Road Trip on the Causeway Coastal Route
Why not enjoy a road trip on the stunning Causeway Coastal Route? With unrivalled coastal scenery, iconic attractions and great places to eat and stay over, you'll see why it's been rated as one of the world's top road journeys.
Here are some of the highlights along the route, which runs between Belfast and Londonderry/Derry.
One of our most striking monuments, the castle was originally built in 1177 by the Anglo-Norman knight John de Courcy and was in use as a military garrison well into the 20th century. Learn about its colourful history on a guided tour.
The Glens of Antrim
Explore the delights of the famous Glens of Antrim. Visit the Conservation village of Glenarm, home to the famous Steensons Jewellers where you can watch the skilled craftspeople at work and pick up a beautiful contemporary gift. Stop off for lunch in the historic Londonderry Arms Hotel in Carnlough (once owned by Winston Churchill) then stroll by the village's pretty harbour. Leave the coast and take a bracing walk through Glenariff Forest Park, with its impressive waterfalls and stunning views over the classic u-shaped valley.
The Dark Hedges
Take a detour inland to the much-photographed Dark Hedges, a sinewy avenue of beech trees planted in the eighteenth century and recently used as filming location in HBO's Game of Thrones.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Back on the coast, take the exhilarating rope bridge challenge to Carrick-a-Rede island. The crossing over the 30-metre deep and 20-metre wide chasm was originally erected by Salmon fishermen. Reward yourself for your efforts with the stunning views of the coastline and out to Rathlin Island.
The Old Bushmills Distillery
Enjoy a tour through the heart of the oldest working distillery in Ireland. The craft of whiskey making has been carried out at Bushmills since 1608, using the same traditional methods to create the finest Irish whiskeys, which you can sample for yourself. While you are in Bushmills, stop for a bite in The French Rooms, an elegant but informal restaurant and gift shop.
The Giant's Causeway
Not to be missed, this iconic World Heritage Site is renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt and is steeped in myth and legend. Unlock the secrets of the Causeway landscape with the interactive exhibition in the Visitor Experience then head out to the stones to identify distinctive formations such as the Wishing Chair, the Granny and the Organ.
Explore this dramatically located Medieval castle, once the headquarters of the MacDonnell Clan. Its magical clifftop setting is said to have inspired Cair Paravel in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and it was included in BBC Countryfile Magazine's top 10 romantic ruins in Britain.
Downhill Demesne and Mussenden Temple
Take in the wild, dramatic views at this 18th century estate, developed by the colourful Earl Bishop of Derry, Frederick Hervey. The circular Mussenden Temple, overlooking stunning coastal scenery, was inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, near Rome.
Roe Valley Country Park
Take another short detour inland to this beautiful country park near Limavady, which offers a variety of routes through woodland and along the pretty River Roe.
Follow the Causeway Coastal Route to Derry~Londonderry, where you can stay over and enjoy one of the events taking place as part of the city's year as UK City of Culture. The city has a host of attractions including the famous City Walls, St. Columb's Cathedral, Tower Museum, Museum of Free Derry and the beautiful, renovated Guildhall.
Find out more about the Causeway Coast and Glens and Walled City of Derry.