It was about time to leave my cosy Airbnb and after having breakfast I grabbed my luggage and walked through lovely residential areas to pick up the rental car. Sitting on the “wrong side” didn´t make me nervous anymore and here I went!
Not far thou – the first stop on my drive along the Causeway Coast was still in Belfast – sitting on Cave Hill – Belfast Castle.
Built between 1811 and 1870 by the 3rd Marquess of Donegall after the original Belfast Castle in the city centre had burnt down it resembles the Scottish baronial style. And is having a “cat garden” – as seen on this photograph above.
Today the Castle hosts weddings and seminars and there are an antique shop and coffee shop in the basement. It´s a great place to enjoy the amazing view over Belfast and Belfast Lough sitting in the lovely garden and enjoying a cup of tea.
Cave Hill is a popular hiking ground offering different walks with amazing views of the city below and also houses the Belfast Zoo.
But I have several other stops on my list for this day and postpone taking a hike on Cave Hill.
My next stop (the first one on the Causeway Coastal road) is on the outer northern side of Belfast Lough and just a short drive outside Belfast: Carrickfergus – or better said, Carrickfergus Castle.
The Norman Irish castle was built in 1177 and is a beautiful example of a medieval castle. It wa sunder military use until 1928 looks back on a turbulent history.
The harbour next to the castle – it´s strategic location on the entrance of the Belfast Lough ensured an active trade.