ADVENTURE ON THE CAUSEWAY COAST
ON SUNDAY WE DECIDED TO go searching for waterfalls. It has been a seriously wet August here in Northern Ireland and we knew that the waterfalls on the Causeway Coast would be flowing powerfully.
We woke up early, had a quick breakfast, packed the car with walking shoes, a bbq and some sausages and set off for a day of fun. The first waterfall we planned to check out was Glenoe Waterfall, near Larne in County Antrim. We had never visited it before and were looking forward to seeing it. Thankfully it didn’t disappoint. It is such a beautiful place and if you look really closely among the trees there are little fairy doors to spot. There is only a short forest walk here so it’s really easy and accessible for all ages and is so so peaceful.
After some time spent there we made our way on around the beautiful coastline, pausing for a scone and a cup of tea at Glenarm Castle Tea Room. The staff here were so warm and friendly and it will definitely be a stopping point for us on future expeditions to the North Coast.
Following our short pit-stop and happily refuelled and eager to explore, we drove on around to Carnlough, a beautiful, buzzing little seaside town. We parked up and took the path towards Cranny Falls. We hadn’t been here for a couple of years, having been introduced to it by a friend a while ago and the boys were over the moon to discover that a fabulous new natural playground had been installed next to the walk. We spend ages here playing on the various climbing frames, see-saw and swings, all the while surrounded by beautiful wild flowers and spectacular views.
We then continued on up towards the waterfall, stopping occasionally to munch on some of the wild blackberries growing all alongside the path.
After about 20 minutes, we arrived at the waterfall which was flowing so rapidly we could barely hear one another speak for the noise!
From here, we jogged back to the village, the kids eager to practice their trail running, and enjoyed some ice-cream and a walk around the gorgeous little harbour.
With waterfall number two ticked off our list and the clock ticking, we made our way back to the car to continue our waterfall hunt. Glenariff Forest Park was next on the list, well-known across the world for its beautiful waterfalls and scenic walking routes.
We descended down into the glen, taking the signposted waterfall route and made our way around the circular trek, marvelling at the stunning wildness of the place. The route is not difficult but there are some steps and a fairly long hill to walk back up….totally worth it though!
Happy that we had got to see all the waterfalls on our list we journeyed on around the spectacular Causeway Coast, now so well-known for being the backdrop in many a scene from Game of Thrones. We stopped at Ballycastle beach to set-up our BBQ and spend a few hours playing in the sand and watching the sunset together. The boys busied themselves burying one another in the sand, I kicked back with a cup of coffee while my husband took charge of cooking the sausages. As darkness began to sweep over the beach we dined on hotdogs and watched as the lights from the fairground across the bay danced on the surface of the sea. We laughed and chatted, enjoying our last days of freedom before school starts back.
Once finished eating, we decided to go for a sunset dip…we sprinted down the beach as the sun disappeared behind the distant cliffs. We ran into the waves, knowing full well it would be chilly….and it was SO COLD! The kids loved splashing about in the water, seeing who was brave enough to walk in until the water came up to their tummies!
As soon as teeth started chattering we dashed back to our campfire to warm-up and toast marshmallows.
After we had dried off and put on dry clothes, a huge firework exploded into the sky from the harbour. We didn’t know there was a scheduled fireworks display but we snuggled up in our cosy blankets and watched as the night-sky was lit up by a dazzling array of colour. We had prime seats on the deserted beach and as a little sleepy head rested on my shoulder I heard a small voice whisper: “This has been the best day ever.”
It was the perfect end to a perfect day and as I listened to the snores of 3 contented boys on the drive home to Belfast I was so filled with gratitude – for this amazing country, for adventure, for family, for life!