This is a marked 120-mile trail of outstanding scenic drives and attractions which, taken together, make up what has deservedly been described as ´one of the world´s great road journeys´. The following three day itinerary offers you the opportunity to explore this spectacular scenic drive and check out the must see destinations en route.
Arrive in Belfast
While in Belfast take the opportunity to visit the newly opened Titanic Belfast Visitor Attraction a must on your Northern Ireland itinerary. The newly opened exhibition tells the story of RMS Titanic – from its construction and launch in Belfast to the drama of its first and final voyage. The iconic building (shaped like a ship’s bows) comprises of 9 galleries over 4 floors, allowing the visitor to travel through time – from Edwardian ‘Boomtown Belfast’, (telling the stories of the men who built her, the passengers who travelled on her) to the present day with video footage showing where the ship lies at rest.
Also in Belfast, visit the bohemian Cathedral Quarter and the Waterfront Hall entertainment complex.
From there head North from Belfast along the Antrim Coast and to the spectacular Causeway Coastal Route. The Causeway Coastal Route is a way-marked 120 mile trail of outstanding scenic drives and attractions which, taken together, make up what has deservedly been described as ´one of the world´s great road journeys´.
Continue along the Causeway Coastal Route to Carrickfergus, County Antrim’s oldest town. Home to the 12th century Carrickfergus Castle, one of the best-preserved Norman castles in Ireland that was established in 1178 by John de Courcy. The castle houses an audio-visual exhibition.
Visit Glenarm Castle & Walled Garden: one of Northern Ireland’s oldest estates, take a short tour of the Walled Gardens, dating back to the 18th century. www.glenarmcastle.com Treat yourself to coffee and some homemade treats in their Tea Rooms.
Continue your journey along the route driving up to Glenarm glen and down Glencloy; the road meanders through the glen with overhanging trees where you will see a haven of wildlife. At the foot of Glencloy, the second of the nine Glens of Antrim, lays the village of Carnlough with a picturesque harbour which overlooks Carnlough Bay.
Visit Glenariff Forest Park, spectacular glen walks and waterfalls await you, scenic paths and trails lead through tranquil woods and up to magnificent mountain viewpoints.
Brave the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, County Antrim. Carrick-a-Rede is an area of outstanding natural beauty. The geology, flora and fauna have won Carrick-a-Rede recognition as an area of special scientific interest. Of course, Carrick-a-Rede also boasts an exhilarating rope bridge experience. Traditionally fishermen erected the bridge to Carrick-a-Rede island over a 23m-deep and 20m-wide chasm to check their salmon nets. Today visitors are drawn here simply to take the rope bridge challenge! www.causewaycoastandglens.com
Visit the Giant’s Causeway and Visitor Centre, Co. Antrim. Walk down to the iconic UNESCO World Heritage site formed by volcanic eruptions 60 million years ago and learn about its mystical story.
Tour the famed Old Bushmills Distillery, Co. Antrim. Home to what many regard as Ireland’s finest whiskey and the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland, in business since 1608. Watch whiskey making take place and enjoy a wee taster too as we unlock the secrets of 400 years of distilling at the home of Irish whiskey.
Pass the Royal Portrush Golf Course, one of the finest links golf courses, not just in Northern Ireland but the world. Comprising the Dunlunce Links and the Valley Links it offers some of the most challenging golf imaginable, set against truly breathtaking scenery. For golf lovers be sure to take the opportunity for an afternoon round of golf. For others continue to Dunluce Castle a 16th century castle, strikingly perched on rocky cliffs and overlooking the North Atlantic.
Perilously close to the edge of a sheer drop stands Mussenden Temple, a beautiful 18th Century folly, originally inspired by the Tivoli Temple of Vesta.
Itinerary compliments of Discover Northern Ireland.