Northern Ireland: Mild Adventures

This is a continuation from yesterday’s article 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. See also Genealogy Travel: McCool homestead in Northern Ireland

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).

Northern Ireland Coast
Northern Ireland Coast

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!

Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge

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.

Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge

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.

Portrush, Northern Ireland Playground
Portrush, Northern Ireland Playground
Finn McCool Playground, Portrush, Northern Ireland
Finn McCool Playground, Portrush, Northern Ireland

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.

Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Have you visited Northern Ireland?

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