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A Weekend In Northern Ireland

Taking up running as a hobby has added so much value to my life, not just by getting fit but by also making the best of friends. We often have the odd weekend away just like last weekend. It all started when we saw a photo on facebook of Portrush parkrun and decided we HAD to do it. 

So before I knew it the flights were booked and accommodation sorted and we were off to Northern Ireland.

Getting to Belfast was direst from Newcastle was easy, we were up in the air for around half an hour. We hired a car and made our way to the supermarket for essentials. Such as wine, gin and milk. 

We stayed at the homely Ashlea cottages just outside the centre of Portrush which has the most amazing cafe attached called Dora's. Any trip to Portrush would not be complete without a trip to Dora's. 

Portrush parkrun

As Northern Ireland parkrun starts at 09:30, it meant we had plenty of time to make our way down to the start.

The welcome was amazing, Portrush parkrun takes place on the beach and is the only parkrun in the world that is soley on the sand. Which meant a lot of locals ran bare foot! This absolutely fascinated me. A few of our group ran without their trainers and I don't think that decision went down well. I'm glad I kept mine on! Running along the beach for the first mile and a half with the wind on our back felt incredible I managed to run in 27:42. Portrush might now be my favourite parkrun EVER. 

There was so many cake, biscuits and hot hats available post run, I’ve never been to a parkrun that was so calorific and it was honestly the best.

We headed back to our home for the weekend for a good old fry up for breakfast to set us up for the day.  

Giant’s Causeway 

We still had all Saturday afternoon to explore the beautiful coast so once we’d showered and changed it was back out on the road to visit Giant’s Causeway.

Part of the National trust, it is free to visit just means you don’t get your audio guide £11 if you're not a member. 

Legend has it that the Causeway was built by a giants, a Scottish giant made his way over to Northern Ireland to challenge him. When the Irish giant realised the Scot was much bigger than him, he posed as a baby. So when the Scottish giant saw the size of the baby he ran back to Scotland smashing up the landscape as he went.

I have to say he left behind a beautiful mess.    


Famous for it's rope bridge that was opened in 1775, there was a short but beautiful walk to the cliffs where the rope is suspended which links the main land to a tiny island with one house on that was for a fisherman. 

The bridge was opened for salmon fishermen to get the island which is where the 'good' salmon were. The rope bridge spans 66 ft and is 100 ft above the sea and rocks below. 

It is owned by the national trust (we were getting the most out of our membership on Saturday) but costs around £8. 

Walking over the bridge was pretty cool. But don't look down if you're afraid of heights! 

Bus Tour Around Belfast   

On Sunday we left the beautiful area of Portrush and made our way into the city of course there was a Northern Irish fry up before we set off along the coastal road to the capital of Norther Ireland, Belfast! 

Now I'll be honest, I slept the whole way and missed the journey. But I've been reassured it was stunning. 

Arriving in sunny Belfast I was in aw, a new city to explore and the best way to see any city is via a bus tour. 

Part of our group piled into the open top bus while the rest stayed at the pub! It was amazing to see, Titanic museum, over to Stormont (the parliament buildings), taking you past the international wall murals and back to York street. 

It was the perfect way to end such a fabulous weekend. Getting back home was just as easy to getting there. The late night flight got us back into Newcastle just after 10pm and I was tucked up in my bed just after midnight ready for the week ahead. 

I honestly loved my weekend in Northern Ireland and to be honest I didn't know how stunning the country was. I want to go back and explore more, but next time I'd like to take our car. I have to go back as I didn't get my thimble! 

Thank you so much to my friends for the weekend. I had the best time. 

A Weekend In Northern Ireland 

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