Wednesday, 16 December 2015

A 'Wee'kend with the Irish: Rathlin Island and Titanic Belfast

At the beginning of summer, my boyfriend and I went to go visit some of our friends who lived in Northern Ireland. Here's a brief reminiscence of the trip.

Hundreds of birds nesting on the cliffs at Rathlin Island

This was my first ever visit to Ireland and despite it being July, the temperature difference between Belfast and London was still rather significant for me!

Most visitors would hit up the Giant's Causeway for their visit, but our friends had made different plans!


Rathlin Island


This L shaped island just off the coast is the only inhabited island around Northern Ireland with 135 people inhabiting the small 6 mile island. 

A rough ferry ride across from Ballycastle and a few queasy tummies later we caught the Puffin across the island to the RSPB West Light Seabird Centre

The charismatic bus driver entertained us with tales of the myths surrounding the strategically located island including the tale of Robert Bruce, the Scottish King who took refuge on Rathlin when he was driven out by Edward I of England. 

The main village centre on Rathlin

At the West Light House nesting among the cliffs were hundreds of puffins, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes (if you can handle the smell!). You can also see Scotland in the distance and we even caught a glimpse of a couple of seals along the bay.

If you're looking for places to eat there isn't that much choice; the single pub on the island or the local chippy. Still the island is cool place to explore and if the weather is sunny I imagine cycling across the Rathlin would be rather pleasant!

A couple of cheeky seals popping up to say hi!

To find out more about Rathlin to check out the ferry timetable, see here


Titanic Belfast


If you didn't know, the infamous 'unsinkable' ship was manufactured in Belfast and the shipyard were this took place now houses a quirky looking exhibition centre with a Titanic museum. 

Being a bit of Titanic fanatic when I was younger (me and my brother know pretty much all the lines of the film), I was very excited about going. I think you could spend a good few hours wandering around the museum which transverses the entire history of the ship; from the life of the people who built it (there's a cool ride at this point), to a simulation of what a cabin looked like, to how they discovered the wreck on the floor of the Atlantic. 

Did you know there were 8,000 cigars on the Titanic?

This fact seemed to be repeated several times throughout the exhibit. 

The centre also houses guest exhibitions - at the time this was about Robots in films. Plenty of photo opportunities with R2D2 and Robocop!

Great photo opportunity!


To see what else is going on, see the Titanic Belfast website

Also, if you're in Belfast city centre and looking for a good place to have dinner, check out the Ivory restaurant at the top of House of Fraser for some yummy cocktails and filling food! 


It was great weekend, almost like going abroad for a break (even the Sterling notes are different), despite a few hiccups with delayed flights! 


Have you been to Rathlin Island or Titanic Belfast? Let me know in the comments below!

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