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12.09.2018- Photo Diary: Postcards from The Causeway Coast

At the end of last month, along with Hannah, Michelle and Sophie, I was lucky enough to make a return visit to the beautiful Causeway Coast. Staying in the same beautiful corner of County Antrim as I did back in 2016, it was so lovely to once again be surrounded by breathtaking scenery, lush expanses of green and to see the sea- an instant tonic if ever there was one. We were lucky enough that the weather on our first day was glorious, and the perfect motivation to get up and explore our beautiful surroundings:

Starting with our now customary visit to The Giant’s Causeway, we walked from our base near Bushmills to see Finn McCool after breakfast, and I don’t think I could ever get tired of these beautiful surroundings- there really is nowhere better to be on a sunny day, with the wind in your hair and the sea spray on your face! The only slight downside is just how busy it was- needless to say this little corner of the world isn’t designed for the countless coaches ploughing up and down, so hopefully there’s a solution in the works to help alleviate some of the congestion. From the Causeway, we made a pitstop at The Nook for a drink, before heading down the road to Mini Maegden, a cheese toastie van offering some of the most delicious grub I’ve ever eaten. The cheese and scallion toasted sandwich was heavenly, as was the homemade watermelon, rose and lime lemonade which we ordered, and if you’re visiting the area then lunch here is a must.

After a brief stop off at home, we (or more specifically Michelle!) fired up the Yaris and hit the road to explore more. Meandering our way along the picturesque coastal road, we stopped off at Portbradden to sadly discover that the tiny church which once stood there has been demolished- I feel luckier than lucky that I was able to see it standing the last time I visited. Stopping off along the costal road, we took in the beautiful view of White Park Bay before parking up at the idyllic Ballintoy Harbour for some well earned tea and cake- honestly I don’t think there’s a nicer corner of the world to be in when the sun is shining, and it was the most welcome peaceful diversion from the norm.

Next up, a new discovery for all of us in the shape of Kinbane Castle. This really is a hidden gem on the Causeway Coastal route, perched on top of a very narrow piece of headland which juts out into the Sea of Moyle, and is well worth scaling the steep steps down and back along the cliff side. Flanked by two waterfalls, it really is hard to describe just how beautiful and tranquil this wild corner of the coastline is, and I feel so lucky to have encountered it with such great company and on such a sunny day- definitely one to revisit next time too. From Kinbane we headed east to Ballycastle, stopping off for an obligatory packet of Taytos and an ice cream from Maud’s before jumping back into the car and heading towards The Dark Hedges.

Even in the short window of time which has elapsed since my last visit to this part of the world, it’s strange (and slightly startling) to see how much has changed in this area particularly. I suppose it comes with the territory when you’re a star location in a programme as popular as Game of Thrones, but I was pretty shocked to see that trees along this previously unspoilt corner of Antrim have been carved into by people wanting to commemorate their visit with something more than just a photo. Honestly, it’s such a shame, and something which has given me real food for thought in terms of the impact of tourism and making it as sustainable as possible- especially as the Game of Thrones effect shows no sign of abating any time soon. I love this part of the world so much, and really hope that it can be protected properly whilst still being enjoyed by visitors for years and years to come.

Have you visited anywhere new recently?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)


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