The Coastal Route, Northern IrelandAugust 21, 2017 in the United Kingdom
Where - Larne to Ballymoney
Weather - some showers
Steps - 14800 or 9.5km and 91 floors
So we are now in beautiful Northern Ireland after a 2 hour ferry crossing from Scotland. We had planned to visit The Gobbins in the afternoon (a walk around the base of the cliffs), however when we turned up we were told the guided tours are totally booked out until 30th August....at 3pm. Well that was no good to us and a lesson learned - if you want to see something it pays to book in advance. When we arrived at our Airbnb accommodation we told the host of our disappointment who mentioned he happened to know the owner (lived just a few houses away) and the next thing we know he has organised a time for us to go the next day. (These hosts were really wonderful people - we actually felt like old friends)
The next morning we had a few hours to kill before our Gobbins tour so checked out Carrickfergus Castle, a 900 year old castle that was still in use in some form up until WWII - now just used as a tourist attraction. From there the Gobbins tour was enjoyable - even if the trek back up to the road was quite steep. Towards the end of our walk the misty rain started to come in and I'm sure it would have been miserable for the next groups that were starting the walk.
After that we took a leisurely drive up along the Coastal Route - very scenic - until we got to Torr Head where the road turned into a one lane goat track with either stone walls or fuchsia hedges lining the road, plus, as we got higher in elevation we drove into the misty rain which further hampered our view. Another steep hill to climb but at least it had stopped raining.
Finally we passed by The Dark Hedges, a strange avenue where the trees appear somewhat twisted. I think it has been used in The Games of Thrones (not sure as I don't watch the series - but a lot of filming was done in Northern Ireland ). Overall it was a busy day, but very enjoyable.Read more