Giant's Causeway Video Travel Guides

Ireland


Great Videos and Photos of the Best Places and Things to see in Giant's Causeway Ireland. For the independent traveller who is interested in seeing places while planning their next trip. Or for anyone who likes to be close to nature and see the quieter parts of the country or city

Follow the Giant's Causeway route from Fairhead to Portstewart and beyond. Spend some time in the small town of Ballycastle, walk the rope bridge at Carrick a Rede, find the elephant rock beyond Balintoy. Walk in the steps of the Giant's then head onto the towns of Portrush and Portstewart.





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Ballycastle

Take time to visit the area in and around the town of Ballycastle.

Ballycastle

Ballycastle

Ballycastle

Ballycastle or Balie an Chaisil in Gaelge lies at the easterly end of the North Antrim or Giantís Causeway coast, just before the coast line swings south at Fairhead. The Town is famous for the Lammas Fair held every year on the last Monday and Tuesday of August. Ballycastle has a number of good bed and breakfasts, hotel and a youth hostel. It also has a small attractive harbour area and a fine sandy beach Ė with views of Fairhead and Rathlin Island. A ferry runs the short six miles to tghe island

The town is a good base to explore the Giantís Causeway coastal route, Fairhead, the Glens of Antrim and Rathlin Island. The castle from which the town takes itís name is long but it once stood in Diamond square Ė no traces remain so no point looking for a castle.The small River Margie runs through the edge of the town.

Rathlin Island has a population of over 100 and is Northern Irelandís most northerly point. The island is small, measuring 6km by 4km.

The island is also home to thousands of sea birds including guillemots, kittiwakes and puffins and to hundreds of seals.On the island there is a pub a few shops and some accommodation.

Robert the Bruce spent some time hiding in a cave on the island and came in contact with an ever patient spider.

During spring and early summer you can have excellent views of the sea stacks with the nesting colonies of guillemots, kittiwakes, razorbills and from the RSPB West Light Viewpoint.

Fair Head

Fair Head

Ballycastle

On the north-eastern corner of Antrim, about 5km from Ballycastle lies Fairhead, a rocky headland, rising about 100m and jutting out into the sea.

A number of lakes, supporting good quality trout lie in the glens on the mountain top.

The cliffs stretching about 5km around the mountain are particularly favoured by climbers and has a large amount of climbing rock.

Recent climbing guide books list over 200 climbs of varying grades.

For the non climber the area around Fairhead is one of natural beauty with inspiring views over towards Rathlin Island and even the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland.

Kinbane Fort

Kinbane Fort

Ballycastle

Kinbane Castle Ė well at least itís ruins, is on a white limestone headland (sometimes called Whitehead )about 5km from Ballycastle.

From the car park there is a long steep descent on a well maintained path to the sea shore below, from there the castle stands above on its rocky projectory. Access is via series of steps.

While the path down is steep, the return trip can be a bit strenuous, so hopefully there isn't a need to rush.

The castle was built in 1547 by Colla McDonnell. Below the castle a massacre of British Forces took place in the late 16th century, though historical records canít confirm this local story.

A cave below the castle ďHollow of the EnglishĒ is called after this event.

When times of relative peace arrived the castle was rebuilt and remained occupied until the mid 18th century, after which it was abandoned and allow to fall into the ruins that we see today.

Kinbane Head

Kinbane Head

Ballycastle

From the car park down a narrow road just off the B15 road, there are spectacular views of the coast and of Rathlin Island across the water.

The car park has toilet facilities and some picnic tables.

The path down to the sea below and castle is steep and care should be taken particularly on wet days when the ground maybe slippery.

Access to the castle is free.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballycastle County Antrim

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Carrick a Rede

Cross the famous wobbly rope bridge onto the small islet.

Rope Bridge

Rope Bridge

Carrick a Rede

The Carrick a Rede famous rope bridge joins the mainland to a tiny rocky islet, while the bridge is now a tourist attraction, it dates back to over 350 years ago , when local fishermen built bridges over to the islet, which is one of a number of salmon net fishing promontories along the coast .

The current bridge was erected in 2008, it stretches a length 20m over a deep narrow gorge with foaming sea 30m below.

Access to the bridge is via footpath from the National Trust car park. The Trust maintain the area, bridge and car park and charge a fee for access.

The National Trust people on a quiet day can tell some great stories about the area, so donít be shy and ask these friendly people.

While walking the not so short walk to the bridge, you will have some great views of the cliffs along the coast.

The National Trust facilities include tearoom, toilet and car park close to the Larrybane end.

Walkway to Rope Bridge

Walkway to Rope Bridge

Carrick a Rede

While the seas around the cliffs can be too rough for small fishing crafts, fishermen over the centuries took to net fishing form the rocks and cliffs. Salmon are plentiful in the area between spring and autumn.

The fishermen drop salmon net bags off the rocks and return next day to check the catches.

The bridge to the island was originally built to provide access and allow the fishermen return safely with their catch.

Above the bridge on the main road, there is an old ice house, where ice was gathered and stored in winter and later used to pack the salmon before shipping to Belfast.

Rope Bridge Birds

Rope Bridge Birds

Carrick a Rede

Due the areas geology, diversity of fauna and flora, it has been recognised as an area of special scientific interest.

Flowers should not be picked and the birds particularly those nesting only a few metres below the walkways should not be disturbed.

Fulmars, Kittywakes, Guillemots and Razorbills breed on the islands. From the vantage point of the island these great sea birds can be seen far below skimming the waves.

