The Best of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is famous for the volcanic formations of Giant’s Causeway, but visitors to the North can also explore stately homes such as Florence Court, ancient castles such as Dunluce Castle, the Marble Arch underground caves or the 400-year-old whiskey distillery at Bushmills. Northern Ireland is also full of adventure, with rope bridges, folk parks and the best glens to ramble in.
1-3 Coast Road
The best drive in Northern Ireland, this is a dramatic 120-mile coastal route between the green Glens of Antrim on one side and the spectacular coastline with its cliffs, unusual rock formations such as the giant’s face (pictured, above) and Giant’s Causeway on the other. There are also mysterious ruins from the past, such as Dunluce Castle. The drive starts near Larne, north of Belfast, and goes right the way around the north coast, and can be done in one day or a few days – take your time and stop off at some of the scenic points, towns and villages along the way.
Glenarm Forsest Park
The nine Glens of Antrim, a series of lush green valleys opposite the Causeway coast, are another of Northern Ireland‘s most striking features. Each glen has its own forests, waterfalls and rivers. Glenariff is known as the Queen of the Glens and at Glenariff Forest Park you’ll find waymarked trails through woodlands, past rivers and waterfalls. Or follow the Glenarm Scenic Route (starting at the village of Glenarm), passing Glenarm Castle which has a walled garden and tearooms, along the way. The heritage village of Cushendall is another highlight. Photo: NITB
43 Marlbank Road, Enniskillen BT92 1EW, UK
Glide into these caves by boat, to see the impressive stalactites and stalagmites that have formed in the limestone rock deep underground over millions of years ago. On a guided tour, you’ll hear all about the subterranean caverns, stone pools and streams (there are lots of steps so some fitness is required). The whole area is a UNESCO site. Photo: NITB