The Causeway Coast would have to be one of the most picturesque coast lines I have ever driven. It is filled with beautiful beaches, ragged coastlines, the greenest vegetation, and lets just be honest its just so god damn pretty! What else can I say? We set off on our road trip from Belfast after a big night as to experience Belfast properly, this has to be done. We picked up our purple hire care, and after some extensive paperwork, we were set to go!
1. Glens of Atrium
I highly recommend starting your trip by taking the coast road through the small sleepy towns up to the Glens of Atrium. You will definitely stop to take random pictures of pretty beaches, towns and have a look around. The roads are windy, but remember you don’t have to go fast, go at your own pace and soak up the beautiful drive!
2. Glenariff Forest – a forest of waterfalls, red squirrels and Leprechauns
Once you reach the Glens of Atrium, one of the best ones in my opinion to stop into is Glenariff forest. They have a beautiful walk through the waterfalls, there is also a cafe if it takes your fancy. Be aware there is a climb back up a hill to return to the carpark, but if you have your eyes out you will see some native animals including red squirrels! We were definitely excited by this never having seen one before! Also make sure you watch out for those leprechauns, they are quite cheeky characters…
Continue on to Bushmills and stop for some lunch at the Stables pub. The name speaks for itself, it used to be old stables that have now been converted. While you are there, why not go all out on the seafood platter? If distilleries tickle your fancy, why not go to the local distillery for some tastings? But could also not be the best idea after a night out depending on how you pull up the next day?
4. Visit the Giant’s Causeway
Definitely one of the highlights of the road trip. It is definitely as fascinating as you have heard. Once you have paid the entry fee, you get to learn a lot about the natural wonder and all the mythical stories that come with it. It is good fun jumping from stone to stone, climbing cliffs and going for a hike to the top!
5. Carrick-a-Rede Bridge
Feel like visiting and old fashioned bridge made of wood and rope? This goes up in the summer season when the Irish fish for salmon off the coast. Just be a aware that if the weather is bad you won’t be able to walk over it. If you can go on it though it is definitely worth it!
6. Get lost
You wouldn’t be road tripping Northern Ireland if you didn’t get lost at least once. Even though you might be using a GPS like we were it is still very easy to go down the wrong road, lose complete reception and then have to back track. At least you always have good scenery to keep you entertained?
7. Dunluce Castle
Set on the rocky cliffs, with crashing waves and bad weather is the ruins of Dunluce Castle. I braved the horrible weather, the castle and the views were great and they have some excellent beaches there as well would you believe!?
Continue driving the causeway coast towards Derry (Londonderry) and stop off in Portrush. It is a cute little town that has some excellent seafood restaurants! Definitely worth a look around with its pastel painted buildings!
9. Embrace all the Road Tripping Cliches
It wouldn’t be a road trip if you didn’t have some excellent tunes, seat dance (#Selfie) and singing out your heart to these resulting in leaving you with no voice by the end of the day. Buying Pringles the same colour as your purple car and having your friend move the gear stick for you while you shove food into your mouth. Whats a road trip without some fun?
10. Finish in Derry
The coastal route comes to an end in Derry. The second largest city in Northern Ireland. I highly recommend at least a half day to explore this city. You can walk the city walls, learn more about the IRA and Bloody Sunday that took place here. There are also plenty of museums, churches and pubs that are worth exploring.