The Causeway Coastal Route: Northern Ireland

We are lucky to have lived near to this coastline for many years now, and like all of Ireland it is a stretch of beautiful and rugged coastline. This coastline is renowned for the Giants Causeway and Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, and is described as one of the best road trips in the world. In this series of blogs we will discuss some interesting and some of our favourite places to visit on the causeway coastal route.

Coming out of Larne you pass through the Black Arch; it always feels like the starting point of the causeway coast to us. If you stop here you will notice there is a set of stairs leading down to the rocks; this area is called the devils churn by locals due to the sounds made by the sea and the old tales of a man who went missing here one night.

Travelling along the coast road you will pass Drains Bay and Carnfunnock Country Park before rounding Ballygally head where you will get a sweeping view of Ballygally bay and the Ballygally Castle. Keep an eye out for the “Polar Bear” rock as you enter the village!

Ballygally Bay

This area has always been special to us, on our first date we went a walk along this beach and a few years later we held our wedding reception at Ballygally Castle. The beach here is a favourite spot for families during the summer, with car parking, toilets, and a local shop with Ice Cream Parlour; it is a favourite for us to stop at and spend an afternoon by the sea.

Our next stop is often Carnlough, on the way there you will pass through Glenarm village, home to Glenarm Castle and the harbour. Carnlough bay has a beautiful sandy beach which is great to visit during the summertime. The village itself is home to several cafés, pubs and shops, often we will call into The Galley for a fish and chip. Passing under the bridge and taking the first left will lead you to a car park opposite the old harbour which featured in Game of Thrones.

High tide at Carnlough Beach

Leaving Carnlough along the Garron Road will lead you to Garron Point. There is a car park here that you can stop for some great views along the Causeway coast.

Continuing along this road you will notice the ruins of Ardclinis Church and Graveyard, there is a small car park here and it is an interesting place to stop. Crossing the small stream and walking up through the field will lead you to what’s left of the church and the graveyard. You will also find a fairy tree here; its base is surrounded by rocks for protection. Fairy trees can be found throughout Ireland tradition dictating that bad luck upon anyone who damages or removes one. In the branches you will notice travellers have attached ribbons and items for good luck and wishes.  

The Fairy Tree – Ardclinis

Continuing along this road will bring you to Waterfoot and Red Bay beach, another picturesque sandy bay where you will often see the Red Bay lifeboat moored near the pier. The next blog in this series will cover Cushendall to Ballycastle until then stay safe and keep planning the next adventure!

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