On Monday 27th May. 2019. Irish Tours Tickets helped a false memory become a real one. Long story short for the past 20 years I’ve had a vivid memory of being at the Giants Causeway with my family… only thing being I haven’t stepped foot on Irish land until last Sunday. Yep. Strange. I know. So, when I was deciding where to spend my half term I spotted a cheap flight to Belfast and as you can imagine. It was a no brainer. I swapped to the smog of London for the stunning Emerald Isle. I wanted lush greenery and moody coastal shores. Of course, I also wanted this strange vision to become a reality.
I must admit tours, sightseeing buses etc are not normally my thing. I enjoy walking. A lot. But alas, The Giants Causeway is a hefty walk from the city of Belfast. I needn’t have worried as Irish Tour Tickets stepped in to offer me a seat on one of its daily tours. Sorted. Along with a herd of others wishing to see this incredible phenomenon, we began this magical journey of a day – that is really was. I had no idea that the causeway was just going to be one of many stops and this was a whole days adventure full of sightseeing, walking, drinking and Irish myths and story telling. From the moment we stepped into the coach Emilie and Nick (sorry if that is not your name) made sure this was going to be a memorable day.
When it comes to an organised trip like this – it is entirely dependant on who your host/driver are and what your day tripping companions are like. I got lucky. Emilie was full of enthusiasm and humor and filled our coach with warmth. She definitely enhanced our experience whether it was enlightening us with historical facts, reciting old folk stories, or serenading is with traditional Irish tune when the CD player broke. It also helped that everyone was in good spirits and got involved.
The trip was well run stopping at various landmarks. We started out at The Giants Causeway then stopping at the castle for a few cheeky pics. Then on to the Old Bushmills Distillery, which left most of us a little wobbly. It did however, provide us with some Dutch courage to tackle the Carrick-a-Rede Rope bridge. Then it was onto Carnlough for a scoop of famous ice cream, a famous seagull named Paddy as well as a photo opportunity of the infamous GOT steps. Then to finish off at Carrickfergus Castle.
My favourite part of course was the Giants Causeway and to anyone heading there I would highly recommend taking the red route. The views from the top of those windy cliffs were just as stunning as the views from the bottom and truly a sight not to be missed. It was also makes for a peaceful coastal walk and some provides some time away from the crowds playing hopscotch in these rare hexagonal stones. Emilie left us with plenty of time to explore so no-one was hitchhiking back to city.
The Bushmills Distillery was a pleasantly surprising stop – although I don’t like whiskey I’ve never visited a distillery before so had to divulge in some whiskey tasting. Well when in Ireland hey! I must admit I could not finish my flight but it left me feeling very fuzzy inside ha. I hopped on the coach ready for a snooze.
The rope bridge was maybe the strangest of the trip – just for what it is. An old fisherman’s bridge to a small island suspended ft in the air. It had the most breathtaking views when stepping across however, the queues were insane which also meant we were rushed across and no photo ops were available. This was a shame. Essentially we queued to walk across a bridge then queued to walk back. How very British!
Overall, I went to bed thinking I’d already managed to do so much in my first day. I was very content and happy with the entire trip and a costing of £35 is very reasonable considering all that you see and do. Be aware the whiskey tasting is not included but costs £10 which is worth it. I highly recommend taking an Irish Tour Tickets if you’re ever in Belfast just don’t forget to ask when Emilie is working!
Do you normally pay for tours or venture solo?