The day begins when we pick you up at Belfast City Hall, or your hotel if it’s in Belfast city centre. Your driver and guide are both local, experienced and great characters too. They’ll welcome you onboard the luxury mini coach and take care of you throughout the tour.
You’ll travel along the coast from Belfast to imposing Carrickfergus Castle sitting on a huge rocky promontory at the edge of the walled town of Carrickfergus (call it ‘Carrick’ and you’ll be talking just like the locals!). To enter this 800-year-old stronghold, you have to pass under a terrifying portcullis hanging overhead, but once inside, a friendly and talented tour guide will bring the castle’s history to life.
Only 10-15 minutes away is the late-Victorian seaside resort of Whitehead, where you’ll make tracks for the award-winning Whitehead Railway Museum. Here you’ll enjoy a private tour, explore five fascinating galleries, step on board historic carriages and see restoration work happening live.
After lunch, you’ll blow away the cobwebs with a walk along the Gobbins Cliff Path at Islandmagee. Built in the Edwardian era and now restored, the walkway includes tubular tunnels and suspension bridges floating just above the sea, and it passes hidden caves and secret passageways once used by smugglers and privateers. And don’t forget to keep your eyes open for dolphins swimming off the rocky coastline!
A day spent off the beaten track, the Thieves and Steel Tour is fascinating and exhilarating in equal measure.