We just returned from our 11 day trip to Ireland, and it was exceptional! First off, we didn't have rain during daylight hours at all! How lucky was that?
We arrived in Dublin and drove to Monasterboice and then through the Mourne Mountains to Newcastle. What a beautiful drive! On to Belfast where after checking in at Jury's, we went to the Crowne for a pint before meeting Bobby Walsh for a fascinating taxi tour of the murals. Not only was he very informative--he was incredibly personable, humorous, and was able to make the history of the Troubles come alive. His knowledge not only of Irish history, but of current events made for a fascinating afternoon. He encouraged questions and created a rapport that felt like spending time with a (very knowledgeable) friend. At his suggestion on TA, we had him drop us off at Mourne Seafood (wonderful!) for dinner at the end of the tour. The tour was the highlight of our time in Belfast. We highly recommend it.
After Belfast, we drove to Bushmills by way of the coastline from Larne. The Torr Head drive is fantastic. We stopped at Torr Head and hiked to the top, then headed to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and hiked out to the island. Gorgeous! (And the bridge was not all that scary, imho.) By the end of the day, our Florida legs were exhausted by the hills & steps, but we never had a more glorious day. The entire coastline is one "wow moment" after another. The next day we toured the Giant's Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and Mussenden Temple & Downhill Demesne -- all fascinating, but the highlight of our coastal experience was definitely the coastal drive.
The rest of our time was in County Donegal (beautiful!), Connemara (a favorite), & Kilkenny (charming), but as that part of the trip wasn't in NI, I won't expand on it. Just wanted to sing the praises of Bobby's taxi tour and the coastal route. Can't wait to go back!