Best of the Best from my Northern Ireland Adventures

Get ready, these three days of Northern Ireland adventures were my favorite part of the whole trip. The sites in Northern Ireland were stunning, truly living up to the hype.

We arrived in the Country of Antrim on Wednesday evening, picked up our rental car and headed straight to the hotel in BallyGalley. Well actually it is a castle turned hotel… make that a haunted castle turned hotel.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited when my research led discovering that the Ballygally Castle Hotel was haunted. I imagined sneaking around at night hoping for a ghost sighting and considered even picking up a Ouija board so we could chat with them. To my dismay, that wasn’t exactly the case. The haunted tower was cool, but it had pictures on the wall that described what had happened there (read about it here) making it feel a little inauthentic – plus there were no ghost powwows. But the hotel itself was beautiful.

Northern Ireland Adventures_BallyGally Hotel_1

Northern Ireland Adventures_BallyGally Hotel_2My grandma & I were always the first ones ready (which makes no sense because I am usually always late), so we would go on little adventures together. We wandered around the hotel Thursday morning before our excursions began. The grounds were seriously gorgeous, especially for a place that brags about their ghosts.
Northern Ireland Adventures_BallyGally Hotel_3Northern Ireland Adventures_BallyGally Hotel_4

Northern Ireland Adventures: Day 1
Causeway Coastal Route

It was up to me to decide our daily adventures since it had become clear at this point in the trip that I was the only one who had done any research (other than my grandma who had some suggestions and planned the driving tour). Our first stop…

Glenarm Castle

The owners of Glenarm Castle still reside there so it is only open when they are out of town, which they sadly were not. Fortunately, the beautiful walled garden outside of the castle was still open.

As I wandered through, I thought about how awesome it would have been to grow up there. My imagination would have run wild out there as a kid. Secret gardens totally trump iPads.

Northern Ireland Adventures_Walled Garden 4

Hai soul sister

Northern Ireland Adventures_Walled Garden_9

Whole gang — how cute is my gma with her scarf?!

Northern Ireland Adventures: Day 2
Causeway Coastal Route

Friday was our big adventure day and the best day of our trip. I was worried because it was a bit gloomy so, but it ended up raining briefly before clearing up. This was a recurring theme throughout the whole trip, but the weather never hindered any of our adventures.

The Dark Hedges

Best known for their multiple appearances in Game of Thrones, these Beech trees were planted in the 18th century and are one of the coolest things in nature I’ve ever seen.

Northern Ireland Adventures_Dark Hedges

Cool natural phenomenons were a theme of this day, bringing us to our next stop.

Giant’s Causeway

The approximately 40,000 basalt columns are the result of an ancient volcanic eruption (so dope). Or if you believe the legend, a giant built the causeway in order to cross the North Channel and battle his Scottish giant rival.

Northern Ireland Adventures_Giant's Causeway

Imagining what it would have been like to witness a battle of giants.

Naturally, we lost my sister so were in a mad rush to make it to our last destination prior to it closing for the day. And this was the most highly anticipated attraction, so we needed to make it there.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

This bridge was built in 1755 for salmon fishing, but today crazy people like me frolic across it and take in some incredible views.

Northern Ireland Adventures_Carrick-a-rede

Northern Ireland Adventures: Day 3

Londonderry & County Tyrone

Our last day we ventured to Londonderry, the last remaining walled city in Ireland.

Northern Ireland Adventures_Londonderry_Street Art

Love me some street art.

Beaghmore Stone Circles

On our way home we decided to stop in County Tyrone to see the 7 stone circles. These burial cairns and ceremonial circles may have been ritual structures attempting to restore fertility to the soil.

Northern Ireland Adventures_Beaghmore
There were a lot of highlights of this trip, but I gotta agree with grandma who said her favorite part was the company. Being able to spend time all together in a new place was pretty great. And taking my grandma somewhere she has never been was the icing on the cake.

Now time to start planning my next adventure… any suggestions?!

 

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