Places in Belfast
County Antrim is bursting with interesting and beautiful places to
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
Staying on the same coast line, the stunning Carrick-a-rede rope
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
Ireland also has plenty of castles awaiting your discovery and Northern
Ireland has two of the most picturesque.
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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