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Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
This time of year makes me reflect on the McCool homeland of Northern Ireland and our family trip there in 2007.
This is a continuation from yesterday’s post featuring the first part of our trip to Northern Ireland—we visited the old McCool homestead (from 1670) and various locations associated with Finn McCool.
Continuing our trip in Northern Ireland, the only sight we visited east of Giant’s Causeway was the Carrick-a-Rede bridge. The approach to Carrick-a-Rede rewards you with magnificent views of the Northern Ireland coast. That is Rathlin Island in the distance and Scotland beyond that (barely visible).
William from Finn McCools Tours told me that the bridge was
supposed to have been built by fisherman for the last few hundred years. The reason for building it was so that they can put fish nets between the island and the mainland (so to speak), salmon thinking it’s the mouth of a river will swim through the chasm and then the nets are lifted from both sides.
No longer a fishing spot, Carrick-a-Rede is now one of Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations. Called one of the world’s scariest bridges, the bridge is 100 feet above the turbulent water. After walking down a steep staircase, you can walk across the rope bridge, I-F Y-O-U D-A-R-E. Actually, it is extremely safe!
After crossing the bridge, you can explore “Rocky Island” for as long as you want and then join the return queue. As you can see with my daughter’s hair in the second picture, there was much more wind on the return journey.
After Carrick-a-Rede, we headed west for Londonderry but made a pit stop at a playground in Portrush.
McCool Travel tip: when traveling with children, allow time to visit playgrounds. It makes everyone happier!
The weather was decent and my kids were thrilled to play on the outside playground. I was excited to go inside and take a picture of another Finn McCool sign; this one was of Finn McCool’s Playground.
We then continued onward to Londonderry, where we did not spend much time—but enough time to climb the castle walls, explore some historic ruins, and see a peaceful demonstration.
Thank you for visiting my website and I want to wish you a very happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Have you visited Northern Ireland?