Causeway Coastal Route

Belfast to Derry

4 Days
  • Beaches
  • Coastal Views
  • Family
  • Food & Drink
  • The Giants Causeway
  • The Dark Hedges
  • Titanic Visitor Centre
Must-see

The Causeway Coastal Route is one of Ireland’s most scenic drives, beginning in the city of Belfast and ending in Derry. Follow the journey along the north coast of Ireland, through picturesque coastal villages deep into the Glens of Antrim. Visit Rathlin Island Northern Ireland’s only inhabited island. The highlight of the route is the world famous Giant’s Causeway before ending in the walled city of Derry.

 

Day 1

Belfast to Carnfunnock

Explore Belfast

The journey begins in Belfast, quickly establishing itself as one of Europe’s must visit cities. Spend the morning sampling the friendly atmosphere and experience the warm welcome of Northern Ireland’s capital city. The city offers lots for visitors to see and do, visit The Titanic Visitor Centre, explore the cities Ulster Museum or take a walk through the cities St Georges Market and sample some of the local Northern Irish produce from local market traders.

Carrickfergus Castle

Next stop on the route is Carrickfergus Castle, this Anglo Norman Castle is a short 15 minutes’ drive from Belfast. The scene of many dramatic battles and takeovers from the English, Scottish and French. It has recently featured in the popular TV series A Game of Thrones. Spend time exploring the castle before continuing the journey along the coast.

The Gobbins

The Gobbins is Northern Ireland’s latest tourist attraction located on the scenic Islandmagee peninsula. Explore the spectacular coastal path and enjoy the walk along the sea cliffs look out for caves and tunnels along the way.

Carnfunnock

The first leg of the journey ends in Carnfunnock, explore the country park which has plenty to offer thw whole family including a campsite, play park, maze, gardens and loads of pleasant walks to enjoy. In the evening you can choose between Larne or Ballygalley each with their own choice of coastal pubs and restaurants for you to relax and enjoy your first night on the North Coast of Ireland.

Titanic Visitor Centre

Titanic Visitor Centre

Take in the full Titanic experience, explore the shipyard, walk the decks, travel to the depths of the ocean and uncover the true legend of Titanic.

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Ulster Museum

Ulster Museum

Visit the Ulster Museum covering new and old Irish History as well as Fine and Applied art.

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Belfast Zoo

Belfast Zoo

Take the family to enjoy a day at the Belfast Zoo.

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Day 2

Slemish to Rathlin

Slemish

Leaving Ballygalley the route journeys away from the coast inland to Slemish Mountain. Aside from its natural beauty, Slemish’s value as a heritage site is due to its association with St Patrick. In local tradition, the mountain was the site of the saint’s slavery, where he spent 6 years herding livestock for Mulchi, the local chieftain. The route then moves back to the coast taking in The Glens of Antrim and Glenarm Castle along the way.

Cushendun

Cushendun stands on an elevated beach at the outflow of the Glendun and Glencorp valleys. Stop off at the pretty coastal village, nestled at the foot of Glendun, one of the nine Glens of Antrim.

A designated Conservation Area, it was designed in the style of a Cornish village by architect Clough Williams-Ellis. Look out for the goat sculpture, ‘Johann’, and the caves behind the village which were one of many local locations used in the filming of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Torr Head

Stop off at Torr Head a headland stretching out to the Irish Sea, offering fantastic views of Antrim’s dramatic coastline. Perched at the top sits an old look-out building, believed to have been used during the war. In the 1800s the passage of transatlantic ships was recorded here and transmitted back to London.

Rathlin Island

Before boarding the boat to visit Rathlin Island, the nearby Bonamargy Friary and Northern Ireland’s famous Dark Hedges are both worth a visit. Take a day trip or stay over on Rathlin Island to experience the rugged beauty and tranquillity of Northern Ireland’s only inhabited offshore island.

The Island is reached by ferry from Ballycastle. Follow one of the island’s scenic walking trails or hire a bicycle to explore the quiet roads. Learn about island life at the Boathouse Visitor Centre, watch the seal colonies, and visit the island’s three lighthouses.

Spend the night on Rathlin or drive back to Ballycastle and enjoy a quiet drink in one of the towns Bars.

The Glens of Antrim

The Glens of Antrim

The Glens of Antrim, known locally as The Glens, is a region of County Antrim comprising nine glens, reaching from Antrim to the coast.

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The Dark Hedges

The Dark Hedges

Visit The Dark Hedges one of the most photographed locations in Northern Ireland.

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Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island is an island and civil parish off the coast of County Antrim and the northernmost point of Northern Ireland.

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Day 3

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge to Dunluce Castle

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Day 3  begins with a visit to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge located amid unrivalled scenery on the North Antrim Coast. The 30-metre deep and 20-metre wide chasm is crossed by a rope bridge that was traditionally erected by Salmon fishermen. Enjoy the walk up to the bridge with views over the Irish Sea and nearby Rathlin Island.

Ballintoy Harbour

On the way to the Giants Causeway stop of at the picturesque fishing harbour at Ballintoy. The Harbour also featured in HBO’s Game of Thrones a theme that has become synonymous with this coastal route.

Whitepark Bay

Enjoy the fresh air with a stroll across Whitepark Bay’s white sandy beach. Look out for the hamlet of Portbradden home to St. Gobban’s Church one of the smallest in Ireland.

Giants Causeway

The main feature of the route is the Giants Causeway and it is not to be missed located in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Take a walk down to the polygonal shaped stones caused by volcanic activity millions of years ago and alternatively learn the story of Finn McCool and how he created this iconic attraction.

Bushmills

Stop of in the village of Bushmills and take a guided tour of the famous Old Bushmills Distillery Ireland’s oldest working distillery. Enjoy the sights and smells of Bushmills as you learn how Irish whiskey is distilled here.

Dunluce Castle

The last stop on the route is at Dunluce Castle. Its breath taking views have inspired writers and artists as it sits perched on the cliffs on the edge of the Antrim Coast.

Portrush

Finish the day in the popular seaside town of Portrush a popular tourist town all year round. Enjoy a meal or drink in one of the towns many bars and restaurants. There is also a nearby amusement park for children to enjoy.

Old Bushmills Distillery

Old Bushmills Distillery

Take a tour of Bushmills Irish Whiskey Distillery

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The Giants Causeway

The Giants Causeway

One of Northern Ireland's most popular tourist attractions The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.

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Portrush

Portrush

Visit the seaside town of Portrush located on the Antrim coast.

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Day 4

Downhill Demense to Derry

Downhill Demesne

The final leg of the journey begins at Downhill Demesne a mansion built in the 18th century for Frederick Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol at Downhill Northern Ireland. Much of the building was destroyed by fire in 1851 before being rebuilt in the 1870s.

Beyond the ruined mansion lies one of our most iconic monuments – the circular Mussenden Temple, perched on a cliff edge high above Downhill Beach.

Binevenagh

Take a detour to Binevenagh enjoy the scenic drive to its summit where you will find a lake and panoramic views over the Roe Valley below and across to Lough Foyle in nearby Donegal.

Derry

The route ends in the famous Walled City of Derry. Take a tour of the city looking out over its famous walls, which date back to the 17th Century. Derry is the last remaining fully walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of a Walled City anywhere in Europe  The cities

The Peace Bridge which was opened in 2011 has become a sign of the progress that the city has made in improving relations between the protestant and catholic communities within the city. Running over the River Foyle, the bridge connects the Waterside area of the city, to the Cityside area.

 

The City of Derry is a compact city that is easy to explore on foot, with a variety of must-see attractions including Eglinton Barrick’s, The Guildhall, St Columb’s Cathedral, The Tower Museum, Craft Village and The Walled City Brewery.

Park the car and take time to explore the city on foot with Derry City Tours.  This will allow you to take in all the sights and sounds of Derry, getting a real local insight as you go.  With lots of great bars and restaurants, a weekend in Derry is one you’re sure to remember.

Walls of Derry

Walls of Derry

A walk around the walls in Derry reveal a city crammed full of history, heritage, interest and a vibrant cultural scene.

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Peace Bridge

Peace Bridge

When in Derry take a walk across the cities newly constructed Peace Bridge taking you across the River Foyle.

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Millennium Forum

Millennium Forum

The Millennium Forum is a popular theatre and conference centre in Derry.

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