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Experience the world famous Causeway Coast “Car-free”.
Your first base is the Northern capital of Belfast.
Your hotel is a locally-owned guesthouse close to the University area and a mere 10 minute walk from the city centre. This AA four star rated accommodation comes highly recommended for offering great value for money and a comfortable base from which to enjoy the city. There is complimentary WiFi in all rooms with free, secure car parking. There is a light and airy breakfast room and, within a few minutes’ walk, a host of restaurants and bars to suit all tastes and budgets; as they say “in Belfast the craic is never far away”.
Today you will explore the political history and view the famous murals, with a chance to understand some more of the more recent history of Belfast.
During your free time this afternoon, you could visit The Cathedral quarter is the historic cultural heartland of the city, whereas the Titanic Quarter of east Belfast – where the legendary liner was built – is full of reminders of a proud maritime and industrial past. Here the brand new, state of the art, Titanic Visitor Experience is a must visit destination and a suitable memorial to the tragedy of 100 years ago. Other must-see destinations range from the grand Victorian City Hall to Stormont, the home of government; from the Ulster Museum – where the Girona exhibition of Spanish Armada Gold is unmissable – to historic pubs such as the Crown Liquor saloon – a rather unique National Trust property.
The holiday continues from Belfast on a leisurely train journey northwards to Coleraine, from where a taxi will transfer you to your hotel, and base for the next three nights, in the town of Bushmills. In the evening you can relax, enjoy fine wine, great food and maybe some lively traditional Irish music playing in the front bar.
Centuries of history exude from the old timber beams and rough plaster walls of this landmark inn. At its heart is the gas-lit sixteenth century snug, with soot-stained walls and ceilings and a pulley suspended above the fireplace. You could spend hours here over a Guinness or a dram, dreaming up romantic notions of bygone encounters. The snug is encased by a ‘mere’ two-hundred year old inn, with an even more modern, yet sympathetically designed, outer shell. Guest rooms are spacious and atmospheric with individual character and attention to detail to a design in keeping with the building’s charm. This place is a genuine meeting point for travellers and locals alike, buzzing with conviviality and conversation throughout a jigsaw puzzle of interconnecting public rooms and cosy corners. The outdoor courtyard and terrace come into their own in the summer months while open peat fires provide the perfect ambience in other seasons. Service is attentive and friendly, many staff being young, local, and very proud of the area. The menu offered throughout the restaurant and conservatory fuses local produce with a touch of creativity to make this one of the most renowned dining destinations in the North of Ireland.
Start off with a marvellous breakfast to set you up for the day ahead, for the complete experience try the ‘full Irish’, including the local delicacy of ‘potato bread’. This morning you will take the narrow gauge steam train*, starting only a few hundred yards from the hotel to an incredible world heritage site – The Giant’s Causeway. This stunning geological formation, with distinctive columns of almost uniformly shaped basalt rock, is part of a landscape that’s bound to send the imagination racing. Steeped in history and folklore, this part of the Irish coastline has been captivating visitors for hundreds of years.
Travelling back on the train to Bushmills you have a choice of activities – maybe visit the famous Bushmills Distillery, producers of some of the finest Irish Whiskey or if it is a pleasant day, perhaps hire a bicycle and explore some of this stunning countryside and coastline for yourself.
There is so much more to the Causeway Coast than just the Giant’s Causeway itself. Today a local driver will take you to some of the many other magnificent sites including the much photographed Dunluce Castle – once the ancient seat of the Earl of Antrim – and also Carrick-a-Rede. Here those wanting to test their nerve can do so on an exhilarating rope bridge, which until recently served as a means of access for local fishermen to a salmon fishing station perched high on a rocky outcrop.
On your final day spend some time in the comforts of your fantastic hotel, maybe taking a stroll in the locality and alongside the river Bush. It’s then just a quick taxi journey back along the coast to meet your train and your short trip back to Belfast for your onward journey connections.
*The steam train operates daily July & August, at weekends only June & September. Alternative bus transport is always available.
A two centre holiday combining a stay in Belfast and in the village of Bushmills, within easy reach of the Giant’s Causeway and perfectly placed to explore the key sites of the “Causeway Coast”. It includes travel to and from Belfast.
£585 per person for March & November, £635 for April & October and £675 per person for May to September.
Price is based on two adults sharing a double or twin ensuite room for 5 nights on a bed and breakfast basis. The price includes return taxi transfers to your hotel, a black taxi tour of Belfast, and a half day privately-guided tour of the Causeway Coast.
Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday.
As the train company does not offer an advanced booking facility, we will provide you with details of the train times and costs at time of booking, to enable you to purchase tickets as you travel. Fares for this itinerary will be no more than £25 per person.
Travel to Ireland
We would be delighted to book your travel to Ireland for this holiday. Belfast has connections from many airports in Britain, and the holiday can also be arranged with train connections from Dublin.
All Ireland itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.
All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.
We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.
Well planned: an excellent 'taster' for the area. We thoroughly enjoyed it!John, Cambridgeshire, England
This holiday is available from March until November.
To check the latest availability for this holiday complete the form below or call us. We will respond to your availability check within one working day if at all possible. Please bear with us on this - we work with a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses, and other independent businesses, ensuring that you have the chance to explore off the beaten track and really get under the skin of the destination.
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