When traveling to in this area, many people rave about driving the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland, but it has nothing on the North Atlantic Coast of Northern Ireland!
Downhill Demesne House & Mussenden Temple
The Downhill House, Temple Mussenden and several other buildings make up the remains of an estate once belonging to Lord Bristol, “the earl Bishop” I’ll admit, before traveling here… I did not know this place existed. However, I am so happy we stopped here because it ended up being one of our favorite stops. The open headlands, coastal cliffs, and 18th century ruins were intriguing to explore.
Dramatically perched on the cliffside, this circular temple has killer sea views. Lord Bristol commissioned the temple in 1785 to honor his cousin, Frideswide Mussenden. It served as a library and was modeled after the Roman Temple, Temple of Vista. We can only imagine its walls clad with bookcases, but it was so serene with only the sea views beyond.
Less than 15 minutes from Giant’s Causeway, this medieval clifftop castle makes a nice stop to stretch your legs and take in the coastal views. From sieges and storms, it has quite the history. It costs 5.50 GBP to tour the ruins, but we opted to enjoy it from it’s dramatic exterior.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Today, it's a popular tourist destination, but believe it or not, this famous rope bridge was first erected by salmon fishermen in 1755! The bridge is not as rugged as it once was, but it still sways 100 ft above the ocean below.
It costs 9 GBP, but parking is free! There is a bit of a walk from parking to the bridge. If you keep a brisk pace, you may secure yourself a better place in line.
You may recognize the beech-lined Bregagh road as “The King’s Road” from Game of Thrones, but when we see it, all we can think of is #estategoals.
Over 150 beech trees line the path leading to this idyllic estate built in 1775! And, it’s a totally free pit-stop.
Know Before You Go!
We got off to a late start and managed to hit all of these sites in one day.
These sites are touristy, but worth it.
The Downhill Demesne Estate also includes the Hezlett House. It costs 6.20 GBP to visit.