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48hrs in the Causeway Coast & Glens

Posted on July 21, 2016 @ 8:54 PM in Walking

It’s all about fabulous food and wonderful walks on the Causeway Coast. This 2 day itinerary of awe-inspiring views and deliciousness features the best spots to eat combined with fabulous short walks to work it all off!

DAY ONE

Rise and shine, having travelled up from Belfast and stayed the night before it’s time for breakfast on the beach at Harrys Shack. A quirky beach shack with fairground lights slung from the ceiling, wood burning stove and big windows so you don’t miss out on ‘that view’. Situated on Portstewart Strand a walk on the beach will set you up for the day!

Alistair Hamill Photography
Image: North Antrim Cliff Path, Alistair Hamill Photography

Hop in the car for 30 mins and park at the Giant’s Causeway before taking the Translink Causeway Rambler Bus Service (402) to Dunseverick.  It’s now time to witness some of the best coastal walk Ireland has to offer on the North Antrim Cliff Path (note this can be walked in either direction). Just under 5 miles in length the route is part of the longer Causeway Coast Way. Leave the trail of visitors behind as you pass by attractively named headlands such as Port na Spaniagh, The King & his nobles, Plaiskin Head, Hamiliton’s Seat, Benbane Head, Bengore Head, Portnabrock and Port Moon Bay to experience one of the Causeway Coast’s best kept secrets.  Ending with the best panoramic views of the iconic Giant’s Causeway take time to explore the UNESCO site before heading back to the carpark.

Enroute back to Portrush have a bite of lunch and something sweet at the fabulous Doras Tearoom where the moto is ‘there is always time for tea and room for cake!’ With Mars Bar and Peanut Butter scones on the menu after your clifftop walk there will be no need to feel guilty about indulging!

doras teahouse
Image: Alfresco dining at Dora's Tea House

A pit stop on the way back to Whiterocks Beach is a great way to burn off some calories with incredible views.  The limestone cliffs of the Blue Flag beach stretch from Curran Strand to Dunluce Castle creating a labyrinth of caves and arches.

After a quick freshen up it’ll be time to head to the renowned Ramore Wine Bar - a vibrant waterfront spot with a relaxed vibe serving a cosmopolitan menu, delicious cocktails and humongous deserts!  Finish the day off at the Gin Bar upstairs at the Harbour Bar where they serve every combination of G&T imaginable with a side of live music.

Stay the Night:  Atlantic Way, Portrush  – a home from home this self-catering accommodation is stocked with everything you could possibly need from freshly cut flowers to fresh orange juice the reviews speak for themselves.

Atlantic Way
Image: Homely touches at the Atlantic Way

For more accommodation options visit WalkNI or Discover Northern Ireland

DAY TWO

Refreshed and ready to embrace the day head to Bushmills for breakfast at the French Rooms for some French bistro classics like Eggs Benedict and Croque Monsieur or pick up a treat in shop or deli.   

Fuelled for the day, walk the Heritage Railway Path in Portballintrae. This short 1.5 mile walk follows the line of the former Giant's Causeway Tramway taking in stunning coastal scenery against the backdrop of the River Bush, Runkerry Strand, the Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills Heritage Railway.


Image: heritage Railway Path 

10 miles along the coast road passing Whitepark Bay enroute you’ll reach the famous Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge. Under 2 miles in length, walk along fabulous coastline with turquoise waters and cross the 30 metre high rope bridge to an idyllic island where the seabird colonies will provide a noisy welcome to views of Rathlin Island and the distant Scottish Isles.

Just a 10 minute drive away Ballycastle is the perfect pitstop for lunch and an icecream. Enjoy some tasty fish and chips on the harbour form Mortons or tuck into delicious freshly baked bread at Ursa Minors independent Artisan Bakehouse.


Image: Glenariff Waterfall Walk

Driving back along the causeway coastal route to Belfast take a quick detour to Glenariff Forest Park. Meaning ‘Queen of the Glens’, 19th Century English novelist William Thackeray penned it as “a Switzerland in Miniature”. Explore the striking landscape via 4 circular scenic walks ranging from 0.4 to 5.9 miles (0.6 – 9.5 km). Be sure not to miss out on the impressive double-drop Ess-na-Larach Waterfall one of the many dramatic waterfalls that punctuate the deep sided gorge of the Nature Reserve. 

Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson  Marketing Officer

Sarah joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in 2011. A firm believer in giving anything a go at least once (unless it involves jumping out of a plane at 6,000ft!) she is always looking for new adventures in the outdoors and can often be found wandering the Mournes or Glens of Antrim attempting not to get lost!

1 comment has been posted in reply to this article

Posted by marie Haughan on July 23, 2016 @ 4:18 PM

This looks amazing I'm definitely going there with my walking buddies

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