Who is #TravelMum? She’s Andrea Bailey – mum of three, travel counsellor and travel writer, and is passionate about travel and creating great memories for her family and clients. This is what she thought about a trip to Northern Ireland. @beyondavisit on Instagram for more fabulous pics!
When we decided on Ireland, it was because we wanted to take road trips with our kids. The reason we decided on Ireland was mostly because we really wanted to give our girls a feel for wild landscapes.
We flew into Belfast and picked up our car. The day in Belfast was spent at the Titanic Belfast Museum.
The museum is dedicated to the building of the ship and its sinking as well. It’s very interactive especially for children. You can hear recordings of the real survivors as they talk about the fancy décor on the ship as well as the fatal night of 14th April 1912.
CAUSEWAY COASTAL ROUTE
A route that’s been designed marking all the major sights between Belfast and Londonderry. It’s approx. 190 km long. The landscape along the route varies between stunning shore lines to mountain tops with sleepy villages and little harbours.
CARRICK FERGUS CASTLE
We began our road trip with a castle, as was fitting. This is a Norman Irish Castle on the Causeway Coastal Route. Canons still sit around this castle and soldier sculptures are placed around the ramparts as if defending it.
CARRICK A REDE ROPE BRIDGE
Carrick-a-Rede, from the Scottish Gaelic ‘Carraig-a-Rade’ meaning “The Rock in the Road” – an obstacle for the migrating salmon as they searched for the river in which they were born. The years of salmon fishing are now just a memory. Fishing pressure at sea and river pollution led to a decline in salmon. In 2002 the last fish was caught at Carrick-a-Rede. The bridge itself is not too big but it is high enough to make you feel a bit queasy. After a bracing coastal walk – and braving the rope bridge – you’ll have worked up an appetite for a delicious treat in the little Weighbridge Café.
The famous hexagonal shaped stones were formed by basalt from lava eruptions. There are 40,000 rocks locked together.
The story is that the causeway was built by a giant. Finn MacCool was challenged to a fight by a Scottish giant and built the causeway across the North Channel so they could meet. In one version of the story, Finn hides when he realises that his enemy is much bigger than he anticipiated. The nearest town is Bushmills where you could find many options in B&Bs.
One of the most photographed tree tunnels in the world and made famous by the Game of Thrones series, is located in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland.
The beech trees that stand along this stunning path were planted in the 18th century by the Stuart family on the approach to their home, Gracehill House. Over hundreds of years, the trees’ upper branches flourished, forming the haunting tunnel that we see today.
The Dark Hedges have their own ghostly legend. It is said that these beeches are haunted by a “Grey Lady” who appears around the trees at dusk as she silently glides the length of the path before disappearing at the end of the tree lined tunnel.
We did eat quite a bit of IRISH STEW and FISH & CHIPS. If you can manage an evening out, then taking in live Irish music is highly recommended (for the adults!)
You can fly into Belfast City Airport with Air France, KLM, BA, Qatar, and Emirates.
Approx. costing for a week
For a family of 2 adults + 2 children, with flights, accommodation, car hire – AED 20,000.