ANTRIM TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE
This is a great little Tourist Bureau. The ladies are all very nice, you can get lots of free maps, information and suggestions. You can even get a cup of coffee and look through their excellent
gift shop. Its located just 1 minutes walk from the City Walls and shopping. Unfortunately parking is a bit challenging here.
The Old Courthouse was built in 1726 and is the oldest remaining courthouse in Northern Ireland. It was in used as a courthouse until 1994. What is now the ground-floor information centre was originally an open arcade market place.
Today you can have a light lunch, use the internet/fax/copy service, pick up some excellent souvenirs and helpful information.
The Tourist Information staff can also make accommodation bookings for you in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.
October - April:
Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm
May - June & September:
Monday to Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday and Friday 9am - 5.30pm
Saturday 10am - 1pm
July and August:
Monday to Friday 9am - 5.30pm
Saturday 10am - 3pm
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
At the top of Northern Ireland in County Antrim, you enter a moonscape of thousands of hexigonal and round shaped flat topped basalt pillars rising from the bottom of the sea. You can walk out on them to the powerful surf. If you're fortunate enough to be there when the crashing waves are most violent, you'll nearly be toppled from the wind and spray! The most awesome experience of Northern Ireland. Have a drink in the warmth of the bar at the Causeway Hotel. Legend is that Finn MacComhail, a giant...well, (more on the Giant's Causeway website)...the basalt pillars continue under the water of the sea all the way over to the Isle of Iona in Scotland where they reappear above the water.
- Hiking and Walking
Giant's Causeway - The Wishing Chair
The Wishing Chair is a formation of polygonal columns of layered basalt. I don't know why it was called the wishing chair because it looks nothing like a chair at all.
It is a really awe inspiring sight to see, with the waves crashing over the seaward end of the formation, and spray burting up into the air. It feels almost like you're the only person in the world when you're standing at the top looking out over the sea.
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
Have you got rock formations like this on the beach?
The Giant’s Causeway is famous for its polygonal layers of basalt. It is a unique volcanic creation and the only World Heritage site in Northern Ireland. It is situated on the North Antrim Coastal Path which is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is a 'must see' attraction in Northern Ireland.
Take Care on the Path...
From the visitors centre at the Giant's Causeway a path takes you en route east on top of the cliffs and spectacular headlands. The views are stunning and each cove unique. At the end of the first stage of this walk you will arrive at Dunseverick Castle. Before you get excited about this prospect it is only fair to point out that very, very little remains of this once grand fortification. Soon I will produce the pictures to prove my point. Enjoy this walk and be careful on the path. Gusting winds can catch the unwary and the path can be both narrow and close to sheer drops of over 200 feet!
Atop the cliffs above the Giant's Causeway this is one of the views to strike senses of the walker. Salt in the air to breathe and taste, sunshine to light the scene and the sounds of a crashing ocean and seabirds to sing in your ears. It's a close step to heaven.
And the Sun Shines!
One hour before I took this picture the sky was at sea level and the rain was falling. Not straight down but sideways! Then the sun shone through and this was the scene revealed. At the very edge of Northern Ireland on the Antrim coast. A view well worth the complete soaking!
Olde Bushmill's Distillery
Take the tour of the distillery. Sample whiskeys in the pub at the end of the tour. You may be one of the fortunate ones chosen to participate in the "taste testing". Nice gift shop. Enjoy the punguent aromas permeating the air throughout the distillery.
- Budget Travel
Taste Olde Bushmill's
Four persons are selected from the tour group to participate in the Taste Test at the end of the tour. 10 different whiskeys are set before you to taste, compare and discuss. That's cousin Roni from the back in the white jersey, and cousin Jim, facing and across the table. The other 2 participants are from Australia. Really fun to watch even if you aren't tasting. This is in the cozy bar, with low ceilings and warm yellow lights above; other tourists are mingling and enjoying a complimentary drink. I chose Whiskey Punch, or "Hot Toddy": Whiskey, lemon, sugar or honey, hot water and cinammon stick. Very nice!
- Road Trip
- Hiking and Walking
Sense of Scale
Hopefully this picture of Barbara an me gives some sense of the scale of the Giant's Causeway. It is hard to believe that this is a natural feature of the Irish landscape.
Spring Sunshine on the Causeway Coast
From the cliff this is the view over the Giant's Causeway. The main feature is the pointing little pennisula in the centre.
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