Some areas not friendly to Catholic tourists
N. Ireland has come a long way since the days of daily conflict and sectarian violence. There has been a quantum leap in progress. Generally foreigners are treated very well by both the unionist (Protestant) and nationalist (Catholic) residents of this beautiful country. Despite this, there are still some incidents of stone-age tribalism. A Catholic youth survived attempted strangulation with fencing wire and was attacked with a golf club in Belfast last week.
As a general guide Catholic tourists from Continental Europe should avoid staying any town where the kerb stones are painted in red white and blue or festoond in Ulster flags union jacks. We learnt quickly that painted red white and blue kerbstones (paving) are used to mark territory. Local Catholics instincively avoid these areas, especially during the orange marching season. An ugly example of this is Dervock or Bushmills in Country Antrim. Pretty coastal towns marred by sectarian hate. By comparison, ballintoy, Cushendun, Cushendall, Carnlough and Ballycastle are safe and welcoming coastal towns.
- Family Travel
It is tempting as you explore the columns of basalt to tiptoe downwards to the foaming sea. The polygons have a mesmeric effect because of their regular patterns and plain weirdness. But you must watch out for the crashing waves. There have been many episodes of unexpected big waves taking the unprepared by surprise. You have been warned.
- Adventure Travel
Giant's Causeway Falling Rock
Be aware of the possibility of falling rocks overhead as you walk down the trail to the Giant's Causeway.
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