Categories: Walking & Hiking

Renowned for its stunningly beautiful driving route, the Causeway Coastal Route is also home to some of Northern Ireland’s finest walks.

The Causeway Coast Way walk

Thirty-three miles along the Ulster Way is one for the serious walkers. It takes you through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, many Areas of Special Scientific Interest and the world-famous Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A linear walk, it’s a two-day route that also passes the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the spectacular ruins of the clifftop Dunluce Castle. (Or Pyke, seat of House Greyjoy if you’re a Games of Thrones® fan.) There’s no doubt that this is one of the finest coastal routes in Europe, stretching all the way from Ballycastle to Portstewart – though you can, of course, take it in sections at a pace that suits you.

Time to re-fuel

When you do make it to Portstewart, make sure you check out Harry’s Shack. A quirky and award-winning beach restaurant, seafood unsurprisingly features on the menu. It also has giant windows which mean you can look out and pretty much see where your dinner’s come from. Just bring your own bottle if you fancy a glass of something special to wash it down. Or try the Ramore Wine Bar in Portrush, a relaxed and vibrant waterfront spot with delicious cocktails.

Rathlin Island

Catch the ferry across to Rathlin Island, just six miles off the coast of Ballycastle, for the start of a magical adventure. 20 miles of walking trails lead you through this tranquil and almost untouched setting. Not that you’ll be lonely. It’s also home to the RSPB Seabird Centre, so you’ll make lots of feathered friends, including visiting puffins. The Rathlin Trail leads you directly to it.

Whitepark Bay

It’s all about the beach at Whitepark Bay on the North Antrim Coast. This spectacular sandy one forms a white arc between two headlands. It’s just made for sand-castle building. And, of course, building memories too. A gentle walk from the small fishing hamlet of Portbradden at one end to the collection of basalt islands round Ballintoy harbour at the other is just 1.4 miles each way.

Walking the Cliff Path to Dunseverick Castle together

This stunning five mile walk takes you through breath-taking coastal landscapes, as the Causeway Coast merges with the surrounding farmland. Within your sights are the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site, Port na Spaniagh where in 1588 the Spanish Armada met its fateful end and Port Moon, with incredible views across to Rathlin Island and the Scottish Islands of Islay and Jura.

Mussenden Temple – a walk on the wild side

An open cliff walk takes you through the very beautiful surroundings of Mussenden Temple & Downhill Demesne. Perched 120ft above the Atlantic Ocean, it’s got to be Northern Ireland’s wildest and most dramatic headland.

With spectacular panoramic views across the coast, this 2 mile circular walk is part of the Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Portballintrae Causeway Loop

This is possibly all of Northern Ireland in one walk. Follow the 5.5 mile circular route along the stunning Causeway Coast from Portballintrae to the Giant’s Causeway. There are sandy beaches and dunes, romantic clifftop views and the picturesque Three Quarter Mile Foot Bridge.

Emerge onto Runkerry Beach and continue along the cliff path to the magical Giant’s Causeway. Then it’s onwards and upwards to reach the most spectacular views of this world-famous, world heritage site. (Please note: Walkers are advised to stick to the tramway path).

And don’t forget to take some time to reflect on the whole experience. Not that you need an excuse to sink into the comfort of the Porthole Bar and Restaurant at the Bayview Hotel (4*). With a welcoming open peat fire and a pint. Or a coffee.

The Causeway Coastal Route is a magical, inspiring place and always ready to embrace our visiting walkers and hikers. Wherever you’ve come from and wherever you’re going.