a tale of a giant from Scotland arguing over territory with a giant from Ireland. They challenged a fight, and the Irish giant built the causeway to make his way to Scotland so they could meet in the middle to battle. The Giant’s Causeway is actually comprised of interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It makes for quite an amazing scene against the Atlantic ocean. I really enjoyed climbing on all the rocks and marveling at this beautiful, natural landscape.
The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
The fourth and final stop was my favorite – Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge! The walking trail to the bridge was so gorgeous, I couldn’t stop taking pictures. And walking across the bridge was such an adrenaline rush. So high in the air (30 meters tall to be exact), waves crashing down below you, wind blowing every which way – SO fun! Once you made it across, you landed on a (for lack of a better term) giant rock, to take more lovely pictures and just gaze out into the ocean. I loved it here, and visiting the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge alone is worth a trip to Northern Ireland.
We got off the Wild Rover Tour bus in Dublin around 8pm, so it was a full, 12-hour day of driving, exploring and making awesome memories. I highly recommend making the trip to Northern Ireland to check out a few of these spots!