Port of the beach settlement
Portballintrae, where we are staying, was once a small fishing village and a few of the original whitewashed fishermen's cottages remain. However, although it still has a harbour and some fishing takes place, it is now a popular seaside resort with many houses and apartments. It is still quite understated though and does not have all the trappings of a big resort (you need to go to Portrush for those - in abundance!).
This is one of two sandy beaches - Bushfoot Strand. This is the Causeway Coast and the next bay, just where there are some white houses, is the Giant's Causeway. The Causeway Coastal Path goes along here and there were a number of people wandering along this beautiful path to and from the Causeway.
Just above the Bushfoot Strand is an important ancient monument - Lissanduff. A short climb up from the cliff top brings you to impressive earthworks - a pair of large concentric ring forts, known locally as the 'Cups and Saucers' for obvious reasons. The one I have tried to photograph (in Extras) is the larger one and has two high banks. The other one is similar, although more pear-shaped and has a spring in the centre. It was obviously designed to hold water and would have probably made a sacred pool. Not much excavation work has been done here, but it is thought that the earthworks date from the Bronze Age and are the remains of houses and fortifications of very early Irish settlers. The second Extra gives an aerial view of Lissanduff - (yes in the 19th century a house was built in the middle of it and there still is a house there).
The Portballintrae name came from the Irish - Port Bhall an Trá - port of the beach settlement.