If you don’t have the time to go on a hike on your own or if you just don’t have the confidence to, the next best thing is to go on a guided day trip. Granted, these day trips don’t come cheap. But they are really convenient to book (you can do so at the Tourism Centre located in the City Centre) and they bring you to far flung places that are not so easy to access without a car. I recommend going for at least one- though off the top of my head I can think of 2 really good options but the second one will be for another post!
Ireland is politically divided though not geographically divided. You’ll pass through the border without knowing it. Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland while Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom. From my two experiences, I never had to pass through any security checks or check points. That said, bringing your passport along is a wise idea.
The Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede Ropebridge are located in Northern Ireland, a distance away from Belfast. While Belfast is more easily accessible by rail, I never really figured out any public transportation that can bring you to these two places. The only way really, is to go on a tour or to drive.
To me Giant’s Causeway is a tad commercialized though still a wonder in many respects. I went there twice and for both my visits it was raining 😦 You walk along a path with an audio guide – yes this is how commercialized the place is(!!)- and when you return, you have the option of sitting a bus if you pay a nominal fee. If you are planning to take a photo on their famous hexagonal rocks, you’ll need good walking shoes. The
perpetual drizzle makes the place very slippery, and unless you are some really experienced grandma who can walk on slippery surfaces and still look fashionable at the same time, you would most likely suffer a fall like me!
I’m not kidding the view’s gorgeous!
Carrick-a-Rede Ropebridge is literally… a Ropebridge that connects the mainland to the small, tiny island of Carrick-a-Rede. It’s stable, no worries. Mum has a fear of heights but she crossed it just fine (she did berate me for trying to snap some shots of her though hehe). The views are stunning to say the least! You’ll have to walk on a dirt/gravel trail (which is slightly more legit than a paved path I’ll say!) but it’s wide and not a difficult walk. Wear good walking shoes, sum up all your energy, and you’ll be rewarded with fresh salty air and amazing scenery!