Categories: Causeway Coastal Route

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Getting to the Causeway Coastal Route is the easy part- the hard work starts when you arrive and are faced with so many things to do and places to see! 

But let’s get you there first. Most people will probably start their journey along the Causeway Coastal Route from Belfast – it’s our biggest city and transport hub and hosts not one, but two airports. There’s also easy access to the other end of the Causeway Coastal Route from our second city of Derry-Londonderry. 

Let’s start with Belfast and take it from there. 

By car from Belfast 

From Belfast, join the M2, then the M5 and follow the signs along the A2 marked Causeway Coastal Route until you reach magnificent Carrickfergus Castle on the shores of Belfast Lough – the first milestone on the whole route. It’s no more than 30 minutes from Belfast city centre. From here you can follow the route anti-clockwise towards Derry-Londonderry. 

If you’re a clockwise type of person and would prefer to start the Causeway Coastal Route at Derry-Londonderry, then from Belfast take the M2 (signposted for Londonderry), the M22 and finally the A6. It should take you no more than 90 minutes’ drive. 

By bus from Belfast 

If you’re travelling by bus there’s plenty of options, and you’ll probably want to make straight for the major sights and attractions – that’s easily done. 

Goldline Coach Service 221 takes you directly to the Giant's Causeway from Belfast’s Europa Buscentre. From the same station you can also take the Goldline Antrim Coaster Coach Service 252 and travel through the beautiful Antrim Coast and Glens. If you fancy a more meandering bus ride then the Ulsterbus Causeway Rambler 402 offers easy access to a range of delightful coastal towns and villages, including Ballintoy Harbour, made famous by Games of Thrones®. 

By train from Belfast 

Michael Palin once described this epic train ride from Belfast to the Causeway Coast as "one of the most beautiful train journeys of the world".  Enjoy breath-taking scenery as you pass through this area of outstanding beauty, filled with hills, glens, and Victorian tunnels. You can even pass under one of the Causeway Coast’s most popular attractions, Mussenden Temple, as your train makes its way along the twisting, turning coastline between Coleraine and Derry-Londonderry. 

Use NI Railways Travel Connections from Belfast Great Victoria Street to Coleraine to Derry-Londonderry. The only problem with going this way is that you might want to get off to see more every few minutes. 

Getting there from Derry-Londonderry 

Derry-Londonderry is actually the western-most point of the Causeway Coastal Route so in a sense if you’re here you’re already there. But once you’ve walked the walls, lanes and byways of this compact, friendly city, you’ll want to set off to take in the rest of the route and all there is to see and do along it.

By car, simply follow the Causeway Coastal Route signs which lead you along the A2 north-westwards past City of Derry towards Limavady and beyond. 

By bus, from the Derry-Londonderry Buscentre, Translink UK runs the 234 line to Coleraine, stopping at many of the highlights along the way. 

By train, take the super-scenic train from the city’s train station to Coleraine – this short trip is an attraction in itself so make sure you grab a seat on the left-hand side of the outgoing train for a jaw-dropping sea view as the train hugs the rocky shoreline. 

Getting to the Causeway Coastal Route from Republic of Ireland 

This really couldn’t be easier. There is a glut of transport options from most major cities in the Republic of Ireland so it’s simple to get to one of the starting points mentioned above. 

From Dublin 

By train  

Operating since 1867, the Dublin Connolly to Belfast Lanyon route is the busiest on the island. It is also one of the oldest which means that journey times can vary so expect to spend at least two-and-a-bit hours on board and bring a decent book. 

If you want to start the route from Derry-Londonderry, it’s a short taxi ride from Lanyon station to Great Victoria station in Belfast where you take the train to Coleraine and on to Derry-Londonderry. 

By bus  

If you are travelling to Belfast from Dublin Airport, the coach directly from the airport is your best option. It is quicker, less expensive and you’ll be on the motorway straight away. Travel times from Dublin city centre are similar to the train and again the fare is less expensive. Translink UK and McGinley Coach travel operate direct bus services from Dublin to Derry-Londonderry. 

By car  

Travelling by car from Dublin to Belfast is a straight drive up the M1 and is without doubt the easiest way to get there. In minutes you can be in another world. If you want to head to Derry-Londonderry, take the M1 north from Dublin, then the N2 and A5 (signposted Derry for the whole route). 

Hit the coast from the air  

Belfast is served by two airports. Belfast International Airport, and George Best Belfast City Airport, which mostly serves shorter routes from the UK and Netherlands. Both airports are close to Belfast city centre but if you want to get straight onto the Causeway Coastal Route, your best option is probably George Best Belfast City Airport. From here it is less than ten minutes to the start of the M5 and a world of wonder.