A Frugal Trip to Northern Ireland.
I hadn't been to Northern Ireland since 2009, when we went for the day to explore Belfast, enabling me to tick off 'Visit Ireland' from my list of 'things to do' for that year.
This trip took care of items 8 and 9 out of a possible 10 on my current list, so I have now moved number 10 to a new list and made it number 1 - you know, on accounts of my still being here and actually managing to achieve it? I need a new list so there are other things to move on to during and after the final quest from my previous list - in search of Aurora Borealis.
Northern Ireland is quite convenient for those of us living here in the sometimes forgotten southwest corner of Scotland. We're now 26 miles from the ferry port, since they closed down Stranraer and moved all operations to Cairnryan. This is a blog post about fulfilling an ambition on a small budget.
Trip to Northern Ireland's Antrim Coast
Fuel to and from port - £8.70
Secure parking for the day - £5
Return coach and ferry tickets - £32 x 2 = £64
Carrick-a-Rede Bridge (group) fees - 2 x £5 = £10
Giants Causeway - FREE (We didn't go in the visitor centre or use the shuttle bus service.)
Coffees on the ferry - 2 x £2.50 = £5 (Including as many free refills as you want.)
Total = £92.70 or £46.35 per person
The Giant's Causeway
|The view we had from our chosen picnic spot on the Giant's Causeway.|
Old Bushmills Distillery
Old Bushmills distillery is said to be the oldest licensed whisky distillery in the world, funded in 1608. Our day trip included a brief stop here, just long enough for a quick trip around the visitor centre shop and for some photo-taking. This hadn't been part of our original itinerary, but it was a worthwhile stop just to be able to say we've been. Needless to say, we neither imbibed nor purchased any bottles of Bushmills whiskey.
By pre-booking the day trip tickets, travelling as foot passengers and taking all our own food with us, this made for a very frugal set of life experiences and provided us with some great memories. The Giant's Causeway made me think that a trip to Staffa and a visit to Fingal's Cave might well become a feature on a future list of 'things to do' but, then again, the site of the sea-going liner sailing out of Belfast harbour made me think of cruising a little further afield, which means I would also need to renew my passport and find a willing companion with similar goals and aspirations. Hmm... I wonder, I wonder, I wonder.
I don't think we did too badly considering how much we packed into our day. 5 hours of cruising, 'Brave' playing on the big screen, free Wi-Fi on board, all the coffee we could drink, some crochet time for relaxation and a lovely bit of top-up suntan while out enjoying some of Northern Ireland's top visitor spots and we each came home with change to spare. At less than £50 per person, this has to be a trip worth making.
Until next time,
NYK in Frugaldom
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