I love Ireland & Northern Ireland. Its not a very large piece of land and everything is so accessible. As long as you are open minded and optimistic you can find some really cool things to do. That was the driving factor behind this adventure. So we grabbed our cameras and filmed a vlog about the entire day. Full video & story below.
I had seen Translink (public transport in Northern Ireland) pushing out their day travel cards and noticed they do a card that allows you to travel through all zones 1-4 ...which is the entirety of Northern Ireland. This card gives you unlimited travel for one entire day and each card is £16. So I decided to take advantage of them.
My brother and I got a pair of travel cards and we plotted out a basic route with times of buses and trains. Our main goal was to do as much as we could in one day, go to as many places we could and make each visit worthwhile and still make the last train home from Londonderry.
We left Belfast by train, first stop... Middletown Coffee for breakfast. I have wanted to come up here for so long. Jonathan Hickinson runs this cool little place in Ballymena I met him a few years back in Belfast and he opened up his own gaff closer to home. It did not disappoint! We then hopped on a bus and travelled north to Bushmills and over to Giants Causeway and then to Carrick-a-rede. Both spectacular places and both can be accessed free of charge. If you want to cross the bridge you do have to pay and I advise booking that in advance. But we were there for the views and they were stunning.
We were early for our bus... we are never early for anything.
All aboard another bus travelling west along the North Coast to Portrush. We chatted to Andy Hill who runs Troggs surf shop, I've been surfing on the North Coast for 12 years and i used to hire boards from Troggs when I first started. So he hooked us up with a couple of hire boards and a wetsuit and we went for a surf in East Strand. It wasn't the best surfing I've ever done...but it was still great fun.
The next was my wife's suggestion...Barry's amusement arcade!...I have not been there in a very long time. Turns out Rollercoasters are not as scary but way more painful as a fully grown adult. But you forget how buzzing this place is.
We grabbed a sandwich and hopped on the train out of Portrush heading to Colraine. We had a stop in mind at Castlerock.
Slightly underestimating the distance from the station up past the Caravan park meant we had to run but we wanted to get the view of Mussenden Temple. The train track there pierces through the mountain and runs alongside the North Atlantic Ocean...it is breathtaking! I have seen photos and always wanted to see it for real. For me this is one of those train journeys you just MUST do!
We managed to make it up there and back in an hour in time for our next train. Quick stop in Coleraine to swap trains then we were heading west again to Londonderry. It was early evening when we arrived but that train journey is great. We took a nice casual stroll around the Walled City along the top of the old wall. It was lovely and quiet as the work day had already wound down. Londondery is a stunning place with old castle walls, winding lanes and hills. The City centre itself is remarkable and you get a nice feeling being inside its city walls.
The whole day led up to a rewarding taster of beers from Londonderry's Walled City Brewery. We make our own beer and had wanted to try their beers for ages. The brewery is in an odd location on the east side of River Foyle...same side as the train station so we crossed back over along the Peace bridge before sitting down to a selection of beer samplers and a delicious burger.
We made our last train home. 9:30pm from Londonderry to Belfast Central. That was a nice relaxing way to end a very busy, very exciting and fun packed day.
• We travelled for 16.5 hours
• Covered 190miles on public transport
• Covered 5 Miles on foot
• Caught 10 waves
• Went on 1 Rollercoaster
• Visited 4 big historical tourist attractions
• Tried 6 local beers
• Filmed 3 hours of footage
• Slept for 1hour on the train home.
• Had an amazing day.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -