This spectacular castle standing as a sentinel to the North Antrim Coast is considered one of the most picturesque, majestic and romantic of all Irelands castles positioned as it is high above the roar of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Cut into the rock below is theMermaid’s cave which runs directly under the castle making this a wonderful place of history and adventure. Here in 1639 tragedy struck when the rock supporting the castle kitchen gave way, casting the whole kitchen area including cooks and servants down the sheer cliff to perish in the sea below. This hauntingly beautiful attraction is only 3.5 miles from the cottages.
A trip to Rathlin will furnish you close views of Northern Ireland’s largest colony of seabirds. It was here in 1306 that Robert the Bruce fled following defeat by the English. Whilst hiding in a cave he was mesmerized by a spider trying to attach its web to the side of the cave. After many attempts the spider finally succeeded and thus inspired Robert returned to Scotland and in 1314 he defeated King Edward thus freeing Scotland from English rule. It was also on Rathlin in 1898 that Guglielmo Marconi managed to send the first wireless signals on Irish soil between Rathlin and Ballycastle. The ferry leaves from the harbour at Ballycastle which is 15 miles from the cottages.
This amazing Indiana Jones style crossing has been in place connecting Carrick Island with the mainland for over 400 years. Do be aware before you cross that several people upon reaching the Island have refused to return and instead have waited to be picked up by boat! Up until forty years ago the bridge had a handle on only one side however there are no recorded accidents of people falling off this often rather precarious crossing. Situated 10 miles from the cottages the bridge is now operated by the National Trust.
Originally planted in the 1700’s by the Stuart family to form an impressive entrance to their home Gracehill House this incredible avenue of Beech trees still awes and inspires visitors to the area over two centuries later. The road and its trees are now world famous and have appeared in several film and TV productions as well as being one of the most photographed and painted landscapes in Northern Ireland. Do pick your time to visit for legend records that the road is haunted at dusk by a grey lady who appears among the trees before apparently gliding down the road and disappearing from sight! The Dark Hedges is approximately 11 miles from the cottages.
Many golfers visit the Causeway Coast to do battle with some of the best links golf courses in the world.
Royal Portrush Golf Course home of the 2012 Irish Open and the 2019 British Open.
Portstewart Golf Club home to the 2017 Irish Open
Bushfoot Golf Club this splendid course is situated oberlooking the sweeping Runkerry Bay.
Gracehill Golf Club a slightly more sheltered course close to the famous Dark Hedges.
This World Heritage Site owned by the National Trust is situated just 5 miles from the cottages. Visit the new interactive visitor centre (opened in 2012) before going down to the Causeway to marvel at the stunning rock formations found there. Also discover the fascinating story of the legendary giant Finn McCool who originally built this incredible feature!
The Strand beach at Portstewart measures one and a half miles in length. Although (in our opinion) there are nicer beaches in the area (White Rocks at Portrush and White Park Bay at Ballintoy are much prettier) the Strand does allow you to drive your car onto the sand. This makes it a very popular destination with visitors on those days when it is both warm and dry enough to allow you a day at the beach! The Strand is owned and maintained by the National Trust and is situated 9 miles from the cottages.
This is one of the most picturesque villages in Northern Ireland situated on the coast between Bushmills and Ballintoy. The village was originally a salmon fishing station and its slipway is still used today for this purpose. Its unique location and spectacular views makes it a favourite stop for visitors many of whom venture from here round the headland to Dunserverick harbour. Portbradden is situated about 8 miles from the cottages.
Built in 1785 by Fredrick Augustus Harvey Bishop of Derry, Mussenden Temple sits high on the cliffs near Castlerock. This interesting building was built as a library and modelled upon a similar Italian structure. The temple and its neighbouring ruin of Downhill House both have interesting histories, the house having been destroyed by fire in 1851 was restored between 1870 and 1874. During the Second World War it was used to house RAF servicemen however it fell into disrepair shortly after the end of hostilities and was dismantled in 1950. The drive of 11 miles from the cottages and walk to the ruins will furnish some spectacular views along this fascinating coastline.
Ballintoy Harbour on the Causeway Coast is a great place to visit and unwind!For an afternoon out or just for a quick cup of coffee the beautiful and quaint Ballintoy harbour at Ballintoy is very hard to better. Here you can sit and relax as you admire the pretty location. The children can play on it’s small but safe beach and the more adventurous can do a little walking to explore some of the magnificent scenery found nearby including far reaching views to Rathlin Island and the Scottish Islands of Islay and Jura. The little coffee shop found here makes this a good place to unwind.
The Glens of Antrim is a completely unspoilt area of outstanding natural beauty. Travel through these gloriously delightful glens to discover an area of great contrasts where gentle bays are separated by blunt headlands, exposed moorlands give way to gentle valleys and wide vistas contract to enclosed farm lands. The distance from the cottages is around 22 miles however a trip to the glens is well worth the drive.
Tel 028 2073 1837
Mobile 07948 836473