Sunday, 23 August 2015

Tour of Ireland Photo Diary - Belfast via the Causeway Coastal Route

We set off from our hotel after breakfast and once again picked up the coastal route which had just been getting better and better. As well as taking in the spectacular scenery, we loosely followed the Game of Thrones location route and made a stop off at Carrick-a-Rede. Admittedly the Game of Thrones locations were rather lost on me, having never watched a single episode, but they look nice all the same and I could see how they would make dramatic settings for filming the series. 

As for Carrick-a-Rede, they do an impressive marketing job selling their rope bridge to an island as one of the scariest bridges in the world. Google it and you'll see what I mean. In reality, unless you've got a phobia of heights, it's all very tame! The bridge does take you across to a small island, and the views from the bridge and island are beautiful, but I'm afraid no adrenaline rush for me over the rope bridge!

We arrived into Belfast in the early evening and walked around a few bits of the city centre before dinner. The next morning was spent at the Titanic Experience, one of the few things we had booked in advance before this trip. The musuem is excellently put together with nine different experiences, ranging from some of the history of Belfast, to the building of the Titanic, to searching the shipwreck. Well worth a visit if you're in town.

Ballintoy Harbour - Pyke, the Iron Island in Game of Thrones
Ballintoy Harbour coastline and building

Game of Thrones location sign at Ballintoy Harbour

Boats in Ballintoy Harbour

Carrick-a-Rede Islands

Rope bridge to island at Carrick-a-Rede

View of sea from Carrick-a-Rede

Rope bridge at Carrick-a-Rede

Fishing boat at Carrick-a-Rede

Carrick-a-Rede cliff

Gulls over sea at Carrick-a-Rede

The Dark Hedges - The Kings Road in Game of Thrones
Ahh this one. Should you go looking for it, don't get mislead by the confusing signs! We arrived at The Dark Hedges Hotel and followed what we thought was the route to find the avenue of trees. We were somewhat underwhelmed by what we found, and so were some other tourists we found. Turns out we were all wandering up and down an ordinary driveway lined with trees and the actual Dark Hedges were a little further up the main road! 

Oak tree lined road
Not the Dark Hedges!

The Dark Hedges in black and white
The real Dark Hedges

View up the road of the dark hedges

black and white oak trees

Belfast and the Titanic Experience building
SS Nomadic ship in dock

The Titanic Experience building Belfast

Entrance to Belfast city hall

Albert Memorial Clock in Belfast

Bigfish fish sculpture

Yachts in Belfast harbour marina

Titanic ship model sculpture

Sign for Titanic Experience cutout letters

Large crane at Harland and Wolff site

Belfast is another place it would have been lovely to spend a little longer and see a bit more of, but after the Titanic Experience we had to continue our journey and headed south, back to the Republic of Ireland and the town of Dundalk. I didn't get any photos after this - after all the travelling I was looking forward to getting home! We stayed a night in a B&B in Dundalk then drove to Dublin to get the ferry home - thanks to a delay we got in about 2.30am...

I hope you've enjoyed this Photo Diary series - has it inspired you to plan a trip to Ireland?



1 comment

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