Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

Swinging Bridges in Northern Ireland

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I feel like I’ve been lied to. Why? Because I’ve never once been told that the north coast of Northern Ireland looks like this:

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

Maybe you were told, but they sure never told me.

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

Otherwise, I might have made a concerted effort to visit it long before my initial chance encounter in May.

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland
Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

After we docked in Belfast with the ship, four of my colleagues and I hopped a $25 day tour from Belfast on a whim, up to the northern coast—which was quite reminiscent of the Ring of Kerry actually—and way out into the countryside, about an hour north of the city.

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland
Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

Vistas aside, the reason so many flock to Carrick-a-Rede is for the famed rope bridge.

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland
Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

It wasn’t even scary so much as it was fun—and presented even better views once you were on the other side.

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

It costs a couple pounds to pass, and what no one tells you (again) is that the walk there is pretty steep. And then the walk back is equally so. (We couldn’t quite figure out how we seemed to be going uphill nearly the whole time both ways!)

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland
Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

Given that our weather had been such crap the whole voyage up until this point, I was shocked we had such a sunny day on our side—and in Ireland of all places at that.

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland

It didn’t stick around long, though, but at least hung around for us to get our token coastal pics for the sole purpose to make all of our friends back home green with envy!

Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland
Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland
Carrick-a-Rede, Northern Ireland
COMMENTS
  • July 19, 2013

    Oh my. It’s absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous! I want to spread out a blanket and lounge there for days. I’ve never had any real desire to go to Ireland (too many other places I’m dying to go first) but these pics have put it on the list!

    • July 19, 2013
      Dani

      Gorgeous photos, sister-friend!!

  • July 19, 2013

    Beautiful!!! This was a part of Ireland I didn’t get the chance to see. Will definitely have to check it out next time I go.

    • August 5, 2013

      Always good to save things to see for the next visit! =)

  • July 19, 2013

    I absolutely love these photos! I had no idea the water would be so blue in Ireland 🙂

    • August 5, 2013

      It looks like the Med or the Caribbean, doesn’t it? It’s definitely not this color down near Dublin…

  • July 19, 2013

    wow! It’s so beautiful!!

  • July 19, 2013

    That’s gorgeous, I’m sure a sunny blue sky day there also makes a big difference to being outdoors and seeing all thebeautiful colors and wildflowers, quite nice~

    • August 5, 2013

      It definitely POPS a whole lot more than in the dreary rain (as we saw much of Ireland back last October).

  • July 19, 2013

    Absolutely love all the green, probably because of the lack of sunny days and loads of rain. The rope bridge looks like fun. And what magnificent coastal views.

    • August 5, 2013

      Yes, all that rain makes for one good thing at least, right? I see a nice spot where you can park your fifth wheel!

  • July 21, 2013

    Wow that’s one spectacular coastal view. Reminds me of a Bronte novel sans drama, gloom and doom. Keep ’em coming. Cheers!

    • August 5, 2013

      Haha, way too cheery for a Bronte novel!

  • July 21, 2013

    Spectacular view. Amazing place on earth.

  • July 21, 2013

    Amazing pictures and great views. Sounds like a lot of fun that I am missing probably 🙁

    Thanks for sharing pictures about beautiful Ireland!

    • August 5, 2013

      You should put it on your to-do list!

  • July 22, 2013
    Haidang

    sunny in northern ireland? the irish gods must have loved ya!

    • August 5, 2013

      Definitely opposite from my experience the last time I was there! All rain, all the time.

  • July 22, 2013

    Good lord that is beautiful

  • July 22, 2013

    Certainly never thought the Irish coast would look like that! The trail looks like a blast, though!

    • August 5, 2013

      I know, right? So much more colorful than other parts of Ireland.

  • July 22, 2013

    I thoroughly enjoyed all the wonderful photos. I visited this region of Ireland 6 years ago and did a bus tour of the northern coast. It’s such a fabulous area to explore. I’ll have to admit that the rope bridge in the high winds made me a little nervous! Did you make it to Giant’s Causeway?

    • August 5, 2013

      We did, we did. Although it was so crowded, we didn’t stay long!

  • July 24, 2013
    ELS

    It seems to be Game of Thrones land !

    • August 5, 2013

      You bet–they were pointing out where different scenes were filmed around every turn!

  • July 24, 2013

    mark and i vacationed there several years ago and stayed in the tiny town of portrush. we loved it and spent our entire vacation talking about how we should retire to northern ireland. only thing we would have done differently was to rent a car instead of being at the mercy of the bus system. hope you also made it to the giant’s causeway!

    • August 5, 2013

      In a dream world, right? I’ll have to check out Portrush next time we’re there!

  • July 27, 2013

    Some great photos. We didn’t make it to the northern part of Ireland, but loved our time in the countryside of Western Ireland. Some of the ocean views there were magic. Looks like Northern Ireland is the same!

    • August 5, 2013

      Did you go to the Ring of Kerry? It reminded me a lot of that area of Western Ireland.

  • August 7, 2013

    I was completely shocked too the first time I went to Ireland (no one told me either!). I’ve spent some time in South Africa and I swear some of my photos from Ireland look like I could have taken them in South Africa. 🙂

  • August 7, 2013

    Incredible photos, Ireland is stunning. Carrick-a-Rede is definitely a bucket list for me even though I’m a bit scared of heights! I have to get over that, because I think the experience would be totally worth it.

  • August 9, 2013

    OMG who would’ve thought the north coast looked like this! lol I totally agree, feels like I’ve been lied to as well! This is … awesome! And you’re pics are great! great post! totally got a new perspective and a new destination for our upcoming europe travel!

  • August 11, 2013

    I am really intrigued by these shots. I am now motivated to try something similar. Thanks!

  • December 5, 2013

    Wonderful shots of ireland!

  • March 15, 2015

    I am so in love with the colors of this water. I actually painted my bathroom to match some ocean colors in a pic in Northern California- they look similar to these. Beautiful!

  • April 5, 2015

    I also never thought Northern Ireland’s north coast could be so breathtaking … thanks for opening my eyes to it!

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