Scenic, dramatic and inspiring, the Causeway Coastal Route is a constant feature of global top tens and top fives when it comes to visitor experiences and bucket lists. Around every corner of this spectacular winding route you’ll find thrills and adventure, as well as peaceful retreats. The variety along the coastal route means there’s something for everyone and a multitude of ways you can see it.

Castles and citadels at Carrickfergus

Carrickfergus Castle

Why not start with a view over Belfast Lough from Carrickfergus Castle. With a history dating back eight-hundred years this Norman citadel has played an important role in Northern Irish history. Well worth a visit if you want to find out more.

Go for The Gobbins Cliff Path

The Gobbins

The glorious Gobbins Cliff Path is a great introduction to the drama of the oceans and seas you are about to experience along the Causeway Coastal Route. This two-and-half hour fully guided walking tour through suspension bridges, tunnels and pathways offers visitors a unique cliff-walking experience you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

Glorious Glenariff

Glenariff Waterfall

Located at the heart of the Glens of Antrim, and set in a classic u-shaped valley, the Waterfall Walkway in Glenariff Forest Park opened 80 years ago. The forest trail follows a recently renovated boardwalk through the nature reserve, past spectacular scenery, river gorges and three beautiful waterfalls. This is a big attraction for nature lovers and those after a pretty picture too.

Remote beauty at Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island

With its striking lighthouses and picturesque backdrop, Rathlin Island lies just off the coast and can be reached via a regular ferry service from lovely Ballycastle. Once the refuge of Scotland’s Robert the Bruce it is now a haven for wild birds, seals and puffins and it can be yours for a day too. Bird watchers, do not miss.

Made for Instagram – Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

You’ll quite fancy having a pair of wings yourself when you’re halfway across the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This National Trust site crosses a deep chasm, which was originally erected by salmon fishermen. On a good day you’ll enjoy uninterrupted views of Rathlin and the Scottish Islands, and nature lovers will find themselves surrounded by unique geology, flora and fauna. Just as well there’s plenty to look at because you don’t want to look down. 

Whiskey galore at Bushmills

Old Bushmills Distillery

You’re going to need a settler, so treat yourself with a visit to Ireland’s oldest working distillery in Old Bushmills Distillery. Go and take the guided tour and learn all the secrets behind the tastes you’ll get to sample.

UNESCO-protected Giant’s Causeway

Don’t have too much though, you’ve more balancing to do at the world-famous Giant’s Causeway. Arguably Northern Ireland’s most famous attraction, the causeway was formed over 60 million years ago, when molten lava cooled suddenly on contact with water. It’s an awe-inspiring landscape featuring hexagonal basalt columns and has left behind distinctive stone formations with fanciful names including the camel, wishing chair and the organ. When you’re there, make sure to head for the world-class Visitor Centre, where you’ll learn all about it.

Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre

Courtesy of Hufton and Crow

If you fancy another view then get in touch with Aquaholics. These guys offer wetter ways of seeing the Carrick-A-Rede Rope bridge and the Giant’s Causeway and if you’re up for it they’ll take you on a scuba dive looking for shipwrecks. Those who enjoy the challenge of catching their own lunch should hop on board the Causeway Lass to see what you can reel in.

Drama and vertical drops at Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle

Back on dry land don't miss Dunluce Castle. This 17th century castle sits perched on rocky cliffs overlooking the North Atlantic. During a stormy night in 1639, part of it fell into the sea and it was abandoned. The magical ruins have inspired many including Winston Churchill and writer CS Lewis.

Catch a wave or two at Whiterocks

White Rocks

Whiterocks Beach is a Blue Flag Award winner, featuring limestone cliffs which stretch from Curran Strand to Dunluce Castle.  This is a magnet for water sports enthusiasts and is a great spot for surfing, body boarding and kayaking. Surfers should check in with local tube catchers in Portrush, Portstewart and Portballintrae to find out more about the best waves and rides on nearby beaches.

