Ross, Grace and I are all agreed that one of our most favourite holidays ever was our trip to Northern Ireland. It is hard to believe that it is almost a year ago now since our visit. We certainly lucked out on the weather but I think that one of the things we found most impressive was the scenery. The hire car meant that we drove up from Belfast airport to Limavady where we were staying. We had a picturesque drive but, little did we know, we hadn’t seen anywhere near the best of it.
Chill Insurance have recently released an eBook all about peoples favourite hidden drives in Ireland which you can find here: https://www.chill.ie and, in seeing their prompt, I thought I would share a couple of my favourite drives from when we visited last year.
The Causeway Coastal Route
On the second day of our trip, we went on a luxury tour with Glenara Elite and Dalriada Kingdom tours. The very capable Frances from Glenara Elite picked us up in her luxury coach from our hotel at 9.30am and, alongside her was Mark Rodgers of Dalriada Kingdom tours.
The tour took in plenty of coastal locations and well-known tourist spots. These included Mussenden Temple, Portstewart Strand, Dunluce Castle, the Giants Causeway and Ballintoy Harbour. Many of the areas have become popular thanks to Game of Thrones. It was the coastal drives which really impressed me. So much beautiful scenery and plenty of history to be found too. One of the best things about this was the fact that none of us had to drive, which meant we could take in all the views as we went from place to place.
Over the top of Binevenagh Mountain
On our third and final full day in Northern Ireland, we were due to go on a boat trip to see the coastline of Rathlin Island. This meant we had a car drive to Ballycastle. There was a faster, less scenic route but, the previous day Mark had told us all about the beauty of Binevenagh Mountain. We decided we wanted to witness this for ourselves.
We worked out a route from our hotel in Limavady to Ballycastle harbour. This meant we could take in the mountain – and I have to say that none of us regretted our decision. The beautiful scenery really was a sight to behold. We followed the Bishops Road up to the top of the mountain where you can take in the view of Magilligan across to Donegal. Understandably, there is a picnic spot at the top called Gortmore. In addition, you will also find a sculpture of Manannan Mac Lir, a sea God. On top of that, off road walks are also available.
Some of the roads were rather narrow and many of them don’t have central white lines either. However, all the motorists there seem very polite – well, the ones we came into contact with were anyway!
Have you visited Ireland? Do you have any favourite scenic drives you would like to share?
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