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Local Information

Book Event

Ballycastle is the location of the events start and finish point, it is a small rural seaside town placed on the most north-easterly tip of county Antrim with a good range of bars, restaurants and shops. It is in a perfect location from which to organise day trips throughout the Causeway Coast and the Glens of Antrim so Why not use this opportunity to explore the area even further! Ballycastle also has a Tourist Information Office located in Sheksburn House on Mary Street if you require additional information.

Top Tourist Attractions

Giants Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, is the only World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, this is the focal point of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries. It harbours a wealth of local and natural history.


Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge

Traditionally fishermen erected the bridge to Carrick-a-Rede Island over a 23m-deep and 20m-wide chasm to check their salmon nets. Today visitors are drawn here simply to take the rope bridge challenge! A short coastal footpath leads to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. On the way, there are wonderful vantage points to stop and take in the natural beauty.


Bushmills Distillery

Bushmills Irish Whiskey is made at Ireland’s oldest working distillery in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The brand portfolio includes five award-winning whiskeys: Bushmills, Black Bush, Bushmills 10 year Malt, 16 year Malt and 21 year Malt. Bushmills is the only distillery in Ireland to make triple-distilled malt whiskey. This is at the heart of all Bushmills whiskeys and creates a unique combination of smoothness and richness.


Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle is sited dramatically close to the edge of a headland, along the North Antrim coast. Surrounded by jaw dropping coastal scenery, this medieval castle stands where an early Irish fort was once built and where its history can be traced back to early Christians and Vikings. The Castle has a rich and varied history, connected with such names as Richard de Burgh, Sorley Boy MacDonnell, and Sir John Perrott, running up to its last occupant, Randall MacDonnell – the second Earl of Antrim.Other properties connected with Dunluce include Ballymagarry House and Glenarm Castle. A village that once surrounded the castle was destroyed by fire during 1641, but some archaelogical remnants of walls remain.


Rathlin Island

Amidst the rugged landscape of this isolated island, you can let your mind wander and discover a tranquility and beauty that is so unexpected. In the harbour is the Boathouse, where visitors can discover some of the exciting history, learn about present day island life and see some artefacts from shipwrecks around the island. A short walk around to Mill Bay there is a colony of seals, who are fun to just sit and watch!


Glenarm Castle Estate and Walled Gardens

There has been a castle at Glenarm since the days of John Bisset, who was expelled from Scotland in 1242 for murdering a rival during a tournament. The Walled Garden situated in the grounds of Glenarm Castle is one of Ireland’s oldest walled gardens dating from the 18th century. Beautiful in all seasons, the Walled Garden and Tea Room are open from May until the end of September, when the garden is still rich with displays of herbaceous plants.


Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne

The temple was built in 1785 and forms part of the estate of Frederick Augustus Hervey, Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol (or the Earl Bishop). The temple was built as a summer library and its architecture was inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, near Rome. It is dedicated to the memory of Hervey’s cousin Frideswide Mussenden. It perches dramatically on a 120 ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic Ocean on the north-western coast of Northern Ireland, offering spectacular views westwards over Downhill Strand towards Magilligan Point and County Donegal and to the east Castlerock beach towards Portstewart, Portrush and Fair Head.


Cushendun

Cushendun stands on an elevated beach at the outflow of the Glendun and Glencorp valleys. The name in Irish is Cois an Duine, meaning Foot of the Dun, identifying the village’s location at the mouth of the River Dun. The pretty village was designed by Clough William Ellis in 1912 at the request of Ronald John McNeill, Baron Cushendun. The picturesque Cornish appearance was deliberate, to please the Baron’s Penzance-born wife, Maud. Ellis designed a village square with seven houses which are today run as craft shops and tea rooms. After Maud’s death in 1925, Ellis designed a row of whitewashed, quaint cottages in her memory.


Cushendall

Cushendall lies in the heart of the Glens of Antrim where three Glens – Glenarm, Glenballyeamon and Glencorp meet and is known locally as the Capital of the Glens. Its name derives from the River Dall which flows through the village.  As a conservation area it is steeped in history, with the Curfew Tower built in 1809 as a prison, being the local point of the village.  Visit the Layde Graveyard which is said to be on of the oldest and most important historical sites in the Glens of Antrim. Visit the nearby Glenariff Forest Park, a spectacular glen walk with three waterfalls, and scenic paths and trails to mountain viewpoints.


For more information on other attractions in the area please visit www.causewaycoastandglens.com or www.discovernorthernireland.com.

Activities

Cycling

This area boasts some fantastic scenery and although you will get to see most of it during the event why not take this opportunity to explore the area further either before or after the event.

The most famous cycling route in this area is the Ballyshannon to Larne route, which travels from Larne right up and across the coast, down to Ballyshannon in Southern Ireland. Please click here for information on itineraries and maps for this route.

Other smaller cycling routes exist along the coast and in Glens of Antrim. Please click here for more information.


Walking

Walking routes exploring this world famous landscape are linear with good transport and accommodation options. The Glens of Antrim in particular will appeal to hill walkers and offer some stunning views towards Scotland, the Isle of Man and England.

Click here for information on itineraries, walks, accommodation and day and short breaks in this area.


Canoeing and Sea Kayaking

If you fancy getting to see this unique landscape from the water why not consider hopping into a canoe and journeying along either the North Coast Canoe Trail or the Lower Bann Canoe Trail.

Click here for more information on the canoe trails, canoe instruction and canoe hire.


Adventure Activities

This area makes good use of its natural landscape to offer an extensive range of exciting outdoor activities for you to have a go at including surfing, canoeing, coasteering and hover crafting.

Click here for information on itineraries and the activities you can do in this area.

Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland Cycle NI Decathlon

This event is an initiative of Outdoor Recreation NI, a not for profit organisation