Hmmm, been doing this Country Bagging thing for ten years, and never been to Northern Ireland. Well I had to sort out that omission. So a Ryanair flight to Derry was booked, a hire car sorted and a long weekend beckoned.
I spent most of my time around the Derry area, but I did take the Foyle ferry across to Eire and drove up to Malin head.
The Giants Causeway has to be Northern Ireland's biggest tourist draw, and even though it was late in the year, there were still plenty of tourists clambering over the rocks, and trying not to slip over. It's quite weird to think that these so regular shaped blocks are natural, and easy to see why the story of Fin MaCool trying to build a causeway to Scotland sprang up.
Another highlight of the trip was a visit to the Bushmills Distillery, but as I was driving I couldn't take advantage of the free tasting at the end of the tour - however when I got back to the Hotel I was staying in I managed to obtain a bit of the local produce!
An unexpected gem was the Mussenden Temple, a circular building on the edge of the cliff tops, with amazing views. It's shut during the winter but I was lucky enough to be there at the moment when a couple were inspecting it with a view to holding their wedding ceremony there next summer, so I managed to get in and look around with them! There's no doubt that it's a fabulous place to get married in.