Earlier this week I went on a short trip away with my friend. I like to get away somewhere each year, and since it was coming to the end of the summer I had to do something otherwise I would be back at college and would soon have no time between work and college to get to go away anywhere.
So I decided that I want to see a lot of the famous things / tourist attractions here in Ireland, lots of people from Ireland don’t go and see them and I thought that it’s a shame not too since I do live here!
Here is a breakdown of the two days and what I got up to.
On the first day we set out on the long drive to Antrim, on the way we decided to stop at Lough Neagh which is one of the largest lakes in Europe! It was a great point to stop at as it gave us the chance to take a break from driving.
The Lough is absolutely huge, you cannot see the end of it. There is plenty to do round it, you can go out on boat trips if you like, but when I was there the weather wasn’t the best, some rain so there wasn’t a lot of activity on the water. I did see a few people going out on their canoes though.
After spending about a half hour at the Lough we continued on towards Antrim and once we arrived there we went straight to the Giants Causeway.
It cost £6 to park the car and go down to the Giants Causeway, there is an optional bus you can take that will save you walking, it cost just £1, but to be honest the walk will do you good, and the view along the way is great.
I opted to walk, even though it was raining heavily! Once I got to the Causeway, I was surprised to see how packed it was, I thought that considering the weather that nobody would go, but I was definitely wrong about that!
In total we spent about an hour and forty-five minutes at the Giants Causeway then left to go onto our hotel. By the time we got to the hotel it was about 6pm. The hotel we stayed in was called the Ramada Portrush Hotel, I have the say the hotel was excellent. The staff were really friendly and it was cheap. For two to stay it was £89 which included breakfast.
The hotel was extremely busy and the restaurant food was excellent. Since the weather was so bad we decided to not bother doing anything for the remainder of day. In regard to broadband which is expected to be as freely available like water, the broadband cost about £10 for 24 hours! Extortionate rate, I was not willing to pay for it so went without it :D.
The next day we forced ourselves to get up at 8am! Wanted to get the most out of the second day as there was so much to do. By 9am we were up showered, had out breakfast and checked out of the hotel and on our way to look at the tourist attractions.
First thing we went to was Dunluce Castle, this is just the ruins of the old castle, and it looks great. It wasn’t officially open until 10am, but we weren’t willing to wait so went on and had a look around what we could without having to wait until it opened.
If we had of waited until 10am we could have had a look round inside, but as time was limited we opted to continue onto the next castle.
The next castle we went to is called Dunseverick Castle, this is truly ruins of an old castle, not much to see there, it was a fair distance away and to get to it you would have to go through a muddy trail, so it was not really worth the effort.
After seeing the castles it was onto the Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge. I was really looking forward to this and there is a fair walk to it from where you pay, a little over 1km I believe but since it was along the coast it was nice scenic walk to it.
The weather on day two was amazing, completely different to the previous dull day! Luckily there was no queue for the rope bridge when we got there, most likely due to how early we got there, and we went straight over it. Here are a few pictures of the area and also me on the rope bridge! As you can see it was a lovely day.
Just before 12pm we set on our way to Omagh, County Tyrone to go to the Ulster American Folk Park, I had heard a lot about this from a few people I work with so I thought we might as well go to it on the way home.
It was just £4 into the folk park, for students anyway 😉 otherwise an adult ticket is £6 and it has free parking! The folk park is basically a large museum, with reconstructions of how the old buildings looked, and inside the various cottages, were people telling you the history of the area and how people lived.
You could easily spend hours here, we spent about an hour and a half walking around and I took plenty of pictures, here are a few below.
After the folk park we went on home, this was definitely the longest I have driven for since I got my car, a little over a year ago. In total I think we drove about 400 miles around Ulster, and we visited almost all the counties on our way to the different locations!
This was definitely a great trip, really worth the money. And I can tell you without the sat nav, I wouldn’t have a clue where I was going 😀