Outstanding places in Northern Ireland (Part 2)

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4. Carrick-a-Rede

This was one of the first places I visited when I moved to Northern Ireland. As I’ve mentioned before Northern Ireland has plenty of extraordinary places to visit and the majority of them are really special as they haven’t been spoilt by tourists, though let me warn you that Carrick-a-Rede (County Antrim) is an exception as it’s one of the major tourist attractions so when you decide to plan your visit try to pick a quiet season as now the site is open all year round with a few exceptions that you can check on the following link (here you also find information regarding prices and schedules) https://giantscausewaytickets.com/carrick-a-rede-tickets

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Through an amazing walk of only 1 mile you will be flabbergasted with the coastal views, the cliffs, the wild flowers and vegetation, the translucent green water.

From here you can clearly see the Rathlin Island (see my article at https://susanastravels.com/2018/12/09/rathlin-island/) and the Scottish Islands.

The 20-metre rope suspended 30 metres above the sea, links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrick-a-Rede. Today it’s a touristic attraction but its purpose used to be very different. Salmon was fished here since 1620, though the first bridge was only built in 1755 to facilitate the access to the island. For centuries the salmon industry had a major importance to the population of Ballintoy but unfortunately times changed, and salmon is no longer fished in these waters due to the fishing pressure and pollution.

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5. Dunluce Castle and White Rocks Beach

Also located in County Antrim, Dunluce Castle, or rather what is left of it is located at the edge of a cliff with breath-taking views.

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It is said that the 2nd Earl of Antrim decided to abandon the castle after the kitchen and the staff fell into the sea. Truth or a myth? Who knows, but don’t be worried. I truly recommend you visit the ruins of this spectacular castle and admire the outstanding views. Try to go near the sunset, it’s absolutely stunning.

For more information regarding visits follow the link:

https://discovernorthernireland.com/Dunluce-Castle-Medieval-Irish-Castle-on-the-Antrim-Coast-Bushmills-P2819/

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Just a few metres form Dunluce Castle if you follow the direction of Portrush you will find the White Rocks Beach. Northern Ireland has stunning beaches and White Rocks Beach is just one of them. Enjoy the limestone cliffs, some are shaped like an elephant. The erosion through times has carved arches and caves (accessible only by water) in this dramatic landscape. This beach is very popular for those who love water sports and for horse-riding. But the reasons why I particularly like this beach are related with its location, where you can enjoy the sight of Dunluce castle and the fascinating Causeway coast but also, it’s a perfect place to stroll along the white sand without a crowd around you. You can truly enjoy your walk in a sense of total intimacy with nature! The only drawback is the icy water which doesn’t invite me to go for a swim, but if you are brave enough, go ahead.

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6. Murlough National Nature Reserve

One of my favourite places to go over the weekend. Murlough National Nature Reserve is in County Down, inside the Mournes and Slieve Croob and includes a beach and an ancient sand dune which is more than 6000 years old.

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If you are a nature lover, like walking and appreciate some solitude this is the right place.

If you like to collect sea shells here you are going to find plenty, so bring a bag or a bucket, fill it up and decorate your house.

This is also the right spot to admire butterflies and moths, birds and grey seals (though I’ve only had the chance to see the grey seals in Bangor).

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Visit other articles about Northern Ireland at https://susanastravels.com/2018/10/27/774/

 

 

 

 

 

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