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GO Places in Belfast

Places to Go in Belfast County Antrim is bursting with interesting and beautiful places to visit.

No visit to Belfast would be complete without stopping by the lunar landscape of the Giant’s Causeway [map] , the geological wonder has baffled visitors for thousands of years. It is called The Giant’s Causeway because ancients believed it was the work of giant Finn McCool, an Ulster warrior who built the enormous highway to escort his lady-friend Staffa across from the Hebrides to Ulster.

The Causeway is, in fact, a mass of basalt columns packed tightly together. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that reach from the cliff foot and then disappear under the sea. Altogether there are 40,000 of these stone columns, mostly hexagonal but some with four, five, seven and eight sides. The tallest are about 40 feet high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 90 feet thick in places.

Take a walk down to the Grand Causeway [map], past the stone columns and formations that have such names as the Wishing Well, The King and His Nobles, and the Honeycombe and see where the Spanish Armada ship Girona floundered. This is a beautiful and inspiring cliff-top journey that is sure to lift your spirits.

Staying on the same coast line, the stunning Carrick-a-rede rope bridge [map] spans the area between the coast and a small island used by fishermen. A trip across this bridge is only for the very brave and not suitable for small children as there’s an 80 foot drop below this swinging bridge.

Ireland also has plenty of castles awaiting your discovery and Northern Ireland has two of the most picturesque.

Carrickfergus Castle [map] was built by the Norman John de Courcy in 1180 as a keep to guard the approach to Belfast Lough at Carrickfergus. This is regarded as the first real Irish Castle and is therefore a must when visiting the area. In the early 17th century Carrickfergus was the only place in Northern Ireland that spoke English and the area, as a whole, will fascinate history buffs.

Dunluce Castle stands in a beautiful area of the North Antrim Coast and was built by Richard de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, in the 16th century. The castle’s position right on the edge of the sea means it has been eroded over the years. In 1639 the whole of the kitchen wing fell into the sea carrying away the cooks and their equipment.

Today the castle remains provide a scenic and interesting glimpse into the past.

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