Looking at the map
and guide books we noticed that the prominent pilgrimage hill of Slemish (437 metres) was
nearby, where Saint Patrick had lived for a few of his younger years, so after parking at
the visitor centre, I set off up the steep and rocky track although I
didn't make it to the peak. We headed for the coast at the pleasant
village of Glenarm where we gathered lots of useful tourist information
from the very helpful assistant at the newly opened tourist office.
Continuing along the coast road we turned off to Cushendun, a pretty
National Trust coastal village and found the caves, one of many
locations for the Game of
Thrones television series so popular with American tourists who were on
guided tours of the various sites.
We headed inland to the Dark Hedges, another very popular G-o-T
where we were able to stay in the hotel car park since we had joined
Irish Safe Nights scheme for motorhomes. Another sunny day followed as
back to the coast and stopped at the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge,
very popular National Trust attraction. As the queues to cross the
bridge were so
long we just watched as several visitors set off then froze and had to
be helped back. (Originally it was just planks and a single rope to
hold on to). We spent the afternoon at White Park bay, a huge virtually
deserted sandy beach with very limited parking, before returning
to the Portaneevy picnic site for a quiet night with a few continental
motorhomes. It was a popular coach stop overlooking the bridge and we
were amused by the German tourists who sampled a Mr Whippy and
photographed the traditional British icecream van.
From there it was a short drive to the Giant's Causeway and the massive
new NT visitor centre (£11.50 for non-members including parking. It is
possible to get to the causeway along public footpaths but there
aren't any other parking places nearby). It is a 1km downhill walk, or
bus, to the causeway which was crowded but once away from the main area
of the amazing basalt rock formations there are quieter paths along the
base of the cliffs to the impressive "organ pipes" rock formations.
the "Organ Pipes"
After a couple of days staying near
Portrush to visit a friend we continued west along the coast visiting
Mussenden Temple, perched on the cliffs at Downhill.
Cushendun - a Game of Thrones location
The Dark Hedges - another Game of Thrones location
Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
The Giant's causeway
Mussenden Temple Moville tractor rally