Dublin to Belfast
After spending a few days in Dublin exploring the sights and sampling the Guinness we moved on to Belfast. I decided to book a Paddywagon Tour which left from Dublin to Belfast that allowed us to visit the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and Dunluce castle. It made for a long enjoyable day and the bus stopped in the middle of Belfast not far from our hotel.
Overall the tour was excellent if a bit rushed in places. If your based in Dublin the Paddywagon Tours do several other trips including the Cliffs of Moher.
The Giant’s Causeway is a result of volcanic activity 60 million years ago resulting in 40,000 black basalt columns sticking out of the sea. The 70 hectare site is managed by the National Trust and there is an excellent interpretative centre. There is transport down the hill to the Causeway although we chose to walk there and back. I loved the legend of how the Giant’s Causeway was created and there is a great little film to watch in the centre which I will not spoil telling you the story here.
It cost £9 for an adult and £4.50 for a child or £22 for a family ticket. If you pay on-line in advanced you will save £1.50 on adult admission, £1 on child admission and £3.50 on family admission. The shuttle down to the Causeway is operated by a separate company and they charge £15 each way for an adult and 50 pence for each child. I advise walking down the hill and if your tired get the shuttle back up.
Carrick-a-rede rope bridge
Another stop on our tour was the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge which you have to walk to and then cross over to a small island before returning the same way. The rope was first built by salmon fishermen in 1755. The rope is suspended a 100 feet or 30 metres above the sea and you are rewarded on the walk there and on the island of great views of the Causeway coast. Be warned if it is the busy season it is crowded and they have a warden there to manage the flow of people crossing the bridge. Allow around an hour to do the return walk.
The National Trust also runs this site and charges an adult: £5.90,Child: £3.00 and a family: £14.80.
The last major stop we had on our tour was a photo stop of the Dunluce Castle. The ruined Castle is perched on a high promontory overlooking the sea. We did not have time to visit the castle inside which you can do for £5 and they also supply an audio tour. I would like to go back one day to explore it a bit more and learn more about its long history of over a 1000 years.
Overall we had a great day travelling from Dublin to Belfast enjoying the countryside and the bus drivers stories. The scenery was magnificent in places and well worth doing.