Categories: County Antrim

From the mythical to the magical, the historic to the romantic, the cool to the quirky, County Antrim is an adventure playground for travellers wanting an out-of-the-ordinary experience. There are ancient geographical formations and ancient castles, waterfall gardens and surfer beaches, heart-stopping scenery and heart-racing activities. So, if you’ve just got a few days to discover it all, here are some ideas to get you started.  

Surf the Atlantic at White Rocks 

The Atlantic beneath you and the chalk white cliffs ahead. Whiterocks Beach is a surfer’s paradise. The waves are powerful here for much of the year at this exposed beach break. Plus the location is pretty stunning, with headlands such as Elephant’s Rock, the Lion’s Paw and the Wishing Arch. You’re also within walking distance of Portrush – another top spot for surfers. 

Drive the Causeway Coastal Route 

Ever wondered why the Causeway Coastal Route is known to be one of the most scenic drives in the world? There’s only one way to find out. Or, perhaps, two. Take your car - or take your bike and get even closer to the action. 

Phenomenal scenery, ancient castles, golden beaches, stunning seaside towns and villages are all here and all yours to explore. Ideally, make it a long weekend and, if you do take the cycle route, be prepared for the dreaded steep ascent of Torr Head.  

Walk the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge 

You’ve seen the pictures. Now try it for yourself. Not for the faint-hearted, the walk across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is mind-boggling, jaw-dropping and breath-taking all at the same time. Though, oh so worth it.   

The views are stunning, the experience is magical and even the fact that you have to do it again to get back for your National Trust certificate won’t faze you. After all, if you’ve done it once, you can tackle anything. Easy. 

Sunbathe with cows 

Who hasn’t lain on a beach on a balmy day and thought to themselves ‘you know what would make this even better … a cow companion’. Well, time to go to White Park Bay. It’s a wonderful spot to enjoy a picnic and there’s every chance a cow or two will turn up to share the beach towel with you. Though they are actually there to do a job. Cows regularly roam the dunes on this National Trust site, keeping the grass short for the chough, a small bird that feeds in the grasses. Great photo op, though.

Have an experience within an experience at the Giant’s Causeway 

The Giant’s Causeway is the unofficial eighth wonder of the world and a must-see experience for any visitor to County Antrim. So why not make your arrival equally impressive?  

Catch the narrow-gauge heritage train on the Giant's Causeway & Bushmills Railway line for a trip along the magnificent coastal stretch that runs between Bushmills and this iconic World Heritage Site. Then follow the trail of Finn McCool across the Causeway, keeping an eye out for the Giant’s Boot and the Wishing Chair as you go.  

Have a pint in one of Ireland’s smallest pubs 

It’s a well-known fact that the best things come in small parcels. Or small pubs, in this case. McBride’s, named for its former landlady, Mary McBride, is in the beautiful seaside village of Cushenden. It’s full of old-style character - and characters - and it even has its own ‘Door of Thrones’. Drop in to enjoy the craic and you’ll agree there’s nowhere cosier to down a pint of the black stuff. 

Follow the Game of Thrones® Trail 

Set-jet your way through County Antrim on a Game of Thrones® odyssey. It’s your chance to re-live your favourite scenes in the very spots where the blockbuster series was filmed. Visit the mysterious Dark Hedges, the foreboding Stormlands’ Cushendun Caves and, of course, Lordsport Harbour, better known locally as Ballintoy Harbour. 

Stop for a Game of Thrones® Tea 

Surely, no self-respecting Thrones fan could resist this. Dothraki trifle with mini dragon eggs? Kingslayer cupcakes? A foodie homage to the iconic TV show, there’s always time to enjoy a Game of Thrones® inspired High Tea at Ballygally Hotel. 

Walk the Glenariff Waterfall Walk 

There are many wonderful trails and routes through the picture-perfect Glenariff Forest Park in the Glens of Antrim. Though the Waterfall Walk is the most magical of all. Follow the boardwalk paths through the near fairy-tale forest along by the river gorge where sunlight forms rainbows in the spray and the only sounds you’ll hear are those of nature at work.

Raise a glass of the finest Irish whiskey 

This is one for all the senses. The whiskey aroma, the taste of a dram, the sights and sounds of one of oldest distilleries in the world make it an experience not to be missed. They’ve been making whiskey and history at the Old Bushmills Distillery for centuries. Take a tour to see how it’s done, enjoy a tasting, stay for lunch and perhaps take home a fine single malt, with a personalised label. 

And that’s just scratched the surface. There’s so much more to explore in this giant-hearted county. But that’s for another day. For now, just pack up your spirit of adventure, pick the spots that speak most to you and head off to collect memories that will live with you for ever.