The River Thames outside DLD College London

Exploring Northern Ireland

19th February 24

We returned to Northern Ireland again this February half term, with a group of international boarders looking to see more of this United Kingdom that we are currently calling home. Although the weather forecast threatened to put a dampener on our plans, a little Irish luck was on our side and we managed to dodge worst of the grey skies and showers.

Our first day was spent exploring the city centre, on a tour bus and on foot, and enjoying a lovely meal together in a traditional Irish restaurant before buying our supplies for the coastal tour the next day.

It was an early start but as soon as we settled onto the coach, our very knowledgeable tour guide, began entertaining us with stories, jokes and lots of details about his beloved home county. We stopped at the historic Carrickfergus castle, which sits right on the waterfront and a few places of interest to Game of Thrones fans (and nature enthusiasts), where filming had taken place along the stunning North Antrim coastline. Our ultimate destination, and group highlight of the trip, was the Giant’s Causeway. Here, we were treated to blue skies and dramatic coastal views. Local legend talks of an Irish giant who use the rock formations as stepping stones to reach the west coast of Scotland before ripping most of it up again when he believed he would lose the battle with a much larger Scottish giant. This left the strange column shaped rock (which may also be volcanic rock that cooled rapidly when it met the cold sea water) that you see in our photos.

It was a mere 72 hours from our outbound flight to our return, but with everything already mentioned, plus the HUGE Titanic museum, city hall tours and the Ulster museum, our group packed in a whole lot of sight seeing and exploring, and now have a great feel for both the historic and modern day city of Belfast. Next stop… Scotland, during the Easter holidays!

Jan Haines, Boarding Houseparent (Metropolitan) and DofE Manager