4 Days In Northern Ireland With Stena Line
I was recently asked to join Stena Line on a road-trip around Northern Ireland. The itinerary was open and I was set the challenge of taking to the road and discovering what this beautiful place had to offer.
With my friend Aaron in tow, I crossed the Irish Sea aboard the Stena Superfast VII on the Cairnryan to Belfast sailing at 3.45am in the hope of catching sunrise on the Causeway Coast. As I relaxed in the Stena Plus Lounge pondering the possibilities of the ensuing days, I was grateful to have been given this opportunity.
We arrived in Belfast at 6am as scheduled and made our way North to County Antrim.
The next day and a half was spent exploring what Northern Ireland's world renowned Causeway Coastal route had to offer and we weren't disappointed. Sea cliffs, sprawling beaches and crashing waves were just a few of the highlights.
When I was originally approached about the possibility of this trip, I had no idea that Northern Ireland was home to a rugged, compact and accessible mountain range. I almost immediately decided that I would have to climb at least one of their highest peaks and after much research, I settled on Slieve Binnian.
We spent the day wandering through the Silent Valley before making our way into the heart of the Mournes and up the mountain - hopeful of catching some sort of sunset after a day of non-stop rain.
We reached the mountain summit as daylight started to fade and were greeted with a blanket of mist which started to roll in and out like waves, before finally breaking for a few moments and giving us a little glimpse of the spectacular panorama overlooking the Silent Valley.
Impressed with our day in the Mournes, we descended the mountain by torch light and made our way back to the hotel for dinner and a much needed rest.
Day four was suddenly upon us and after a much needed breakfast, we packed our bags and got ready to weave our way along the Mourne coast and onwards to our return ferry in Belfast. We made a few stops along the way and I decided to find a vantage point which would give me the opportunity to grab a few photos of the Stena Superfast VII as it approached Belfast Docks.
As we sat on the ferry home, we couldn't stop talking about our previous few days on the road trip - we were both inspired.
Northern Ireland has left a lasting impression and I can't wait to go back.
Thank you to Stena Line for choosing to send me on this epic adventure.
Accommodation 1 - Portrush: Ramore Green Sea View
Accommodation 2 - Newry: Mourne Country Hotel