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Ireland with a guinness!

May 1, 2006  Since the troubles are over and Pictures of the Antrim coast are delightful ,we thought the time was right to try the North
3.5 of 5 stars based on 4 votes

Having travelled a bit in Ireland, our group decided to try and spend a holiday in just 'Northern' Ireland.

  • 1. County Londonderry
    County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

    The Antrim coast is quite spectacular. On Arrival in Ireland we had time to Walk the walls of Londonderry before going to the Ballygally Castle Hotel for our holiday. This was our itinerary: Monday 27th March
    Scenic drive of the Antrim coast to Ballintoy, home to the Carrick- a- Rede ropebridge (entrance fee groups rate ã1.90p each) or just enjoy the tea room! The rope bridge is approx. 70ft across and 100ft above the sea. The bridge is maintained by the National Trust. The facilities at Carrick-A-Rede include a Tearoom and toilet facilities beside the main car park. The walk to the bridge follows the cliff path a distance of approx. half a mile (20mins). The path is quite steep in some places with rough steps. Strong boots or good walking shoes are recommended. This is
    offset however by spectacular views and the opportunity to enjoy the geology, flora and fauna which have contributed to the area being officially recognized as an Area of special scientific interest. Accordingly please do not disturb the birds or pick any flowers.Leave at 11.30am.
    We continue to the Gaint's Causeway free car park (75p for film, small charge for minibus and which are optional). The facilities at the Causeway Centre now include Tourist Information offices, an Interpretive Audio-Visual Presentation and a Souvenir Shop. The National Trust are the
    custodians of the Causeway. Arrive 11.45am
    The alternative to this would be a visit to the Bushmills Distillery, a 20 minute drive away. At the top of the village you will find what Bushmills has become known worldwide for the famous Old Bushmills Whiskey Distillery. The Victorian
    architecture of the Distillery dates from 1885 when it was rebuilt due to a fire. Built on the banks of St. Columb's Rill it offers the visitor guided tours of the distillation process throughout the day.
    We then continue on to seaside resort of Portrush which is built on a peninsula with panoramic views to Donegal, Dunluce Castle and the Giants Causeway headland - there are two exceptional beaches and excellent coastal walks. Within the town you will find the Dunluce Family Entertainment Centre, the Portrush Countryside Centre, a choice of restaurants, cafe's and bars. A 3km stroll down Curran Strand will bring you to the White Rocks where you can continue by
    footpath to Dunluce Castle. Tuesday 28th March
    Enniskillen & Marble Arch Caves.âEuropeon Geoparkâ is host to one of Europeâs finest
    showcaves. Spectacular walkways allow easy access while powerful lighting reveals the
    stunning beauty and grandeur of the caves. Electrically powered boats glide through huge
    caverns carrying visitors along a subterranean river. Tours last for 75 minutes and are suitable for
    people of average fitness. Comfortable walking shoes and a warm sweater are recommended.
    This journey from Ballygally will be approx. 2ü hours, in each direction, seeing a lot of the
    country & the fabulous site of the caves (Entry ã5. group rate ã4.50p) pay on arrival. Also a visit to Enniskillen town. Alternative is day at rest or in Larne.
    Wednesday 29th March
    Depart the hotel after breakfast head directly to Mount Stewart 11am.(Entry at groups rate ã5), The
    driver shall allow plenty of time for viewing the house & gardens, plus a bite to eat. Mount Stewart is one of Northern Ireland's most popular National Trust properties. The 98 acre garden at Mount Stewart is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the British Isles and earned it a World Heritage Site nomination, Depart approx. 13.00 hours and head towards Templepatrick at 1.35pm.for a visit to Patterson's Spade Mill to discover the history and culture behind the humble spade.(Entrance for groups ã3.50p). The last working
    water-driven spade mill in daily use in the British Isles. Alternative is day in Larne, Market day is Wednesday. Please note Tuesday and Wednesday itinerary may be swapped depending on weather and water level in caves. (WE WERE UNLUCKY in that the caves were flooded after heavy overnight rain, but lucky in that we went into the SOUTH TO VISIT DUBLIN. There is a new toll road that was so fast we had A VISIT TO THE GUINNESS BREWERY and some time in Dublin's fair city.) Thursday 30th March
    Depart from the hotel after a leisurely breakfast and travel into the city of Belfast, the driver will give us a short familiarisation drive of the city before dropping us in a central location. (We found a great Blue Badge Guide Helen Carson ,who arranged a guided tour of Belfast City Hall where we met the Mayor, and then we visited the only pub in the care of the National Trust, (good food) and a visit to the Cathedral with it's incredible mosaics
    City Hall Tourâs
    Promoter : Belfast City Council

  • 2. City Hall
    City Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland

    Gorgeous building with some stained wonderful stained glass windows and tons of marble and very nice carpets!!!

  • 3. Guinness Storehouse
    Guinness Storehouse, Dublin

    A modern internal transformation to a very interesting history of the Guinness story, with chilled guinness on tap in the glass walled top floor.

  • 4. Mount Stewart House
    Mount Stewart House, Newtownards, County Down

    The house is very nice but the gardens are incredible the topiary is outstanding. We loved the huge Harp.

  • 5. Patterson's Spade Mill
    Patterson's Spade Mill, Templepatrick, County Antrim

    This was so much more interesting than anyone thought it could be. The phrases that were coined out of this industry were numerous eg. going at it hammer and tongs, and the guides so very interesting.

  • 6. Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge
    Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, Ballintoy, County Antrim

    We had the best day of the year to walk along to the bridge,and the brave ones crossed it!!

  • 7. Giant's Causeway
    Giant's Causeway, Bushmills, County Antrim

    Awsome!!!

  • 8. Bushmills Distillery
    Bushmills Distillery, Bushmills, County Antrim

    ...nd the whiskey flowed too!!!

  • 9. Portrush
    Portrush, County Antrim

    A typical old fashioned sea-side town.

  • 10. Crown Liquor Saloon
    The Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast, Northern Ireland

    Gas lit booths that are used when you are dining, and you shuffle out to the bar when finished , very atmospheric and very good food.

  • 11. the catherdal church of saint anne belfast
    http://www.belfastcathedral.org/

    beautiful mosaics that take your breath away, and we had a lovely volunteer guide. Booklets avialable.

  • 12. Marble Arch Caves
    http://www.marblearchcaves.net/

    WORLD CLASS CAVES