Dunluce Castle

Discover more show-stoppers with 48 hours on the Causeway Coastal Route, Lonely Planet's #1 Destination.


Accommodation

Base yourself at the Bushmills Inn Hotel, a 3 hour drive from Dublin or just over an hour from Belfast, to get out and take in the sights and turn the next 48 hours into a truly unforgettable experience.

Or check in and enjoy the tranquillity and lush surroundings of the multi award-winning 4* Galgorm Resort & Spa .The hotel's Thermal Spa Village is the first of its kind in Ireland.

Day 1
Morning

Set off for a little scenic exploration around the Glens of Antrim.  

Glenariff is affectionately known as the 'Queen of the Glens' and the fairest of them all. So make sure to stop by Glenariff Forest Park, with it's bracing walks and beautiful waterfalls.

Alternatively you will have all the time in the world at the lovely Carnfunnock Country Park, where you can become your own clock. The park’s Time Garden features the biggest collection of sundials in Ireland and traces the history of time through a series of living, working sundial examples. Explore the cut cube dial, a dial marking out monks’ prayer time, a clown dial and even a human sun dial.

For lunch head to Harry's Restaurant, Cushendall. Situated in the heart of the Nine Glens of Antrim serving the finest sustainable local seafood and beef that Northern Ireland has to offer. 

Afternoon

After lunch drive along the magnificent Causeway Coastal Route. Travel along this stunning stretch of coastline and head for the Giant's Causeway, the geological wonder that gives the route its name. It’s Northern Ireland's only UNESCO World Heritage Site and steeped in myth and legend.  This iconic heritage site has 40,000 columns created by volcanic eruptions 60 million years ago.

If you've time, drop by the Old Bushmills Distillery, Ireland’s oldest working distillery. The Bushmills Brand Experience encompasses guided tours around the working distillery with tutored whiskey tastings, a specialist whiskey shop and concludes in the 1608 bar where you will be offered a whiskey or a soft drink.

For dinner along the coast try 55 Degrees North in Portrush which offers a stunning coastal dining experience, overlooking Portrush’s East Strand Beach and panoramic, picturesque views.

Stay on in Portrush and nip around the corner to sample the nightlife at Kiwi’s Brew Bar.  Try a few local ales and take a peek at John Lennon's old piano.

Day 2
Morning

Make your way to the iconic ruin of Dunluce Castle, and learn of its history and tales of Banshees, and how the castle kitchens fell into the sea. Clinging perilously to the cliff edge, this breathtaking castle has inspired many artists and writers including C.S. Lewis.


Challenge yourself at the thrilling Carrick- a -Rede Rope Bridge, crossing a chasm that is 30 metres deep and 20 metres wide. Originally erected by salmon fishermen many years ago, this National Trust attraction is a must do, hanging 100ft above the Atlantic Ocean below.

 

Alternatively take a day trip to Rathlin Island; experience the rugged beauty and tranquillity of Northern Ireland’s only inhabited offshore island, reached by ferry from Ballycastle (last departure at 16:30). Follow one of the island’s scenic walking trails or hire a bicycle to explore the quiet roads.

Have lunch at the much-loved Harry's Shack.  This unique beachside gem was named in the Sunday Times’ top 100 UK Restaurants 2017. Serving local fish, meats, vegetables and more.

Before you leave take a stroll along the stunning Portstewart Strand, (parking available, National Trust charges apply) a prestigious Blue Flag Award beach and listen to the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Afternoon

If you fancy rounding off your trip with a real bucket-lister, look no further than Cutting Edge Helicopters. Ascend like a raven into the sky and take in the stunning Game of Thrones® filming locations below. Fly across Downhill Beach (Dragonstone) (pictured below), Portstewart Strand (the Coast of Dorne), Binevenagh (the Dothraki Grasslands) and many more beautiful locations.

Alternatively feel the wind in your hair as a high-speed boat blasts you around the iconic sights of the coast. Taking in the glorious sights of Ramore Head, the Skerries, Dunluce Castle, the Giant’s Causeway and the stunning sandy beaches of Portrush. This is the ultimate way to view the famous causeway coast from a whole new angle. A number of tours are available from Portrush Sea Tours or Aquaholics Dive Centre and Sea Safari.

We hope you enjoy these suggestions.  Let us know your favourite #discoverni.

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