Introducing our A-Z of NI. Highlighting our favourite places to visit and things to do in our country. If you’ve been following on Instagram (www.Instagram.com/morebelfast ), We gave you a selection of A’s for the A-Z of NI and it was a close result between Armagh Planetarium and Antrim Coast, the latter winning.. but by a small margin.
Here goes, the start of a 6 monthly project to share our love for our country:
Antrim Coast Road Trip
What a coastline!
The stunning Antrim coastal route starts in Belfast (or maybe it starts on the north coast!), Carrickfergus is next, once the most important town in the country, and now home to a soon to be refurbished coastal castle on the shores of Belfast Lough.
Afrer leaving Carrick (as it’s known locally) you can take a detour to Islandmagee and go on a guided tour along along The Gobbins coastal path. You’re best to book in advance as it’s popular. It’s an exhilarating walk and the most dramatic coastal walk in Europe. The 3 mile route is a short bus ride from Gobbins Visitor Centre (there’s no parking at the Gobbins) and you walk down a steep slope with your guide and group to enter the coastal path. Once you’re through the entrance hole cut in the rocks, you’re in for a treat. The path hugs the cliffs with the sea splashing below you and birds fly overhead. You’ll squeeze through gaps and tunnels, walk up and down steps and cross bridges over the sea. The Gobbins is well worth a visit and amazing value at only £20 for a standard adult tour. Check out our reel on Instagram here.
Double back on your route and on the main coastal road head towards Larne and just around the corner, after the town, a spectacular route begins with The Black Arch then Carnfunnock Country Park and on to Ballygalley where the hotel is famous for its ghost in the tower!
As you follow the road north you will pass the 9 Glens of Antrim, carved by glaciers as they powered towards the coast.
The road route was a feat of engineering at the time as it hugged the coastline between Larne and the north coast.
After Ballygalley you’ll pass Whitebay car park and Madman’s Window before reaching Glenarm, home to another castle.
Your next stop is Carnlough Beach and beautiful Carnlough Harbour. It’s always worth stopping here before continuing on to Glenariff where you can travel up the stunning Glen to visit the forest park and waterfall.
Back to the coast on the main road trip route you’ll pass Cushendall and Cushendun. If you’re feeling brave go the coastal road to Torr Head then Fair Head, it’s exhilarating, and Fair Head is worth the trek across the fields to reach the top of the cliff face and to take in the awesome views of the north coast.
In Ballycastle you can catch a ferry to Rathlin Island for a taste of unique island life; and in late Spring on Rathlin you could visit the Puffin colony on the western cliffs.
For the purpose of our A-Z we are ending the Antrim Coastal Road at Ballycastle, to keep the Causeway Coastal Route for future A-Z features.
Antrim Coastal route is one of the best! It’s dotted with cliff faces, waterfalls, sandy beaches and breathtaking views.
It’s a route that’s not to be missed and yes we might be biased but we believe it’s one of the world’s best road trips!