During my weekend break to Derry,
I was keen to get out of the city and see some of Northern Ireland’s stunning coastline.
When I travel , I always like to try and use and promote local businesses so when I came across Causeway Campers and their cute VW vans,
I knew it was the perfect way to travel. Amazingly they agreed to take me out for a Sunday morning drive before I had to head home back to London to show me what all the fuss was about.
Top of my agenda for the day was clambering over the stones of the Giants Causeway. As its is less than an hour away from Derry, it would have been rude not to swing by, and tick off a World Heritage Site, off the bucket list. So bright and early, Sunday morning we hit the road.
First stop, along the way was the beaches, of White Rock. Recently awarded the prestigious Blue Flag Award in 2014, Whiterocks Beach, is a favourite year round beach , and popular with water sports enthusiasts. I even managed to spot a few surfers, braving the icy November waters. .
We then headed further along the route to check out Mussenden Temple. Built in 1785, it forms part of the estate of Frederick Augustus Hervey, Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol. It was built as a summer library, and its architecture was inspired by the Temple of Vesta, in Tivoli Italy.
Until recently, the Temple was in danger of being lost to the sea, due to the erosion of the cliffs below. But in 1997, The National Trust, carried out cliff stabilisation work, to protect the Temple.
After a busy morning , it was definitely time to pull over for a cuppa. Whilst admired from afar for years, this was the first time I’d actually been a VWcamper. Climbing into the back, it’s pretty amazing what can be fitted into a relatively small space. The van sleeps 4 , with a stove, fridge and a dinky grill, so that’s your cooking needs covered. Then push back the seats, and voila you’ve got a table with a sea view.
Then it was time to head on up to the Giants Causeway. The National Trust acquired the Giant’s Causeway in 1961, after years of being behind locked gates under private ownership. Then in 1962 The Causeway was opened to the public.
In 1986, the Giant’s Causeway was named as a World Heritage Site, and then in 1989, the area around the Giant’s Causeway was recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for its “particularly distinctive character, remarkable natural beauty and high ecological, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Due to time pressures I was unable to check out The Giant’s Causeway Visitor Experience which cost a staggering £18.5 million. Though its good to note , that to go on the causeway is actually free , so if your pushed for time you can skip the centre and see the stones for free.
A big thanks goes to Causeway Campers, who gave me a great taster, of the Causeway Coastal Route. I’ll certainly be back in the new year to complete the route. In the meanwhile, if your thinking of touring Ireland please take a minute , to check out their site at http://causewaycampers.com, they are a local family firm and are a fountain of local knowledge, and I’m sure would appreciate your business.