Larrybane

Larrybane

Carrick a Rede

Larrybane is a limestone headland which originally stretched out as far as Sheep Island. In the period around 800 AD a fort was located on the headland Ė nothing remains of it today.

Under the cliffs there are large caves which were used as homes and boat building yards over the centuries.

In the 1950s the headland was quarried for its limestone and much of what you see today dates back to this period, when the limestone was cut away from the cliffs and converted to powder in the Kiln above the car park.

Sheep Islandjust off Larrybane is almost circular, with an almost vertical cliff on the south side Ė the view you see from the mainland, though on the far side the island is much lower, allowing access from the sea.

The island takes its name from itís use as a pasture for grazing sheep. Traditionally it is said the island could support ten sheep.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

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Balintoy and Elephant Rock

Picturesque, stunning and amazing rock formations on the path from Balintoy Harbour to White Park Bay.

Ballintoy Harbour

Ballintoy Harbour

Balintoy and Elephant Rock

Ballintoy is a small village close to the coastline. About a kilometre further north and down a winding narrow and steep road is a scenic harbour area. The harbour was developed in the 19th century to help in the transport of cut stone to cover the streets of England.

Ballintoy is a still a working harbour for local salmon fishermen. On a good day you may see them haul their catch from the small boats.

The waters around the cliffs are dangerous and itís only through local knowledge that one can safely navigate the waters.

On the pier there is a large kiln which was used to burn limestone to lime - used in the construction and white washing of local cottages.

Close to the harbour there is a large cave which would have been used as a boat yard.

There is a small sandy beach close to the harbour.

The path beyond the beach leads to the elephant rock formation.

Elephant Rock

Elephant Rock

Balintoy and Elephant Rock

Between Ballintoy harbour and the beach at White Park Bay, there is a trail that passes some amazing volcanic rock formation. The most well know is Elephant rock.

A partial arch, best seen as the sun sets through the arch. Folklore says it is the remains of an ancient elephant or mammoth which was caught in one of the lava flows and solidified.

Close by, below the high water mark is a limestone arc and nearby a cave.

The knobbly rock formation and islets were formed as the lava cooled and turned into black basalt.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballintoy Harbour

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Giant's Causeway

Follow in the footstep's of the Old Ireland's Giants

Giant's Causeway

Giant's Causeway

Giant's Causeway

Over 50 Ė 60 million years ago, during intense volcanic activity along the entire Antrim coast, the Giantís Causeway was formed as the lava cooled quickly, contracted and cracked like drying mud. As the lava cooled below the surface the cracks continued down, leaving the present day columns.

The height of the columns was determined by the speed of cooling, the faster the cooling the higher the column. The columns also cracked in the horizontal.Strangely in many cases the horizontal faces are convex and if exposed the lower face is concave.

The height of the columns was determined by the speed of cooling, the faster the cooling the higher the column. The columns also cracked in the horizontal. Strangely in many cases the horizontal faces are convex and if exposed the lower face is concave.

When last counted there were over 40,000 standing columns.

The site and columns attributed to the giant Fionn mac Cumhall, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

According to the myth , Fionn built a pathway across to Scotland to fight a Scottish rival Giant.

Look out for the formations known locally as Giantís Boot, The Wishing Chair, The Camel, Giantís Granny and The Organ.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant%27s Causeway

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Portrush and Portstewart

Visit the towns of Portrush and Portstewart and enjoy the glorious beaches.

Portrush

Portrush

Portrush and Portstewart

Built on Ramore, a 1km long peninsula jutting out into the sea, Portrush, during the summer the town is a busy seaside resort, while in winter it acts as a dormitory town for the universities in Coleraine.

The town has 3 sandy beaches running along the sides of the town. The town has a good rail connection to Derry and onwards to Belfast.

The Royal Portrush Golf Course is a major championship links course.

Barry's Amusement Park, dating from 1925 is another attraction in the town.

With itís westerly facing beach, the area is a well known for surfing.

Right close to the town is a picturesque harbour and the streets close by host some good wine bars, restaurants and bars.

Skerries at Sunset

Skerries at Sunset

Portrush and Portstewart

Off the coast of Portrush lies a band of jagged rocks jutting out of the sea.

These rocks or skerries have been the cause of a number of ship wrecks over the centuries.

While the Antrim coast faces due north, there is nothing facing it for thousands of miles across the North Atlantic.

On clear days the sunsets across the skerries can be spectacular.

Port Stewart

Port Stewart

Portrush and Portstewart

The seaside town of Portstewart lies just west of Portrush, both towns are of similar size. The town has a westerly aspect overlooking the rolling Atlantic Ocean.

In summer the town is busy with long stay and day visitors, though it is quieter than itís neighbour. The most popular attraction is itís beach just outside the town which stretches west for over two miles.

This beach has well formed sand dunes popular with families for picnics while the waves attract surfers from all over.

The National Trust property at Castlerock is well worth a visit and only a short distance from Portstewart.

Downhill Beach

Downhill Beach

Portrush and Portstewart

The beach at Downhill is over seven miles long and is one of the longest in Ireland. The beach holds a blue flag.

Public transport to the beach provides easy access with trains from Belfast and Derry stopping close by.

Overlooking the beach is the small circular temple known as Mussenden Temple. The temple dates from 1785 and was originally built as a library on the estate of Frederick Hervey.

The temple was named after Frederickís cousin Friedeswide Mussenden. The remainder of the estate is in ruins.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrush


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