Clare Connolly

Millennial Travel Guide: A Day Trip To Northern Ireland

Another weekend in Ireland calls for another day trip!

My roommates and I decided to make the journey to Northern Ireland to see Belfast City, Giant’s Causeway, and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge as a quick getaway from Dublin.

Not leaving the island, but being in a different country was another thing I could check off my bucket list after our excursion to the United Kingdom.

We left Dublin with our Paddywagon tour and headed North!

The luck of the Irish was with us again as we got nearly perfect weather for a day, according to Northern Ireland standards.

Everything’s just better when the weather cooperates.

Our first stop was particularly exciting for me, as a huge Game of Thrones fan.

We got to see THE Dark Hedges on the King’s Road.

This iconic destination was beautiful regardless if you watch the show or not, but definitely a bonus for those of us with an obsession.

Back on the bus we continued on to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

The bridge connects the mainland to Carrick Island.

It was originally built by fishermen so they could cast nets over the wide chasm; however, now it is purely a tourist attraction for the brave.

We watched as people crossed before us and the 100 feet drop didn’t seem to daunting.

The second I stepped on that bridge the 100 feet felt like 1000.

Once I got over initial fear of the height I was able to fully enjoy the views and they were spectacular.

Watering crashing below, cliffs on either side, and only wood and a few ropes under my feet is something I’ve never experienced.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a definite must-see of Northern Ireland.

The main attraction of our tour was Giant’s Causeway.

This place truly blew my mind.

There are over 40,000 basalt columns formed through volcanic burning and cooling.

The formations are reportedly 60 million years old and even have the legend of Finn McCool to try to explain the fanaticism of the site.

We hopped from rock to rock with the ocean in front of us and the mountains behind us.

It was a picturesque scene everywhere we looked.

This seems to be a common theme of my travels.

After two hours of climbing, sitting, and taking in the views we had to say goodbye to Giant’s Causeway.

Honestly still confused how volcanic rock can form into hexagons and be stacked so perfectly together.

We ended the day by getting a little time to explore Belfast City.

Steeped in history, we were overwhelmed by the city’s tumultuous past.

The effects of the Troubles are still seen today with conflict between the Protestants and Catholics of the city.

Regardless of the dangerous past of Belfast, the city center offered us a glimpse into the urban side of Northern Ireland.

It was a great ending to a great day. When you’re on an island as beautiful as I am, there’s no reason not to explore as much as possible.

Read More: Millennial Travel Guide: A Day Trip To Ireland’s Majestic Cliffs Of Moher

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Millennial Travel Guide: A Day Trip To Ireland’s Majestic Cliffs Of Moher

This semester I am fortunate enough to be studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland at University College Dublin.

While very different than my home university back in Massachusetts, Dublin quickly stole my heart and I am loving being across the pond.

There are many perks of studying abroad, but one of the best has to be the opportunity to take travel to places I’ve only seen in pictures.

This past weekend’s day trip- the Cliffs of Moher!

Rising 700 feet above the Atlantic and stretching just under five miles along Ireland’s western coast, the Cliffs of Moher offer some of nature’s more spectacular views.

Getting within a foot of these dropoffs is not for the faint of heart, but my friend and I made the journey west from Dublin to spend the day marvelling at one of the most beautiful places Ireland has to offer.

Finally after a 4-hour bus ride filled with traditional Irish music and Irish fun facts, we made it to the Cliffs along with 300 other people all wanting to see what the hype is about.

One thing to note, I didn’t choose to study abroad in Ireland for the weather.

Usually around 50 degrees with a constant damp breeze, Ireland’s infamous weather is nothing desireable.

However, this past weekend it was all sun.

Throughout our day travelling to and from the Cliffs my friend and I repeatedly said how lucky we were to have such a good day.

Luck of the Irish is obviously a real thing.

This was my second time to the Cliffs since January, but I could go ten more times and still be blown away.

Regardless of how many people are there, the expansiveness makes you feel like you’re there alone.

Sitting in the grass on the side of the cliff (a safe distance because I don’t have a death wish of course), soaking in much needed vitamin D and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean is a feeling I’ll never forget.

The town of Kinvara.

The Cliffs of Moher are truly one of the natural wonders of the world and being able to experience such beauty is something I hope everyone can get the chance to experience.

After a classic fish n’ chips lunch is a nearby town, my friend and I hopped back on the bus and made our way back to Dublin.

We stopped in a little town called Kinvara and looked at the iconic Connolly’s Bar.


Travelling coast to coast in one day is something I’m not used to being from the United States, but seeing the Emerald Isle in all its sunny glory last weekend was truly a day trip for the books.

To anyone questioning whether or not to study abroad, take the chance and DO IT!

A day trip to the Cliffs of Moher could be in your future, too.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Photo Credits: Clare Connolly

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