during a storm in 1639, carrying with it seven cooks and the royal kitchens.
The desolate stone remains conjure visions that would stir a novelist or songwriter to create a poignant work. In fact, the castle and causeway were featured on the cover of Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy album and served as the set for a 2001 skirmish featuring martial arts movie star Jackie Chan.
Another few bends in the road brought us to the 18th-century Mussenden Temple just outside Castlerock. Perched precariously on another cliff edge, thanks to relentless coastal erosion, this round tower sits at the end of the former estate of the eccentric Fourth Earl of Bristol (who was also Bishop of Derry). Although Mussenden Temple was supposedly built as his library, some claim it was used as a boudoir for his mistress.
From the temple, the Causeway Coastal Route heads to its end in Londonderry. The only remaining completely intact walled city in Ireland, Derry is one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe. Built in the 17th century, the walls stood as defenses. Today, they form a walkway around the inner town, making for a unique promenade.
As on the best of travels abroad, my visit to Northern Ireland was much too short--her landcapes so beautiful and her people so friendly I wished I had had more time to idle along the Antrim Coast. This is indeed a land of a hundred thousand welcomes. Rent a car and set out from Belfast on your own automotive adventure and you will discover the same.