North of Ireland route – DAY 1: Londonderry, Malin Head

It was an early Saturday and we were ready to start the trip after picking up the car from the office. We had rented a car with Budget for two days and when we started our trip the car was full of food and other things to spend the weekend on the road. The first place where we wanted to stop was Derry (or Londonderry), one of the most important cities in the North of Ireland. We had a long way from Dublin to Londonderry but we had good music and good company, so the journey wasn’t that long.

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Londonderry is 213km far from Dublin so, after three hours in the car (well, we stopped to stretch our legs and to go to the toilette), we arrived to the city. The city belongs to the Northern Ireland and that means that in our way going there the signs changed from kilometres to miles and it was a bit strange for us.

We went to the tourist office and it was the best we could do because the woman there gave us a map of the city. She explained to us that the best way to visit the city is walking along the old wall that goes around. Londonderry is known for the conflicts there were between Catholics and Protestants during the second half of the twentieth century. That makes the city a very historical and interesting place.

RECOMMENDATION: There are some movies that show what happened in the country and in this city. I recommend you to watch them before or after going there in order to understand what was going on. The Devil’s Own, 71, Bloddy Sunday, The Shore, etc.

I didn’t expect anything about this city and I should say that I was amazed by it. Its history, its murals and its streets makes this city a really interesting one to visit. You can see Londonderry in some hours (express visit) or you can also stay there a whole day, up to you.

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After this short visit to Londonderry we went to the northern point in Ireland and it was in Ballyhilln, after walking a 500 metres route. We wanted to arrive there and see the sunset from the cliffs, so we were supposed to go straight there, but it was impossible not to stop thousands of times to take pictures and enjoy the views. Actually, it wasn’t thousands of times but four, before we arrived there.

The first stop was, literally, in the middle of the road. We thought it was a road that looked like it was from a movie so we decided to take some photos and waved the sheep that were in the field next to us.

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We stopped again two kilometres from there, in this kind of places that the boats use to go into the sea. It was so beautiful because we had the sea just in front of us and it was possible to see a part of the land on the opposite side. The funny thing was that we almost blew away because of the strong wind.

We let the sea behind us and we began to see green meadows and mountains. The landscape couldn’t be better. Before reaching Lag, we turned to the right to Five Finger Strand direction. This was the third stop, a large and lonely beach hidden behind a very huge cliff.

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The weather wasn’t really good and we had been wondering if it was going to rain at some point. Well, this moment arrived and a huge grey cloud was coming from the distance. That meant that we’d better stay in the car until the storm was over. This was the fourth stop. We were waiting for the storm in a view point where the views were supposed to be amazing but we could not see anything. Hopefully, after only two minutes the storm passed away and we could enjoy the amazing views, even more amazing thanks of the clouds and the rain.

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Finally, we reached the place where the route that we had to follow to arrive to the northern point in Ireland was. It was still early, so we had enough time to walk to the end of the path and see the sunset. There were less clouds than before but still cloudy so we had to be careful because the cliffs were so near to the path. The starting point was in Banba’s Crown, so we left the car there, we dressed up very well (it was too cold) and we started walking.

The route started some metres down from Banba’s Crown, and after some metres walking on a dirt track we found the firsts indications.

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We didn’t know where the route finished or if it would be possible to see the sunset somewhere, but we started walking to Hells Hole direction. Sometime after, we reached a beautiful place from where it was possible to see the sunset, although the clouds didn’t let us see very well. Challenge achieved! The views from that place were just awesome.

 

It had been a long and intense day and although it was only 18:00, we deserved to rest. We had rented a cottage in the town of Carndonagh, half an hour south from where we were. You can check all the information about this nice apartment in this post. So we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening like a family, eating, playing games and having fun. The next day it was going to be hard, so we had to rest.

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Here you have a map with the route we took the first day:

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DAY 2: North of Ireland route – DAY 2: Downhill, Giant’s Causeway, Belfast

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