Ballycastle to Port Stewart

Seabirds on the cliffs by the Carrick-a-Rede bridge
Seabirds on the cliffs by the Carrick-a-Rede bridge

The damp drizzly start had given way to warm sunshine by the time we’d cycled the four hilly miles to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, where we were the tea room’s first customers of the day. Soon after, it became very busy as we walked over the bridge and around the cliffs where we were closer to the seabirds than at RSPB Rathlin.

From there we rode another seven miles to the Giants Causeway. There was a queue to enter the car park which we were able to bypass and lock our bikes to the cycle stands. We walked down to the causeway, much more accessible than the similar formations on Staffa and much busier. We returned via the cliff walk and called in at the cafe before leaving on the shared path which runs along the preserved Giant’s Causeway & Bushmills Railway, a line which once went all the way to Portrush. The path took us the two miles to the terminus at Bushmills, home of the famous whiskey, then we followed NCN93 on a high level route with fine sea views which eventually dropped us into the popular seaside resort of Portrush, families enjoying the Saturday sunshine. The roads were congested near the centre, which we didn’t explore, we escaped along the caravan-lined road to Port Stewart.

We found Rick’s Causeway Court hostel, and the affable owner showed us to our rooms at the top of the house. We wheeled our bikes through the kitchen to lock them in the yard. In the evening we went for a short stroll and enjoyed a great sunset.

Malin Head