Discovering The Antrim Coastline By Car

Leave Belfast for Newtownabbey. Stop at Newtownabbey’s Loughshore Park with spectacular views of ships sailing from Belfast (this is where the fateful Titanic first sailed as she headed out from the famous shipyards of Harland & Wolff).

Antrim Coastline

Antrim Coastline

Make time for Carnfunnock Country Park. Here you can take the loop around Islandmagee to Portmuck Harbour. Nearby are the Gobbins Cliffs, home to a breathtaking variety of seabirds.

Back on the mainland, head northwards through a selection of villages and the Glens of Antrim will unfold before you. Slip off the side road to Gleno where four waterfalls create picture-postcard views. Just outside Larne, take the famous Antrim Coast Road.

Antrim Coastline

Antrim Coastline

The Causeway Coastal Route passes by the foot of each of the nine glens: from the south there’s Glenarm (the army glen), Glencloy (the glen of the hedges), Glenariff (the ploughman’s glen and known also as the queen of the glens), Glenballyeamon (Edwardstown Glen), Glenann (glen of the rush lights), Glencorp (glen of the laughter), Glendun (the brown glen), Glenshesk (sedgy glen) and Glentaisie (the glen of Taisie, the Princess of Rathlin Island).

Cushendun

Antrim Coastline

Antrim Coastline

Start off exploring one of the glens before taking in the striking views at Torr Head and the natural glories of Murlough Bay, via the picturesque village of Cushendun, with its quaint cottages.

Returning to the Causeway Coastal Route, head towards the seaside resort of Ballycastle (where ferries leave for Rathlin Island) with the option of taking in the final two glens, Glenshesk and Glentaisie.

Heading west take in the stunning scenery of the Causeway Coast before arriving at Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge spanning a 24-meter chasm. Head inland to the village of Bushmills, home to the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery.

Bushmills

Antrim Coastline

Antrim Coastline

Head out of Bushmills to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Giant’s Causeway, an iconic symbol of the region. Ships from the Spanish Armada once floundered off this rugged coastline and it was at nearby Port na Spaniagh where divers recovered the treasures of the galleon The Girona, now on display at The Ulster Museum in Belfast.

Heading west take in the romantic ruin of Dunluce Castle before continuing on through Portrush and Portstewart, lively seaside resorts with cosmopolitan night life.

Drive down to Downhill, Benone or Magilligan Beach and go for a walk. These windswept and dramatic beaches are so long you’ll often be the only one around.

Limavady is a vibrant market town and is next along your route, after which there is an option of travelling through the magnificent Roe Valley, where you can visit the beautiful country park before heading to Londonderry to spend the night.

Londonderry/Derry

Londonderry is the perfect place to end the trip and is the only completely walled city in the British Isles. Stroll along the 17th century walls and enjoy the utter friendliness of the locals.

Many Thanks to Discover Northern Ireland for providing this information.

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