Even in typical Irish weather with abundant rainfall and grey skies, the coast of County Antrim possesses rural beauty and natural gems such as the Giant’s Causeway. I visited this coastline in Ireland in the summer of 2014 with my family.
At the foot of cliffs, the Giant’s Causeway consists of around 40,000 basalt columns, famous for their naturally hexagonal shape. They were formed almost 60 million years ago due to volcanic eruptions.
There are legends about two giants who hated eachother – an Irish giant, Fionn mac Cumhaill, and a Scottish giant, Benandonner. Fionn supposedly built a path of stepping stones from Ireland to Scotland to confront Bernandonner, and Bernandonner ripped the path apart, leaving the Giant’s causeway.
I’m pretty sure I spent a solid half hour just hopping around from stone to stone and genuinely having fun doing it – bear in mind I was 12 at the time! We also paid an extra fee for audio guides.
Another attraction is the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which links the mainland to the tiny rocky island, and was erected by fishermen over 250 years ago. It is 20 metres in length, and suspended 30 metres above sea level. If you’re scared of heights, you might want to hold on tight when walking across the bridge! Or if you’re like me, feel free to take your time on the bridge hands-free, and enjoy the movement of the bridge under your feet.
Either way, it’s a pretty rousing experience with the water swirling below, and the wind breezing through the landscape of cliffs and hills.
When on the island, we were greeted with striking scenery, from which these pictures result:
Finally, Dunluce Castle is an iconic medieval castle that holds historical significance for Northern Ireland. It was erected by Richard de Burgh, the second Earl of Ulster, and subsequently seized by the MacDonnell clan. Although the castle is now in ruins, it is still a sight worth seeing and a site worth exploring (cheeky bit of wordplay *wink*) – just take in the medieval aesthetic of stone walls and towers.