Ireland is home for the time being and for some reason we always end up traveling everywhere but here. It appears we only venture out when we have visitors. And so, when papa Chieff decided to grace us with his presence I had to put together the perfect itinerary. There is no better way to spend some quality father-daughter time than on a road trip. And with some suggestions from my friend at Tourism Ireland our two-day road trip to Northern Ireland was a go!
The Titanic Belfast
Belfast is a little over 2-hours drive from Dublin but you can also fly into the International Airport. We left early on Friday and headed for our first stop; the Titanic. Belfast is the city where it all began, this is where the ship was built! Titanic Belfast is the world’s largest Titanic exhibition so we had high expectations upon arrival but we left very disappointed.
I’m not going to lie, I am not a big fan of museums unless it’s a contemporary art exhibit. But knowing that papa Chieff loves these things I thought it would be a great idea and decided to make the sacrifice. Unfortunately, he didn’t enjoy it either. We both felt that the exhibit was lacking. Where are all the original artifacts? There are tons around the world so their disclaimer about not having any due to ethical reasons seems rather odd.
The Bushmills Inn
Off to Bushmills we went! This village is an hour drive from Titanic Belfast and is located on the Antrim Coast. It is also minutes away from the Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. We stayed at The Bushmills Inn, this little inn is the nicest location you’ll find in this area. Trust me when I say that Ireland doesn’t have many luxury accommodations that are worth raving about. But The Bushmills Inn, although only a 4-star hotel checked almost all my boxes.
The Old Bushmills Distillery
After lunch, we headed to The Old Bushmills Distillery, the oldest whiskey distillery in Ireland, for a whiskey tour. The Distillery is only a short 10-minute walk from the hotel. Which is great if you plan on drinking all the different whiskeys they have available. I for one am not a whiskey drinker despite my numerous attempts at “acquiring a taste” for it but out of all the ones I’ve tried the 12-Year-Old Single Malt didn’t cause my face to distort. You are not allowed to take pictures during the tour so it's best to travel light and leave your camera behind.
The Dunluce Castle
Since the last whiskey tour started at 4pm and the distillery closed at 5pm we had a little time to spare before our 7:15pm dinner reservation so we headed to The Dunluce Castle. This now ruined Medieval Irish Castle on the Antrim Coast was built around 1500. Unfortunately, it was closed so we were unable to cross the bridge to get to the castle but saw most of the property.
The Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland is broken down into four areas: The Gobbins, The Glens of Antrim and Binevenagh & Beyond. We focused on the Causeway Coast during our visit and decided to drive around and explore the area. Once back at the hotel we headed for dinner at The Old Bushmills restaurant.
The Giant's Causeway
The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel and headed straight to the Giant’s Causeway. A UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unique rock formations of polygonal columns of layered basalt. This is the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. We hiked the more challenging red trail and enjoyed the beautiful views while listening to the quirky audio guide.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Next, we headed to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. The rope bridge was first erected by fishermen over 350 years ago. This is the area where they fished for Atlantic salmon. If you are afraid of heights or don’t like to stroll alongside cliffs with no barriers this isn’t the place for you. The views of the coastline are spectacular and the hike along the area is really nice.
My bad knees had enough of hiking for one day, yes, I gave in before papa Chieff. It was time to leave Northern Ireland and head back to Dublin to enjoy a nice evening and a little wine.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our weekend break in Northern Ireland! Let me know in the comments or share it with the social media links! I’d love to keep sharing our travel adventures so feel free to subscribe to the newsletter in the big box below. Don’t forget to follow me on facebook & instagram.