[caption id="attachment_16029" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image Credit: code poet, CC ASA 2.0 license[/caption]
The dramatic landscapes of Northern Ireland lend themselves perfectly to a roadtrip adventure: take the journey entirely at your own pace, whether you want to stop at a few key sights or drink it all in, this is the perfect way to get to known Northern Ireland in 2014.
And if you’re looking for a little bit of destination inspiration, then allow us to suggest the breathtakingly beautiful Causeway Coastal route which meanders the length of Northern Ireland’s natural rugged coast – all 120 miles of it! Often hailed as one of the top five roadtrip location on earth, you’ll soon see why. The ancient volcanic landscape is punctuated with cascading waterfalls, traditional towns countless restaurants specialising in locally caught seafood.
Natural sights abound in this neck of the woods and the number one must-see sight is undoubtedly the fabled Giants Causeway, which is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site within Northern Ireland. A gigantic volcanic eruption more than 60 million years ago has resulted in a landscape covered with a myriad of basalt polygonal columns. Or was it? Myths and legends abound with one theory being that the giant Finn McCool carved this wonder. Whichever version you believe in, you’ll want to spend all day here and experience the impressive sun set.
The spectacular sights don’t stop there either; continue on to the Visit the remarkable Carrickfergus Castle which boasts over 800 years of history. Make your way to the impressive medieval ruins of Dunluce Castle which looms dramatically atop a headland, offering superb views over the sea. And taste the salty sea on your lips at the site of the Mussenden Temple which is perched 120 feet above the roaring Atlantic Ocean.
Northern Ireland isn’t short on cultural wonders either, the most famous of which is undoubtedly the world-famous Irish Whiskey which has been distilled here for centuries. Stop off at the Old Bushmills Distillery in Bushmills village who have been produced top quality whiskey for over 400 years. Experience the local heritage and history within the Ballymoney Museum whose exhibits date back some 9000 years. There’s something here for all members of your expedition, from Mesolithic treasures, to the history of the local motorbike road races.
Don’t forget to stretch your legs on your journey too – take your pick from meandering cliff-top trails, vast swathes of deserted beaches and playing a round at one of the many top-quality golf courses. The beachside trail besides Cushendall village is pretty special, with well-marked paths guiding you around Stone Age monuments and ancient glens, before culminating in a spectacular sunset over the sea. One of the prettiest beaches along the coastal route is the Cois an Duine, aka Cushendun, which is perfect for bracing winter and springtime walks, and a spot of paddling in summer. And if you fancy playing around, head to the championship Royal Portrush Golf Club.
Make a roadtrip adventure a reality this year and give yourself something to look forward to. There’s no need to splash out and there are ways to save some money. For example, Holiday Autos – a car hire broker, have a January sale with 20% off destinations across Europe, including Northern Ireland.