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Ireland

The Beauty of Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge

Fancy walking 30 metres above the cobalt calm Irish Sea? Look no further to one of the most scenic bridges I have ever stepped foot on: Carrick-A-Rede Bridge. Located in Ballintoy on the Northern Irish coast, the suspension bridge that currently stands has been opened since 2008, although it is believed that for 350 years, fishermen have created multiple bridges, formed with very little material so they could get over to the small island of Carrickarede. It was only in the recent years to come that the bridge has been made accessible by the public with a rope being added to both sides of the bridge. Most tour busses will go here, I went with Paddywagon tours who also visit the Giant’s Causeway and other hotspots around the area for the price of 65 Euro’s. Putting this beside, there are plenty of people that seemed to have parked here, or stayed in a nearby town that is walking distance to the spectacular spot. It costs 5.9 pounds for an adult, but with a tour company it gets taken down to 5.5. There is 1km walk from the parking lot to the actual bridge, with quite a few steps and steep slopes, although it is very manageable. We were allowed an hour here with the tour, however if you are doing it yourself I would recommend staying for at least two hours.

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Walking along the Carrike-A-Rede rope bridge, 30 metres above the Irish Sea.

Walking along the Carrike-A-Rede rope bridge, 30 metres above the Irish Sea.

Carrike-A-Rede bridge Carrike-A-Rede bridge Carrick-A-Rede

How lush is this?

How lush is this?

Destination Guide: Dublin

Rain, hail or shine, the capital city of Ireland is sure not to disappoint. Good vibes, welcoming faces, and streets loathing in historical significance and downright beauty is what Dublin is all about (the fact that you can have whiskey for breakfast, lunch and dinner without judgement, is also pretty cool and ‘cultural’). Fortunately, I had four absolutely wonderful days here wandering the cobbled streets, basking under the willow trees in Europe’s largest city park and filling my very forgetful brain with some Irish history. Without further to do, here are my absolute must see’s for Dublin.

Kilmainham Gaol: The Kilmainham Gaol held some of the most well known political and military leaders in Irish history including Robert Emmet and Charles Stewart Parnell. Since closing down in 1924, The Gaol has reopened as a museum, with half-hourly and hourly guided tours taking place every day of the week. This is the only way you can access the gaol, but is definitely worth it to be able to step back into very dark times and see just how the prisoners lived their lives. Tip: definitely book online before you go as it does become very busy during the summer and holiday seasons. Luckily, there was a few spots remaining on one of the 30 minute, highlight tours so I was able to jump in on that, but without that Irish luck, I would have missed out on a brilliant insight into what shaped Ireland as a country decades on.

Kilmainham Gaol

Phoenix Park: Oh my. This place is just basking in natural beauty. My Irish luck didn’t last long, with the weather literally raining on my parade every single time I tried to make a visit here. From what I did see though, was absolutely breathtaking. To be able to walk less than an hour from the city, to find 707 hectares of greenery, wildlife and pure beauty was just unreal, incomparable and simply perfect. You can easily allow half a day to wandering through the park, or if you fancy, you can hire out one of the city bikes, cruise along the paths and try to spot wild deers along the way.

Phoenix Park

The Temple Bar pub: Even though it is classified as a tourist destination and for the right reasons, The Temple Bar Pub is a great way to unwind after a day of touring the streets of Dublin. With live Irish music, dozens of local whiskey’s to choose from and unlimited Guinness Ale, there is no way better to get into the pub tradition. If you do want to try (keyword: try) and get a seat or even stand without feeling claustrophobic then I would suggest that you stay away from visiting once it hits evening, especially on the weekend. Putting this behind, it is the best way to get into the Irish spirit and relax after a long day of adventuring.

Temple Bar

Grafton Street: The famous shopping street in Dublin; lined with historical buildings, talented buskers and dozens of flower stalls. On a sunny day, this street comes alive and shoppers alike take to the surrounding malls to bag a bargain. Grab a freshly squeezed juice and perch yourself on one of the benches, this is a great spot to pass time by people watching and admiring all of what Dublin has to offer.

Grafton Street