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The 2024 Bucket List Road Trip: 4 Weeks Exploring Ireland (Full Route + Itinerary)

The 2024 Bucket List Road Trip: 4 Weeks Exploring Ireland (Full Route + Itinerary)

Day 23 (Antrim and Down) – A cliff walk, a historic prison and more

Day 23 of our Ireland road trip sees us finish up on the Causeway Coast and move down into Belfast.

We’ve a handful of stops left on the coast before we dive into the best of what Belfast has to offer.

1 – The Gobbins Cliff Path Walk

// Your B&B to the Gobbins – 1 hour and 10-minute drive (arrive for 10:00) //

The drive that’ll take you to the Gobbins is one that you need to savour.

You’ll pass through picturesque little villages and drive alongside towering cliffs. Stop the car when you feel like it and explore at will.

We’re heading for an incredibly unique coastal experience – the Gobbins Cliff Path Walk.

Originally aimed at Edwardian ‘thrill-seekers’, the Gobbins Cliff Path allows you to experience one of Ireland’s most dramatic coastlines up close and personal.

The perfect spot to stretch the legs and get a lung full of that fresh coastal air.

2 – The Crumlin Road Gaol

// The Gobbins to the Gaol – 35-minute drive (arrive for 12:00) //

crumlin road goal in belfast

Photo via Crumlin Road Gaol

The Crumlin Road Gaol, the second prison that we’ll visit on this Ireland road trip, dates back to 1845.

It officially closed its doors as a working prison in 1996 and is now a popular tourist attraction.

Opt for the guided tour of the prison which is led by a qualified tour guide who’ll take you through the history of the gaol.

The story begins at a time when women and children were held within its walls, through to the political segregation of republican and loyalist prisoners and ultimately its closure.

This is well worth adding to your itinerary.

3 – Lunch

// The Gaol to the Ginger Bistro – 5-minute drive (arrive for 14:30) //

We’re going to fuel up for the afternoon and evening in the Ginger Bistro in Belfast.

Get in, get fed and chill for a little while.

We’ve a nice busy afternoon exploring Belfast ahead.

4 – A Black Cab Tour

// Finish up lunch around 15:30 and head off on a Black Cab tour (you need to book this in advance and arrange a location for collection) //

belfast black cab tours

A black cab in action: By Tony Pleavin

You can’t visit Belfast without taking a Black Cab tour.

The great thing about many of the operators that provide the Black Cab Tours is that you can choose exactly what you want to see.

For this trip, we’re going to recommend a tour of the political murals.

The murals on the Falls and Shankill roads tell a graphic story of a time known as “The Troubles”.

I haven’t done one of these tours in a long, long time but, going by the great reviews online, Paddy Campbell’s Belfast Famous Black Cab Tours are well worth going with.

Jump in the cab, get comfy, and let your guide take you through the city’s turbulent history.

5 – Food and Drinks

// When your cab tour finishes, head to wherever you’re staying and check-in //

If I was planning this trip now, for myself, I’d stay at the Holiday Inn as it’s reasonably cheap and it’s super central.

After you’ve chilled for a while, head to Holohan’s Pantry for a bite to eat.

the crown liquer saloon

Photo via Visit Belfast

From here, we’re going to head to a traditional pub with a tonne of character – the Crown Liquor Saloon.

Once known as one of the mightiest Victorian gin palaces, the pub dates back to 1826, and has played host to many a great night over the years.

Enjoy your evening. We’ll get a bit of a lie-in in the morning.

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Leeann Nolan

Wednesday 15th of November 2023

Hi Keith Thank you so much for all the work you have done on The Irish Road Trip. I have used much of it to plan my 7 week trip to Ireland in 2024. It has been invaluable :)

Mick Bourke

Sunday 24th of September 2023

G’day Keith-thanks for your trip. My wife and I will be over there in late April and most of May (about a month in total before heading to Scotland for a couple of weeks). I think I’ll be using your trip (which is great (as also is the additional info at the bottom)) as the basis for ours, however, I would like to do abit more of the inland (like a figure eight of the island). Do you have any suggestions?

Keith O'Hara

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Hey Mick,

Is there anywhere in particular you have in mind with the inland section?



MIchael Katekar

Tuesday 11th of July 2023

A big thank you for all of the time and hard work you have put into this blog. Great information. I don't think we can keep up with your pace but will certainly take up many of your suggestions.

Isabella Dennison

Sunday 26th of March 2023

Good day Keith,

Wow, what an amazing work you've done! I'm forever grateful!!! Please can you email this to me. We are planning to explore Ireland for the first time this year 2023, all the way from South Africa.

Thank you

Keith O'Hara

Monday 27th of March 2023

Thanks Isabell!

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply!

I've tried to get this converted to PDF on a number of occasions, but the result is very messy due to the volume of photos in it.

If there's any specific questions that I can help with, please fire them on and I'll do my best to answer them.


Jodie Wilson

Sunday 26th of March 2023

First retirement trip. Ireland for a month! Go big or go home. So excited to start this new chapter in our lives - and to hit the roads of Ireland. This guide is perfect - but I’d love a more readable copy if you could email it to me.

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