Places of Interest
Mussenden Temple & Downhill Castle
Both are near Castlerock. The domed Temple dominates the skyline for miles around and although it's not particularly picturesque in itself, it does occupy a stunning clifftop position overlooking the broad sweep of Downhill Strand. The castle ruins and gardens are nearby. Secret Place: "Pretty Crafty Design Studio" & the "Willow Garden Tea Room", outside Castlerock, off the road to the temple. Teas, Coffees and lunches in exquisite surroundings.
Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge
Want to frighten yourself to death? Then stop off at this curious tourist attraction just off the coast road (A2) near Ballintoy. It's a flimsy bit of nonsense, about 20 yards long, made of rope and planks, which spans an 80 ft sheer drop between the mainland and a little rocky outcrop. It's terrifying - especially if it's windy. But if you can summon up the courage to cross it, you'll feel proud of yourself! NB It's quite a long walk down to the bridge from the car park, but the views are good.
Ballycastle & Rathlin Island
This attractive seaside town with its sweeping sandy beach and harbour, is a good place to spend an hour or two. If you fancy a trip to Rathlin Island (where Robert the Bruce hid in the caves and had his famous encounter with the spider), this is where you catch the boat. For nature lovers Rathlin Island is a Special Area of Conservation.
Even if you're not a regular whiskey drinker, do visit Bushmills. It's the world's oldest distillery (licensed in 1608) and their products are excellent. A guided tour - which takes about 45 minutes and is very interesting - only costs a couple of pounds and you get a free tasting in their hospitality bar afterwards. Try the hot toddy, it's amazing! There is also a very nice gift shop which sells good quality souvenirs and clothing.
This strange rock formation of hexagonal boulders from which this part of Ireland's north coast takes its name. Legend has it that a giant called Finn McCool used these boulders as stepping stones to walk across the sea from Scotland. The visitor centre, which has a restaurant, audio visual theatre and a large gift emporium, is excellent. If you don't fancy the long walk down to the causeway (or, more to the point, the long walk up again) a minibus can take you there and back.
Limavady & Roe Valley Country Park
The park is right by the golf & country club we'll be visiting on our 'Away day'. A rambler's paradise, it features wooded riverside walks and is perfect for picnics. Limavady itself is an interesting and historic town to visit and is where "The Londonderry Air" originated.