To save you from having to read paragraphs of my floofy adjectives, I've decided to tell about this leg of the trip mainly in pictures. Hover over the images to read the captions...
Originally planted to line the driveway to the mansion of the Stuart family in the 1800s. It is said to be haunted by a certain ghost named Lady Grey, though, as it was broad daylight, we were not able to confirm this myth. Today the Hedges have earned their claim to fame through their natural beauty, as well as the scenes featuring them in the Game Of Thrones TV show.
A piece of the North Irish Coastline from where you can see Fair Head, Rathlin Island, and, if you look very closely, Scotland.
This piece of coastline is made of cliffs as well as unusual geological formations. Large hexagonal blocks of basalt rise out of the ground and for most of the beach, giving this landscape its unique appearance.
There, we got to enjoy delicious warm soup, followed by tea and the most amazing scones I've ever had. After enjoying lunch, we wandered around the castle ruins. One of our tour guides, Peter, told us about a cave that leads under the castle and to the ocean, and so we explored down that way. Sitting in the cave with only the sound of the waves was amazing- I felt like I could hear the ocean breathing.
The (now ruined) castle itself was built in the 13th century by the 2nd Earl of Ulster, Richard Og de Burgh. In 1513, it was bough over by the McQuillians, lords of the Route, who added on to the original medieval castle. Over the years, the castle passed from owner to owner, until, one day, a part of the cliff actually fell into the ocean, and the owners decided it was no longer a good idea to live there. The castle, deserted in 1690 fell to ruin over time.
Like the Dark Hedges, Dunluce Castle is said to be haunted. Rather than a Grey Lady though, a woman in a white dress is said to haunt this part of the coastline, along with the spirits of the kitchen servants who fell to their death when that part of the castle collapsed. As much as I don't believe in ghosts, all of these stories are very fun. For the more in-depth versions of the ghosts stories from both he Dark Hedges and the Dunluce Castle, you can look at this website.