County Antrim Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
Antrim can lay claim to some of the most stunning scenery in the country, from the nine Glens of Antrim to staggering cliff-top walks, and from deserted beaches and sheltered bays to one of Europe’s most unusual geological phenomena at the Giant’s Causeway.
Most of its boundaries are surrounded by water, with its extensive coastline along the sea, its south-east corner overlooking Belfast Lough, Lough Neagh on its south-west side and the River Bann acting as a border with the neighbouring county Londonderry. Besides the coastal towns, which vary from the resort towns of Portrush and Ballycastle to the historic Carrickfergus guarding Belfast Lough in the south, visitors can also enjoy the vast shopping and sight seeing opportunities of Belfast, Ballymena and Antrim Town - home of Shanes Castle.
History and Heritage
Much of Antrim’s history is surrounded by myths and legends to do with giants but it also houses the oldest legal distillery in the world at Bushmills
(granted its licence in 1608 by King James I).
Castles such as Dunseverick and Carrickfergus (one of Ireland’s finest Norman castles) are reminders of Antrim’s past.
Ballycastle’s claim to fame is that the wireless inventor Marconi made his first successful radio transmission between the town and Rathlin Island back in 1898, an achievement that is commemorated in the town.
Sites to see
The Giant’s Causeway, Carrickfergus Castle, Ballycastle Museum, Dunseverick Castle, Bushmills Distillery, Carrick- Rede Rope Bridge & Rathlin Island.
Sports and Leisure
Surfing at Portrush is an absolute must for aficionados of the sport and sailors will find well-established clubs along the coast from Carrickfergus to Larne to Cushendall.
Golf – some of Ireland’s finest courses are found in Antrim, including Royal Portrush, Portstewart Golf Club & Grace Hill Golf Club, Ballymoney.
Walking & Cycling Tours along the mighty Ulster Way and other wellplanned routes are highly recommended.
Sea angling or scenic trips at Ballycastle Charters, Sea Treks Ireland or Salutay.
Camping & Pony Trekking are other popular leisure activities in Antrim.
Eat, Drink and Stay
Restaurants to consider in Antrim include Lyndon Heights (Ballygally), Bushmills Inn (Bushmills), Cellar Restaurant and Wysners in Ballycastle and Sweeneys of Portballintrae while Portrush has possibly the best selection from the likes of Ramore Wine Bar, Harbour Bar & Bistro, Coast, and 55 Degrees North.
Atmospheric pubs include The House of McDonnell on Ballycastle’s Castle Street and The Distillers Arms on Bushmills’ Main Street (which also has a good restaurant). Mary McBride’s Pub in Cushendun incorporates the original bar, which at 2.7m x 1.5m is the smallest in Ireland, and it also serves good food in its Waterside Restaurant.
McCollam’s Bar in Cushendall is considered one of the best pubs in Ireland for traditional Irish music sessions.
Since it attracts so many visitors, Antrim has a plentiful supply of B&Bs set in the stunning surrounds of the county’s landscape.
May: Northwest 200 motorcycle event
June: Fleadh Amhran agus Rince music & dance festival - Ballycastle
July: Festival Week - Cushendun, Lughnasa Annual Fair - Carrickfergus
August: Ould Lammas Fair - Ballycastle Glens of Antrim Festival – Cushendall
September: Northern Ireland International Airshow
Things you have to see or do
The Giant’s Causeway – and the spectacular Causeway Coast
Carrigfergus Castle – one of Ireland’s finest Norman castles
Ballycastle Museum – 18th Century court house, detailing the history of the Glens
Dunserverick Castle – visit what remains of one of Ireland’s first castles
Bushmills Distillery Tour – the world’s oldest distillery
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge – near Ballycastle
Rathlin Island – for bird-watching and seal-spotting
Bushmills Irish Whiskey www.bushmills.com
The Giants Causeway & Antrim Glens www.causewaycoastandglens.com
The Railway Preservation Society www.rpsi-online.org
Northwest 200 www.northwest200.fm
Northern Ireland Tourist Board www.discovernorthernireland.com
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