We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Giant's Causeway and Belfast - stay in Causeway area???

Which Belfast hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
London, United...
Level Contributor
7 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Giant's Causeway and Belfast - stay in Causeway area???

Hi

I am booking to take my husband to Belfast in February 2013 for his 40th Birthday. He has always wanted to visit the Giant's Causeway so this is the perfect chance to surprise him.

We will fly in on Thurs lunchtime and out again Sunday evening.

My question is would it be best for us to stay in the area surrounding the Giant's Causeway for a night i.e. Thurs night, to enjoy some time there? Maybe two nights? We could then head back to Belfast and stay for Saturday evening before flying home Sunday.

If so, should I hire a car? Can we get public transport easily? Taxi too expensive?

Where would you suggest staying? I have been recommended The Smugglers Inn but don't know how far away this is. Or Bushmills?

I need help, can you tell ha ha

Just want to make sure he has a nice time for his birthday.

Thank you :)

Belfast, United...
Destination Expert
for Belfast
Level Contributor
3,168 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Giant's Causeway and Belfast - stay in Causeway area???

Public transport is not really the easiest when it comes to the Causeway - most people drive or else take one of the organised tours from Belfast that run every day.

Whether or not you want to stay up there is really up to you though. The causeway is breathtaking, certainly, and there are some scenic places around there to visit (e.g. Bushmills or Portrush), or Derry is fairly close as well. However to entertain yourself up that direction you really need to know where you're going and have some means of getting there, i.e. hire a car and get yourself a good map.

It really does depend what you like to do though. Belfast is busy, with bars, restaurants, theatre, shopping and museums. The north coast is quiet, scenic and pretty bare bones. They're two entirely different trips really. The thought of spending 2 days in a rural area makes my city girl soul itchy, but I know plenty of people who hate cities and would much rather go for long walks through fields or along the beach instead. It's your call.

North Coast, N...
Destination Expert
for Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
5,367 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Giant's Causeway and Belfast - stay in Causeway area???

And I'm the country bumpkin (although I did live in Belfast for 4 years!) and have grown up on the north coast so I actually really like your game plan for 2 nights on the coast, 1 in Belfast!!

Smugglers Inn wouldn't be high on my list as a place to stay but it is close to the Causeway and to be honest, never having stayed there, if a friend or family member has stayed there and recommended it, why not?

Normally I would suggest:

Lime Park Cottages in Armoy (rural rather than coastal but very quaint and quirky for a romantic break)

Bayview Hotel, Portballintrae - seafront location in small sleepy coastal village. You can actually walk from here along the headland to the Causeway if you are a keen walker. Might be too quiet for you though.

Bushmills Inn - popular with American tourists and guests from work love it.

Other B&Bs I have heard good reports of include Valley View which is rural and outside Bushmills and Whitepark House.

Or Portrush and Portstewart have any number of B&Bs. I really like the look of the Links View in Portrush (but not on a Saturday night). One of the other regular DEs on the Ireland forum always stays at the Averest. I much prefer Portstewart as a town but Portrush has great restaurants and bars.

Sunday is quiet in Belfast so get a hotel with breakfast included (or easily available) to make life easy!

I would suggest you drive the Causeway Coastal route on day 1 from Belfast to your north coast accommodation. Take in a stop or two in the glens of antrim and don't miss driving Torr Head!

Visit the Causeway either early morning (9-10.30 is good) or later afternoon after the bus loads go.

Day 2 - explore Causeway area - Dunluce Castle (worth going inside for great views and to hear its history), maybe a trip to the Bushmills Distillery, a stroll along one of the many beaches e.g. White rocks beach, Whitepark bay or if in Portstewart, walk the Crescent along to the Strand beach, drive down to the likes of Portbradden, Ballintoy, Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, and if time permits head along to Mussenden Temple beyond Castlerock at Downhill.

Then Saturday - if there's anything you want to see before you leave, do so then drive the inland route to Belfast. You may want to drop off your hire car at this stage as you won't need it in the city. It's about 1.5 hour drive from the north coast to Belfast on the A26/M2 (I do it in just over an hour), Then Saturday afternoon maybe a HOHO bus tour and a drink in the Crown bar?

Sunday morning you might want to pop into St George's market and/or book into the Titanic Experience (allow 2.5 hours for this) before leaving for your flight home.

If you don't hire a car, the alternative is 3 nights in Belfast and do an organised day trip to the Causeway. But if your other half really wants to see it, then I'd stay in the area and avoid the crowds.

Edited: 24 October 2012, 20:58
Charlotte, NC
Level Contributor
768 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Giant's Causeway and Belfast - stay in Causeway area???

ponaire has covered the north coast area well---there is a lot to do there. Just wanted to add my recommendation for a super B&B in Bushmills. Cottesmore B&B

http://cottesmorebandb.com/

is within a very short walk to Bushmills Distillery and a short drive to the causeway. See TA reviews and mine specifically:

tripadvisor.com/…REVIEWS

Enjoy your trip!!

Belfast, Northern...
Level Contributor
116 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Giant's Causeway and Belfast - stay in Causeway area???

Hi I would recommend the Causeway Hotel (at the Causeway itself) you can get good deals on B & B. I have just come back from a 2 night stay this week and food, staff etc were excellent - (we have stayed many times over the years). The Hotel is a little bit more old fashioned than some but I think thats its charm (would recommend room 31 it has a sea view) it has also just in June past been taken over by the National Trust and has been completely renovated ie new bedding, curtains, carpets, and painted. Not sure about public transport though as we always have our car with us to go out and see the sights but I wouldnt imagine a car would be to dear to hire and then you could see all the sights on the north coast which there are many.

Enjoy your trip what ever you decide

Lesley

5. Re: Giant's Causeway and Belfast - stay in Causeway area???

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guideline limiting each user to a single forums screen name.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 22 November 2012, 13:04
North Coast, N...
Destination Expert
for Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
5,367 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Giant's Causeway and Belfast - stay in Causeway area???

Here is the link for the park and ride facility from Bushmills as well as information on public transport.

nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway/…

If you read other threads and also reviews you will find information on how to avoid paying the entrance fee - but obviously this is only of interest if you want to see the stones and don't want to go to the shop to buy souvenirs or have the audio guide etc.

7. Re: Giant's Causeway and Belfast - stay in Causeway area???

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12 November 2013, 10:15