County Antrim coastlineFamous for its gorgeous coastline and stunning natural scenery, and easy to get to with regular ferries, County Antrim is one of Northern Ireland’s top tourist destinations. Many visitors flock to this breath-taking coast to explore the Giant’s Causeway and walk the Causeway Coastal Route, but there’s much more to see in this beautiful coastal county.

Stay at…

Northern Ireland’s Premier Luxury Hotel and Spa, Galgorm Resort, in Galgorm for a decadent stay, with all the best on-site facilities. Only 30 minutes from Belfast, this all-in-one hotel has its own luxury spa, several bars and restaurants, horse-riding, fishing and a golf course nearby – you could spend a week here and never leave the resort.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little more personal, Shola Coach House, a boutique B&B in Portrush, may be right up your street. This quaint restored coach house is within easy access of the beautiful coastlines, the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, and many other attractions, including a number of fantastic local restaurants.

Eat at…

Del Toro, the steak house and urban grill in Lisburn, which offers a luxury dining experience that combines traditional Tuscan cuisine with seasonal, local produce, with a heavy focus on their ‘28 day aged naturally raised Northern Irish beef’. With a gorgeous rich interior and an outside terrace for when it’s sunny this fantastic restaurant is a must visit whatever the season. Or if you’re looking for something a little more budget friendly try Square Bistro in Lisburn, ranked #1 in Lisburn on TripAdvisor, which boasts delicious dishes, friendly staff and quirky presentation (lobster cappuccino anyone?) in a chic, stylish setting.

Explore…

The dramatic scenery of Giant’s Causeway
This mysterious landscape, flanked by dramatic cliffs and the crashing waves of the North Atlantic Ocean, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK. The famous basalt columns, caused by an ancient volcano eruption have inspired artists and scientists alike, and are home to a wealth of local history and mythology.

The views from Carrick-a-Rede
Perhaps the best known part of the coastal footpath is the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Originally constructed by fisherman as a way of checking their nets, the swinging rope bridge now draws tourists from all over the world looking to test their nerve. Once across the bridge you can enjoy the spectacular flora and fauna of Carrick Island, with views that stretch all the way to Scotland on a clear day.

The Glens of Antrim
There are nine beautiful Glens of Antrim in total, offering incredible natural landscapes including woods, rivers and breath-taking waterfalls. Most are easily accessible by car or on foot, and make a great country walk.

Your adventurous side with some extreme activities
The rugged landscape and rough North Atlantic Ocean provide a great location for those who enjoy outdoor sports, and there are a number of places to dive right in to some great activities from coasteering to kayaking. Or, if you want to stay on dry(ish) land, try your hand at caving, archery or blokarting. Whether you want to be up in the air or underwater, there’s a veritable smorgasbord of activities for you to have a go at.

Don’t miss…

Ould Lammas Fair, Ballycastle, Last Monday & Tuesday of August
This two day market fair has taken place annually on the last Monday and Tuesday in August since the seventeenth century to mark the end of summer and the beginning of harvest. The origins of the fair are tangled in the myths and legends of Ireland, and it attracts thousands of people from all over the world.

We hope we’ve inspired you to pay a visit to this magical location and soak in all the magical tourist attractions it has to offer.

Don’t forget if you do go to send us some pictures and let us know what you got up to on your Northern Ireland adventure @MapMarketingUK!