Morning came early! At 3:30 a.m. I was wide awake for the day. I texted with my sisters, read news, did my Bible study… Dozed off. Woke up again, did some yoga… Packed. Scott and I grabbed coffee and explored the ruins of Carlingford Castle while mom dozed.
We had breakfast at our B&B (so delicious!) before hitting the road, heading north around Carlingford Lough and taking the scenic Mourne Coastal Route north. The Irish Sea was bright blue on the right with the Mourne Mountains looming on the left side of the road. The drive was curvy and winding but the day was beautiful and sunny with hardly any clouds in the sky.
We had a good lunch at Curran’s right off the road in Chapeltown, just past Ardglass. Scott, Moma and I all three got potato leek soup and and split sticky toffee pudding for dessert.
We backtracked toward Ardglass to hop on the B1 toward Downpatrick and A7 to Belfast. We stopped at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick and saw St. Patrick’s grave. Interestingly Armagh also claims that St. Patrick is buried there. We are saying we saw the real thing, though.
We drove up through Belfast and to the Coastal Causeway Route on the A2. It’s exactly what I imagined — dramatic cliffs, narrow roads and beautiful views of the sea. At spots you could see Scotland across the water.
One of our favorite stops was the walled garden of Glen Arm Castle. Mom loved it and so did we. We made a mental note to check out the tea room next time.
We took an extra scenic route — Torr Head drive. Really scary, really stunning. I might have climbed a fence to go pet the baby lambs. They might have run from me. I guess you can take the girl out of the country…
The three of us made our way over to Bushmills and arrived at Causeway Smithy B&B at nearly 7 p.m. It’s sweet and way off the beaten path. Our family has an annexed section with two en suite rooms and a lounge. It’s clean and neat and the innkeeper, Denise, is very nice.
She suggested we grab a bite of dinner at the Bayview Hotel. We had a delish dinner and watched the sun set from our table overlooking the water.
Good night, Ireland!