Blackberry Breakfast on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast Trail
After visiting the Giants Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge by car, I ditched my wheels and connected the two sites on foot with a 13-mile trek along the Causeway Coast Trail. I couldn’t have asked for better weather. Ireland gifted me with a warm, breezy, bluebird sunny day!
The Causeway Coast Trail runs through farmland, fishing harbors, seaside villages, across the stunning white sand expanse of Whitepark Bay (check tidecharts for this section- only accessible at low tide), to Ireland’s smallest chapel, past castle ruins and along cliff tops to the Giants Causeway and on to Bushmills, home of the world’s oldest distillery. I’ve hiked a lot of miles on a lot of trails in my life, and this trek definitely deserves to be called one of the best hikes on Earth!
The trail started at the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and ran between farm fields for the first mile, before passing this old white church and turning towards the coast.
Free range goose & ducks eggs at a farm along the Coast Trail
Motorcycle Teardrops! Camped at Ballantoy Harbor
Sea Arch at Ballantoy Harbor
Livestock Warning on the fence to Whitepark Bay. I met a lot of cows and sheep on my hike, but they were all friendly and non-threatening (as if sheep could ever be scary…)
Whitepark Bay. Beautiful sugar-sand beach.
Fin & Algae in Whitepark Bay
Coastal village of Portbraden
Ireland’s smallest church, in Portbraden
Inside St. Gobban’s Church, Portbraden
Path Closed?! I was all ready to detour when I met an 80 year old local man on the trail who assured me he hikes this section all the time. He said, “If I can do it, anybody can do it!”
This is the “landslide”. I might not have even noticed it. There’s a narrow, but stable path across. No big deal. Hike on!
Treasure! Some kind of little carnivore. See the pointy teeth? Maybe a fox?
Trail markers along the way
One of many styles between pastures on the trail. I saw more cattle and sheep on this hike than people!
Most of the trail ran between a fence and the cliffs.
View back east. I started in the distance, past the barely visible crescent of beach of Whitepark Bay. Not bad for a morning’s walk! And I was only halfway done…
Wool on Fence
Raw Wool. Have I mentioned there are a lot of sheep in Ireland?
Remains of Dunseverick Castle, destroyed in 1642
Old Wall near Half Moon Bay
Columnar Basalt cliffs, nearing the Giants Causeway
The Giants Causeway down below, crawling with ants!
Stay tuned for more from the Emerald Isle and then I’m on to Scotland! For more info on hiking all 33 miles of the Causeway Coast Trail, click here.