Giants Causeway & Beyond: One Day Scenic Day Drive from Belfast

Hot Mess Tips

  • Total Driving Time: 3 Hours if you leave from Belfast | View MyMap for the Trip
  • Entry Fees: Dark Hedges: £0 | Dunluce Castle: £5.50 | Giants Causeway: £8.50 | Rope Bridge: £8 (All have child's discounts, some have family discounts, Giants Causeway has discounts if you buy ahead).
  • Leave early! All of these are popular touristy stops and we've all been somewhere that wasn't quite as enjoyable because of the sheer number of people. Giants Causeway was way hectic.
  • Bring snacks - some of these places had food to be purchased, but food near tourist stops is always overpriced and not delicious.

Getting Out of Belfast

While in Belfast, my family and I visited the Titanic Museum, spent a day pub crawling, walked around the Botanical Gardens. I even made a special stop at a health clinic to get a downstairs issue resolved. But, of all of the wonderful experiences, this one-day road trip from our rental car was by far the most fun.

This itinerary takes the perfect amount of time to experience four amazing and diverse sights - all quintessentially Irelandy - while stretching your legs periodically.

Stop 1: The Dark Hedges

Bregagh Rd, Stranocum, Ballymoney BT53 8TP, UK

This road of beech trees is a walking street famous for its spooky and imposing look. It leads to a creepy looking mansion called the Gracehill House - now a golf club and restaurant. It's been in TV shows and movies, most famously Game of Thrones.

Gracehill House (the Dark Hedges are right behind us).

Stop 2: Dunluce Castle

87 Dunluce Rd, Bushmills BT57 8UY, UK

We were spoiled with 72 degree and sunny weather nearly the entire time we were in Northern Ireland. All of the locals were confused.

Dunluce Castle is everything you want in exploring castle ruins. It's built onto an "almost island" with cliffs on all four sides. While walking around there is information about what the area you were standing in used to be. There's a prison, an upstairs, and two sections. Surprisingly, it wasn't overrun with tourists.

Stop 3: Giants Causeway

44 Causeway Rd, Bushmills BT57 8SU, UK

Don't let this photo fool you - the place was overrun with tourists I just photoshopped the shit out of it.

Giant's Causeway is considered a "can't miss" stop if you're in Northern Ireland and for good reason - the six-sided rock columns (or was it eight - help I don't know math or geometry) are scenic and cool looking. The featured photo from this blog is from here.

You can choose to walk down to the Causeway from the entrance - about a fifteen minute walk - or take a bus for a dollar. Choose to walk for views like this!

Stop 4: Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

119a Whitepark Road, Ballycastle BT54 6LS, UK

This one also requires about a ten minute walk but it's another gorgeous one. Breathe in that coastal air.

Another Game of Thrones site (sort of - the Red Woman's demon baby was born in a cave that you can see from the bridge) is this walking bridge. We were too late to get tickets (so order in advance because group tours seem to reduce the number available) but we enjoyed seeing it and the nice walk.

People crossing the bridge.

Leave a comment if you used this itinerary and let me know what you thought!

The Hot Mess Behind HMT

There is a picture of me as a toddler somewhere zoned out with a chicken nugget in my mouth. My mom says she lost it but if I had to guess she's just hugely embarrassed. CLICK HERE to learn how I went from sloppy baby to the featured hot mess of the world's worst-best travel blog.

I-tini-rary Route

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