Travelling the Antrim Coast on a Student Budget

Along the coastal route of the tip of Northern Ireland lies some of the most breathtaking and outstanding scenery in the United Kingdom. Once you have experienced the stunning and dramatic coastline, you will be forever smitten by its beauty.

In fact, according to a recent survey, The Antrim Coast road section of the Causeway Coastal route has been ranked 5th in a list of the worlds most spectacular views. The phenomenal landscape and coastline seems to change with every turn of the road and the wild, rugged scenery aims to surprise with its rich dramatic history draped in myth and legend. This is a great place to visit and it is possible to do so, on a student budget.

I stayed at White Park Bay youth hostel for just £19 a night, the warm staff make sure you settle in well and take time to chat about local activities and sites to visit. People from all over the world stay there, so it is easy to meet like minded people who might be able to tell you local tips.

The hostel is set on a cliff edge and holds phenomenal views, a travellers tip is to watch out for the local cows who take themselves on a stroll every evening along the beach, it’s a perfect photo opportunity and yet another great sight.

We then visited the Giants Causeway to hear of the tall tales of Finn MacCool, the mythical giant who apparently used this part of the Irish coast as a stepping stone, hence the fantastically unusual stone, step rock feature. In actual fact this phenomena is the result of quick drying volcanic lava from millions of years ago, resulting in a quite unique and wonderfully special visual experience.

This is Ireland’s top tourist attraction and is swarming with them, however, it is a magical place to visit and the surroundings are outstanding, even for those who do not care for the legends or geology. A tip is to not pay entry into the visitors centre or car park; this cost £8 per person, which would have cost my group a total of £40 when the causeway itself is free. Park in Car Park 3 for free and walk 5 minutes to the causeway.

Local pubs on route such as The Fullerton Arms in Ballycastle offer a wide range of drinks and also offer live, traditional Irish music throughout the week. Locals and tourists were clapping along to all great Irish songs and the atmosphere was charming, this place really is a gem. An Irish coffee went down extremely well after a day of walking around the causeway and I was happy to see the prices for drinks were similar to student clubs prices.

Having travelled the Antrim coast, I would recommend this to students in particular, as they too can exploit the luck of the Irish and experience this unspoilt coastline at a reasonable cost.

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