Beyond the Causeway
Posted on January 19, 2012 @ 9:17 AM in
48 hours in the North Coast and Glens of Antrim
When people talk about the highlights of Northern Ireland's North Coast, the Giant's Causeway UNESCO World Heritage site is often top of the list, closely followed by Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge and the Bushmills Whiskey Distillery. However 'Beyond the Causeway' there lies breathtaking landscapes and spectacular walking routes just waiting to be explored!
With stunning cliff top paths and deep, magical glens, this region still remains largely untouched despite boasting some of Northern Ireland's most famous tourist attractions. This 48 hour itinerary showcases some fantastic walking opportunities, great lunch spots and places to visit, satisfying those post-walk indulgences. Click here for a full list of quality walks in The North Coast and Glens of Antrim.
- Friday Night: The Ramore Wine Bar is renowned for its great food and lively atmosphere. A favourite of Darren Clarke, Portrush’s adopted son, this wine bar by the harbour in Portrush is a great place to settle in and sample the relaxed way of life on the North Coast. Visit the Ramore Wine Bar Website.
Saturday: Any trip to the North Coast of Northern Ireland should start with a visit to the geological spectacle of the Giant’s Causeway. Here, you can learn about the natural history of this unique area and indeed hear of the myths and legends which this landscape has inspired for hundreds of years.
However, after you have satisfied your explorations of the Causeway and decided on your own theory of how it all came to be, head East towards Benbane Head and enjoy the stunning coastline, hidden bays and rocky outcrops that await you just minutes from the visitor’s centre. This 5 mile cliff top walk boasts idyllic views out to Scotland’s Mull of Kintyre and the Hebridean islands of Islay and Jura with unique opportunities to get up close and personal with fulmars, jackdaws and black guillemots which nest in the sea cliffs of the Causeway Coast.
You will pass Port na Spanaigh, the wreck site of the Girona, one of the ships of the ill-fated Spanish Armada which foundered here in 1588 as well as an old fisherman’s cottage lying in the secluded Port Moon Bay which is currently being converted as basic accommodation for sea kayakers on the North Coast Sea Kayak Trail.
As you approach Dunseverick Castle, the cliffs gradually fall in height and you will finish your walk looking out over open farmland. The Causeway Rambler Bus Service picks up walkers at Dunseverick Castle and brings them back to the Giant’s Causeway throughout the summer months. Click here to read the full route description for the North Antrim Cliff Top Path.
Don’t just take our word for it…
‘The nicest walk/hike I've ever taken. Breathtaking. Dunseverick castle magnificent”. Posted on WalkNI.com by Catherine McConaghy on February 12, 2010
- Great Spot for Lunch: The Ballintoy Harbour Café must be one of the most idyllic café locations in Northern Ireland. This is a must for a quick snack or a hot drink when out walking along this coastline. Contact Mary McCullagh on 028 2076 3632 to enquire about opening hours and menu etc.
- Splash Out for Dinner: The Bushmills Inn is famous for their fresh local produce with dishes crafted from traditional roots with a Bushmills twist! They have lunch, dinner and Sunday carvery menus all available on the Bushmills Inn Website.
Sunday: Explore ancient woodlands and beautiful waterfalls on this 6 mile circular walk through the magical Glens of Antrim and discover why Glenariff enjoys the title ‘Queen of the Glens’. The Scenic Trail through Glenariff Forest Park, includes some steep sections, especially descending down the Inver River Gorge, however walkers are rewarded with stunning views of the Ess-na-Crub Waterfall with upper sections of the walk boasting jaw dropping vistas out to the Mull of Kintyre.
Many enjoy walking through Glenariff when the bluebells are blooming in the Spring or when the hills come alive with yellow gorse and red fuchsias later in the summer. However, in truth, the Scenic Trail through Glenariff offers pleasant walking through beautiful backdrops all year round. Click here to read the full route description for Glenariff Forest Park Scenic Trail.
Don’t just take our word for it…
‘Walked this trail at the start of November with a group of friends - what a fantastic walk… Surely one of the top forest walks in the Province’ Posted on WalkNI.com by Mark on January 8, 2009