Frame your view with the Dark Hedges

A little off the route, outside Ballymoney, fans of the hit series Game of Thrones® will find the famous Dark Hedges. Planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century, the trees line the entrance path towards the Georgian mansion Gracehill House. Today it is one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland, and rightfully so.

Strange beauty like this is everywhere along the Causeway Coastal Route. It’s as if it was all sculpted and laid out in one giant plan. If we are to believe the myths and legends along the way, it was all planned by giants and it’s all waiting for you.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure information is correct, we strongly advise checking in advance before you travel to your intended destination to ensure its open and book tickets if applicable. 

Carrickfergus Castle
Castle / Fort
A woman and child having a pretend sword fight in the room at the top of the castle keep with the sun beaming through the window behind.

For more than 800 years, Carrickfergus Castle has been an imposing monument on the Northern Irish landscape whether approached by land, sea or air. The castle now houses historical displays as well as cannons from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

The Gobbins Cliff Path
A view of the tubular bridge with flowers on the rock face and the ocean beyond.

On the thrilling Gobbins Experience, nature isn’t content to just sit back and be admired. It completely engulfs you: from the all-enveloping Irish Sea winds and the dolphins dancing off the coastline. Pull on your walking boots and enjoy this 2.5-hour walking tour through tunnels and bridges with the waves crashing at your feet.

Glenariff Forest Park
Forest Parks
Glenariff Forest Park

Glenariff, the Queen of the Glens, is one of the nine Antrim Glens in Northern Ireland. Glenariff Forest Park covers over 1,000 hectares with planted woodland, lakes, outdoor recreation spaces and conservation areas.

Rathlin Island
Causeway Coastal Route
Rathlin Island

Amidst the rugged landscape of this isolated island, you can let your mind wander and discover a tranquillity and beauty that is so unexpected.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
The National Trust
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede one of Northern Ireland’s most loved attractions in Northern Ireland, cared for by the National Trust, a registered conservation charity founded to protect beautiful and special places for ever, for everyone.

Old Bushmills Distillery
Old Bushmills Distillery

In 1608, in Bushmills, a legend was born. In that year, King James I granted a very particular licence to this small village, just a few miles inland from Ireland’s rugged north coast. The licence gave Bushmills the right to distil whiskey. Today, Bushmills is home to the oldest licenced whiskey distillery in the world.

Giant's Causeway
The National Trust
The basalt stones at Giant's Causeway

Flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean and a landscape of dramatic cliffs, the Giant's Causeway is a geological wonder and home to a wealth of history and legend. The 40,000 basalt stone columns left by volcanic eruptions 60 million years ago, has captured the imagination of all who see it.

Giant's Causeway Visitor Information Centre
Tourist Information Centre
Giant's Causeway Visitor Information Centre

Located within the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre an enthusiastic team of staff is on hand to offer practical help, advice and assistance to both local residents and visitors to Northern Ireland.

Discover Scuba Diving by Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Diving & SubAqua
Group in wetsuits in the water with Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in the background as part of a scuba diving experience with Aquaholics

Dive into a new and exciting world with Aquaholics. Hop aboard the Aquaholics dive vessel for a unique, world-class experience along the coastline to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Here you’ll be briefed, kitted-up and then jumping overboard for an exciting scuba dive in the stunningly clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean below the rope bridge.

Dunluce Castle
Historic Site
Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle is located dramatically close to a headland that plunges straight into the sea, along the North County Antrim coast.

Whiterocks Beach
Whiterocks Beach

A regular recipient of the prestigious Blue Flag Award, Whiterocks Beach has become a favourite with locals and a must see destination for international visitors.

The Dark Hedges
Natural Feature
The beech trees which originally led to the Georgian mansion near to Gracehill House

This beautiful avenue of beech trees was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century and have become one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland. Thronies will recognise these as the Dark Hedges from HBO's Game of Thrones.