Dark Hedges – Dunluce Castle – Mussenden Temple
This day was a busy day! First stop- The Dark Hedges.
What a unique experience! The Dark Hedges are one of the most photographed places in Northern Ireland. This spot has been used as a filming location for Game of Thrones. All of you GOT fans should add this to your list of places to see. Of course you don’t have to be a fan of the show to enjoy the natural beauty of the beech trees.
Parking is located at The Hedges Hotel. It cost £2 to park the car. The fee included access to the hotel bathroom and the restaurant. It was a short five minute walk from the hotel to the Dark Hedges. There were a lot of people around. Once again we were trying to find a place that had the least amount of people in our photos. It’s probably better to get there as early as possible to avoid the crowds of people, or maybe later in the evening.
The castle is located on the Antrim Coast. I really enjoyed this visit because there is an amazing view of the ocean as you are exploring the castle ruins. Make sure to give yourself time to walk around the castle, especially if you want to read about the history and take pictures. Parking is free, but there is an entrance fee to walk around the Castle. It cost £5.50 per adult. You can pick up a pamphlet at the entrance and use this to guide you through the rooms that were once within the castle and a little history as well. There is a separate building right by the entrance where you can find bathrooms and the visitor center. Inside there is a video that shows what the castle looked like.
Make sure to walk over to the North-east Tower. You can walk up the steps but be careful… low ceiling alert! It happened… I bumped my head.
Jason and I had fun taking photos here. There is a little cafe and gift shop right outside of the castle. You can’t miss it!
Our next stop was Mussenden Temple. Before I even start talking about that, I wanted to suggest a restaurant that we went to that was on the way. Harry’s Shack! It was a recommendation we found online. I saved it on google maps in case we were in the area…and woohoo, we were! Suggestion: order the Fish & Chips
Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne
This was another unique experience in my opinion. I mean how often do you see a temple sitting on a cliff with the view of the ocean.
There was a fee of course… it was £6.85 per adult. I thought it was a little pricey to charge per person instead of per vehicle. We parked at the Lions Gate entrance. I did read online that there is free parking if you park down the road at Bishops Gate. I suggest parking there first.
Prepare to do a lot of walking if you want to see the whole property. We Started at the Lion’s Gate entrance and followed a path to the Downhill House. The Downhill House was built by Frederick Hervey, (or the Earl Bishop) in the 18th century. He was known to be an eccentric man who would travel and collect art pieces to fill his mansion (Downhill House). The home now lies in ruins.
Once we were done exploring the Downhill House, we walked over to the Mussenden Temple. This was known to be Earl Bishop’s Library. A library with a view….
There were other gardens and buildings that we didn’t see in person. After a very long day, we decided to end our trip a little early.