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County Antrim Sightseeing – Attractions in Ireland

County Antrim Sightseeing

County Antrim Sightseeing

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Causeway Coast

The Causeway Coastal Road is listed among the world’s Top Five Road Trips and the route include some of the top attractions in Ireland. Starting your journey in Belfast follow the coastal road taking in the nine Glens of Antrim, the Giants Causeway, Rathlin Island and several idyllic villages. With dramatic backdrops, an ever changing display of colour and an abundance of enchanting scenery the Causeway Coastal route is undoubtedly a memorable experience.

Rathlin Island is an island off the coast of County Antrim in Northern Ireland, and is the northernmost point of the region. Six miles from the mainland, Rathlin is the only inhabited offshore island in Northern Ireland, and is the most northerly inhabited island off the Irish coast. The L-shaped island is only 15 miles from the Mull of Kintyre and is one of Northern Ireland's Special Areas of Conservation due to it's large bird's colony.

Giants Causeway

No visit to Antrim or indeed to Northern Ireland would be complete without a trip to one of the greatest attractions in Ireland, the natural phenomenon that is the Giants Causeway. Legend has it the massive clutter of basalt columns were formed when Ireland’s Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool) was challenged to a fight by a Scottish giant, Fionn built the causeway so the 2 warriors could meet and do battle. The reality is just as dramatic, the Giants Causeway’s formation was set in motion 60 million years ago by volcanic activity as eruptions of molten lava bubbled up from the ground resulting in the estimated 40,000 columns on the Causeway today working their way from the cliffs down to the sea . Be inspired by geological wonder that is the Giants Causeway and its surrounding beautiful North Antrim Coast.

The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea.The tallest are about 12 metres (36 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 metres thick in places. It is located on the north-east coast of Northern Ireland, about 3 kilometres (2 miles) north of the town of Bushmills. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.

Glenariff Forest Park

In the heart of the Glens of Antrim lies Glenariff Forest Park. Home to some of the most striking scenery in Antrim Glenariff Forest Park has paths offering a choice of exhilarating walks that lead to mountain view points and run through meadows, woodlands and alongside gorges and waterfalls.

Glenariff Waterfall Walk

Glens Of Antrim

The Glens of Antrim are nine beautiful valleys along the Antrim Coast. The nine Glens are made up of Glenaan Glenariff, Glenarm, Glenballyemon, Glencloy, Glencorp, Glendun, Glenshesk and Glentaisie. To explore the Glens use one of the quaint villages along the road as a starting point. Glenariff which has been made into a forest park is the best Glen to visit for the casual walker.

The Glens of Antrim is a region of County Antrim comprising nine glens, or valleys, that radiate from the Antrim Plateau to the coast. The inhabitants of the several glens are descended primarily from native Irish and Hebridean Scots. The Glens are an area of outstanding natural beauty and are a major tourist attraction in north Antrim. Principal towns in the Glens are Ballycastle, Cushendun, Cushendall, Waterfoot and Carnlough.
The nine glens from northernmost to southernmost are:Glentaisie, Glenshesk, Glendun, Glencorp, Glenaan, Glenballyeamon, Glenariff, Glencloy, Glenarm

Old Bushmills Distillery

 The small village of Bushmills prides itself on being home to the world’s oldest distillery. Tour the distillery and hear about the production, classification and storage of the whiskeys and see the process for yourself. The tour will fascinate even those not all that curious about whiskey making. At the end everyone can enjoy the grand finale – a whiskey sampling session.

Bushmills Distillery

Rathlin Island

Six miles off Ballycastle (approx 50 minute boat ride) lies Rathlin Island, 7 miles in length Rathlin is rugged, wild and windswept even on a sunny day and with a thrilling backdrop and impressive lighthouses Rathlin Island is a tranquil beauty. Isolated and serene Rathlin has a flourishing bird population including puffins and it is also popular for scuba diving

Rathlin Island is an island off the coast of County Antrim in Northern Ireland, and is the northernmost point of the region. Six miles from the mainland, Rathlin is the only inhabited offshore island in Northern Ireland, and is the most northerly inhabited island off the Irish coast. The L-shaped island is only 15 miles from the Mull of Kintyre and is one of Northern Ireland's Special Areas of Conservation due to it's large bird's colony.

Antrim Town

Located in the Northeast of Northern Ireland, on the banks of the Six Mile Water, Antrim town is steeped in history. Antrim has many places of interest including round towers and churches and visitors can follow a heritage trail through the town.

ANTRIM TOWN

Ballycastle

Ballycastle meaning “town of the castle” is a small seaside town with a long sandy beach, charming harbour and many activities on offer including camping, angling and golf. From Ballycastle visitors can take the ferry to Rathlin Island and a ferry also links Ballycastle to Scotland which is just 12 miles off the Antrim Coast.

Ballycastle Situated on the spectacular North Antrim coast, Ballycastle is a traditional friendly seaside town, which is an excellent base to explore such well known local attractions as the Giant's Causeway, Glens of Antrim and Rathlin.

Belfast City

The capital of Northern Ireland and voted one of the words top destinations for 2012 Belfast City and its surrounding areas have plenty to offer visitors. Sightseers can visit Belfast City Hall, Grand Opera House, Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens and the Titanic Quarter so named as the ill-fated RMS Titanic was built here in Belfast’s docklands. Titanic Belfast opened in 2012 to mark the centenary of the doomed maiden voyage is a visitor experience that tells the story of the Titanic through interactive exhibits and galleries. Embrace the cultural and social life with museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls and abundance of bars, restaurants and cafes and see the city come alive after dark.

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Bushmills

A small village on the north coast of Antrim and situated on the banks of the River Bush, this village is most well know as the home of Bushmills Distillery, one of the oldest whiskey distilleries in the world and still operational today.

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Cushendall

Cushendall is a charming village at the foot of the Lurigethan Mountain. Also known as The Capital of the Glens as three of the nine Glens of Antrim meet here Cushendall is a conservation area and truly scenic place with a fine beach, delightful golf course and secluded caravan and camping sites on offer.

Much of the historic character of the 19th century settlement on the north bank of the River Dall remains. Consequently, in 1973 Cushendall  was designated as only the second Conservation Area in Northern Ireland, and includes the largely intact Irish Georgian buildings of the town’s four original streets. Cushendall lies in the shadow of the table topped Lurigethan Mountain. It is known for its traditional Irish music sessions and friendly pubs. Each August, Cushendall hosts the Heart Of The Glens festival. The festival has been running since 1990.

Portrush

Home to the world renowned championship golf course Royal Portrush Dunluce, Portrush town is also a popular beach town with is very lively during the summer months with amusement arcades, waterslides and outdoor rides along the seafront.

PORTRUSH