A day trip with Wild Rover Tours
In July I returned to Dublin, Ireland and one of my all-time favourite hostels, Generator Dublin. I was thrilled to be invited to take a day tour with Wild Rover Tours, courtesy of the hostel. This was only my second visit to Dublin and Ireland, so I was really excited at the prospect of seeing more of the country (I do love a road trip!) and also the chance to squeeze in a trip to Northern Ireland too; another place I had never been!
The Giant’s Causeway, Belfast and Carrick-a-Rede
My friend and I joined Wild Rover Tours’ one-day tour to the Giant’s Causeway, Belfast and Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge. We were collected bright and early from Generator Dublin by Shaun (our driver) and Jennifer (our guide) along with a coach full of others. The group were diverse; families, couples, friends and solo travellers. There was also a range of walking abilities amongst the group and the tour seemed to cater well for everyone.
Jennifer provided us with a clear itinerary for the day including times, so we knew what to expect. It took approximately two and a half hours to drive to Belfast from Dublin, including a stop for drinks, snacks and lunch, if we wanted. The border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is relaxed so passports are not required. We were informed that we might wish to take some GBP with us although most managed fine with Euros.
Jennifer is incredibly knowledgeable and whilst we were on the road provided us with stories and the history and politics of places that we drove through and visited. We also got to listen to Irish music on the bus which added to the fun and the overall experience.
Before arriving in Belfast we had to decide whether we wanted to do the Titanic Experience or the black taxi tour; I chose the taxi tour and my friend chose the Titanic Experience. Neither of us were disappointed. We had 90 minutes in Belfast to do our chosen option and the taxi tour with Paul from West Belfast Mural – private tours was absolutely fantastic! The tour was fascinating, emotional and eye-opening. I thought I knew plenty about the conflict in Northern Ireland, but I learnt so much more. Having a tour operated by someone who has grown up in the area really provides a personal experience and a unique insight.
Dunluce Castle and the Giant’s Causeway
On leaving Belfast we headed towards the Giant’s Causeway which took under two hours including a stop at a viewpoint to admire and photograph Dunluce Castle. For those of you who are Game of Thrones fans, you will certainly recognise this place!
At the Giant’s Causeway we had some free time (over 90 minutes) to choose to have lunch and walk the trails. There’s also a cheap bus service (accepting pounds and Euros) which takes visitors back to the starting point. The Causeway itself is stunning and definitely worthy of another visit; I could easily spend a day there, but for now, I’m satisfied at having had the opportunity to see it on a beautiful day, take photographs and do a short walk along one of the defined trails.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Before returning to Dublin we stopped at Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge for about an hour. There’s quite a walk to the rope bridge, approximately 20-25 minutes, but it is absolutely worth it if you are able. Most of the group managed no problem, just a minority with some mobility issues decided not to walk the whole way.
The rope bridge is only short but it’s still fun and the views from there are fantastic, so it is definitely worth a visit. We left Carrick-a-Rede about 5pm and arrived back in Dublin for around 8.30pm, stopping for a rest break on the way and a quick bite to eat.
Jennifer continued to provide extra tips on things to see and do in and around Dublin, which was really helpful and much appreciated. I just wish I had more time in Dublin, to take advantage of all Jennifer’s advice!
The bottom line
Although I did not pay for this tour, I certainly feel it is great value at 60 Euros because of the range of activities included, the duration of the tour and distance covered, the lovely comfortable luxury coach, and fantastic, knowledgeable guide.
I usually prefer smaller group tours, however I do love a road trip and this was a lot of fun! It was clear from the itinerary that this was going to be a long day with lots to see and do, and that is right up my street. I spend a lot of time road tripping in the USA so I’m used to long days on the road. For me, it’s as much about the journey as the destination. I also really enjoy group tours and meeting new people, which for me adds to the experience.
This was definitely the highlight of my short trip to Ireland, we were lucky and had fantastic weather, met some lovely people on the tour and the tour itself exceeded my expectations.
What do you think? Have you travelled with Wild Rover Tours or visited any of the places in this itinerary? Let me know in the comments, below.
Disclaimer: This day tour was hosted courtesy of Generator Dublin and Wild Rover Tours. I have not been asked to write this review but had a brilliant time and would like to thank my sponsors. For further information please visit my Ethics page.