I had such a good time in Northern Ireland last week when I went over to visit my dad. It isn’t the first time I’ve travelled there but it is the first time I took part in many of the great tourist opportunities the country boasts. Every day was jam-packed full of the many attractions from The Causeway Coastal Route along the Antrim Coast visiting White Park Bay, Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle to Fermanagh to experience the delights Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark and Corralea Activity Centre.
My dad lives in Belfast and since me and my sister had a ridiculously early flight, we started the trip with a few relaxing sightseeing visits. To begin, we walked around Queens University to marvel at the beauty of the building. Since I have a recent newfound love for plants and gardening, we followed this venture with a trip around the Botanic Gardens of Belfast. The colour and design presented inside The Palm House of the gardens is picturesque and to think the council offers this attraction for free is a bonus 🙂 An attraction also possible to visit at the gardens is Ulster Museum. I urge anyone to give both a visit if given the chance. Being a lover of science, I must admit I had a preference for the ‘Elements’ exhibitions. We also managed to fit in a tour of Belfast City Hall; my favourite part being the chance to touch a magnificent cabinet that should have been on the Titanic but unfortunately (or fortunately: however you look at it) was not ready in time.
The following day, we started with a little shopping trip in Bangor and a nice, quiet walk around the marina before heading to Crawfordsburn Country Park for the day. This is a gorgeous place, boasting magnificent scenic walks and views. Well worth a visit; it is the perfect place for a picnic and family fun.
Next on the list of places to visits was my favourite attraction in Belfast; the Titanic Quarter. Reliving all that is known of the White Star Line ship before production to after the unforeseen tragedy; all upon the site RMS Titanic was designed and built. I don’t want to spoil the delights of the Quarter but if you are ever heading to Belfast, you’d be crazy not to visit. You won’t be disappointed! Although we visited the SS Nomadic a different day due to electrical problems, I just thought I may as well include a couple of pictures in the same section since it is within the Titanic Quarter. Tender to the Titanic, this is the last remaining White Star Line ship in the world. Restored to its near former glory, we were treated to its fascinating story as a ship of the war, a restaurant in Paris and other tales of its 104 year history. There are brilliant tour guides, holographic characters portraying real workers on the ship, opportunities to dress up and even sign the log book to say you’ve been part of the ships history.
Belfast Castle was the next stop. It is a beautiful building with a cute little story about the castle cat. Supposedly “good fortune will come to those visiting Belfast Castle as long as the tradition of the castle cat is kept”. Since its founding, there has apparently always been a resident white cat at the castle. The gardens feature 9 allusions to this tale in sculpture, topiary and paving and it was fun to try and find them all; although me and my sister only managed 7.
The next day we left Belfast to marvel in the beauty of the Causeway Coastal Route along the Antrim Coast. First of all was a stop off at White Park Bay for a picnic and then onto Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge. Although the weather wasn’t the best, I had so much fun. It was originally created for use by salmon fishermen to gain access to Carrick-A-Rede island. It was then onto the Giant’s Causeway which I have wanted to visit for years. The beauty of the arrangement of the rock really is a natural wonder as a result of the way the magma rose and cooled through the original rock formations millions of years ago during the volcanic paleogene period. I won’t tell you what my wish was but legend has it all wishes made while sitting in ‘The Wishing Chair’ will come true. Our final stop on the route was Dunluce Castle. Although only ruins of what was once a grand structure, it is still an amazing place to visit.
Back to Belfast where me and my sister went to the cinema and on a night out with our step-sisters.
Then it was a super early rise so we could travel down to Enniskillen and then onto Fermanagh. We had booked to go canoeing on the morning and the waterpark at Corralea Activity Centre on the afternoon. Due to bad weather, the canoeing was cancelled (so there was actually no need for the early morning) but fortunately the weather improved by the afternoon and the waterpark was so much fun. It is a bit like an obstacle course from Total Wipeout, so much fun for practically all ages.
We stayed the night in Enniskillen and visited Fermanagh’s Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. If you love geography, science, history and natural wonders like me then you must visit this place. It hosts tours of the caves, education of the history and trails for peaceful walks to view the other sights within the Geopark such as ‘The Village’ and the ‘Cascades Waterfall’.
We finished our time there with a Bowlympics game 🙂 I won best girl on my team and I got a strike… That’s an achievement in itself! 🙂
I know this post was pretty long so thank you for sticking with it while I rambled on.