Britain 09 - Day 11
From Enniskillen we headed north towards Antrim, passing through Coleraine and Portrush. Portrush is a tourist town on the coast with car parking and amusement arcades in abundance. However the recent economic recession appears to have hit the town hard, with many closed up shops. On the bright side, we did find a cafe that produced some of the best coffee we had throughout our trip in ireland and Britain. (Overall the coffee and tea we were served throughout the trip bore a closer relationship to dishwater than to coffee.) Along the coast to the east we passed Dunluce Castle and then met Bushmills where we visited the famous whiskey distillery. On the day of our visit the place was crowded with tourists. As we found out later 30 busloads had descended on the town, the result of 5 cruise ships berthing in Dublin. We then drove on to the Giant;s Causeway and booked into the Ardtrabane B&B, right beside the Causeway. Although the rain had arrived en masse we walked along the cliff tops, down the Shepherd's Steps and back past the Causeway proper. The rain soon stopped and we had an excellent view of the area.
The north coast
East of Portrush the road climbs along the top of the cliffs, and the occasional layby gives you a good view of the area. We stopped above the White Cliffs, looking west towards Portrush and the oncoming rain, and west towards Bushmills. Nearby lies the remains of Dunluce Castle, a portion of which crashed into the sea one evening taking the servants and the evening meal with it.
The Giant's Causeway is the most spectacular part of the north coast of Antrim. It is one of the best examples in the world of columnar jointing in a basalt lava flow. There are oter good examples nearby, one being Fingal's Cave on the Island of Staffa to the east.
The road back along the coast and up to the Visitor's Centre.
We had booked into Ardtrabane House because it was the B&B that advertised itself as being the closest to the Causeway. We parked our car there then walked along a local lane to the top of the cliff. Despite the heavy rain it was a spectacular view. That evening we walked the short distance to The Nook, the local pub converted from the old schoolhouse,and had a wonderful meal of fish and chips. They seemed to be more tasty for the rugged conditions outside and the usual pint of Guinness.
Last updated: 16/06/2017