Walking in the footsteps of Giants in Northern Ireland

Transportation has been the worst part of jumping from place to place every week, but the ferry from Scotland to Ireland made it fun. If you’re traveling between the two islands make sure to take the ferry, especially if you have kids, because it’s like a mini cruise ship. If you want to look into using the ferry we used it’s Stenaline and you can find good deals to several locations.

One piece of advice when traveling to Northern Ireland is to rent a car instead of paying for a tour bus/van. When renting a car you can visit all the sites you want to at your own pace and not with a pack of other tourists. Renting a car can be cheap, we only paid £10 a day and got to set our own agenda and had a relaxing drive through the country. In order to find a cheap rental though you need to book in advance (a couple weeks should be enough), rent a manual and don’t pay for a GPS. That’s right, it’s cheaper to know how to drive a manual and to use your own form of maps. You better start practicing. It definitely helps the driver to have a co-pilot to remind you to stay on the left side of the road and to navigate as well.

Northern Ireland - adventurousfigs.com

Legananny Dolmen


There’s more to visit in Northern Ireland than it’s two most popular tourist spots, Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-rede bridge, namely the city of Belfast is worth a couple hours at the least. Since we’d arrived in Northern Ireland through Belfast we walked the city for a couple of hours before we could check in at our place. In that time we were able to do a free tour of the Belfast City Hall, see the Albert Memorial Clock (which is like a mini Big Ben), and Victoria Square. There was also the Titanic Museum that we wanted to visit, but it cost £15 each so we had to pass to save for more adventures. However, I recommend that if you have the chance that you should visit the museum.

Once we were done biding our time we had to look for transportation to where we were staying just outside of Belfast. Transportation to small towns in Ireland become difficult, but Belfast has a neat public transport called the black taxis. There was a line of taxis going to specific places and a line of people sorted into the taxis until they were filled. A bunch of strangers packed into a taxi and when one would get dropped off another would be picked up to take their place. It was cheap ride and also a fun way to talk to the locals.

But wait, there’s more!

Northern Ireland - adventurousfigs.com

For all the Game of Thrones fans, make sure to visit the Dark Hedges, which is on the way to Giant’s Causeway.

We’d gotten to the Dark Hedges in the afternoon, right before the tour groups and buses did, and the next two destinations seemed like a game of beating the groups to them. After a while we felt like we were a part of the tour group because we kept talking to the same people and walking through the sites with them so it wasn’t too bad.

We decided to spend our third day of having the car to drive to Beaghmore and Boa Island. Beaghmore is a mixture of megalithic features and stone circles set on a scenic spot in the country a little far from Belfast. You may not find it worth the drive if it’s not close enough or on your way to something, but we wanted to explore while we had the car. Since it poured on us at Beaghmore and Boa Island was just like any other part of Ireland we ended up taking an uneventful Sunday drive. I’m not complaining, it’s nice to take it easy every once in a while, but don’t expect to see a lot if you plan on going.

We swung by the Belfast castle and Carrickfergus Castle on our way North to Giant’s Causeway, both of which are fun castles to see on a quick stop. On another day we visited Scrabo Tower which was well worth the drive because of the beautiful vantage point it has. Scrabo is next to a golf course, and how they manage to golf with how windy it is up there beats me. It’d just rained and the rainbows were starting to show their colors on the horizon.

Northern Ireland - adventurousfigs.com

Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge

The Carrick-a-rede has changed a lot over the years and though it was once a simple and dangerous rope bridge that fisherman used to cross from the mainland to the tiny island, Carrick-a-rede, it’s now a highly touristed and sturdy bridge. The island used to supply large amounts of salmon that could feed a small village, but this is no longer the case since there is hardly any salmon spawning there now.

When crossing over the bridge take the time to look down- yes I said it, look down. The cold azure water is almost inviting and make sure to look for the evidence of the volcanic plug. When you cross over to Carrickarede you should be able to get a good look at Scotland and Rathlin Island.

Northern Ireland - adventurousfigs.com

Once we braved the bridge and crossed back to the mainland we took in the views of the stunningly emerald covered cliffs and the shoreline.

Giant’s Causeway

As legend has it there was an Irish giant by the name of Finn MacCool and across the sea the Scottish giant, Benandonner was threatening Ireland. Finn creates the causeway to cross over and challenge Benandonner, but to Finn’s surprise, Benandonner is much larger than he anticpiated and he retreats home. Finn’s cunning wife dresses Finn up as a baby just in time before Benandonner appears in search of Finn. When Benandonner sees the large size of the baby he fears how big the farther must be and flees back to Scotland, destroying the Causeway as he goes so that Finn cannot follow.

At the tip of Northern Ireland  we hiked down to the shoreline to what was left of the giant’s causeway. The hexagon shapes of the volcanic rock is a stunning formation and it’s incredible to walk across them all. It’s free to enter the Giant’s Causeway, but you won’t find free parking right next to it. We were happy with parking about 1/2 mile away and just walking there, anything to save money!

Northern Ireland - adventurousfigs.com

A beautiful sunset, the best ending to a day

Since it was late fall the days were getting shorter and we had less time to see all that we wanted. Luckily though we were blessed to end the day viewing the master painter color the sky with Dunluce Castle in it’s forefront. Everyone passing by stopped, whether they were walking or in a car, and even a bus stopped. There we all were blocking the road because we wanted to stand and stare. One of the locals standing with us said that they get sunsets like this all the time, and yet he’d stopped to look. I guess every sunset is unique and each one deserves to be admired.

Northern Ireland - adventurousfigs.com

Dunluce Castle

Do you believe the Legend of the Giant’s Causeway?


There are too many places and experiences out there for a person to know them all, but I figured why not give it a try? Travel has become an addiction and I'm here to share it with you. If you want to distract me, put a soccer ball at my feet, a sunset in my sights and the ocean splashing my toes. In a nutshell, this is me.

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