The Causeway Coastal Route is the definition of a legendary journey – travelling along the fringes of Northern Ireland, it feels like you’re walking along the edge of the world.
You’ll start in Belfast, a city with a long legacy – this is where that legendary ocean liner the Titanic was built, and you can pay homage to this behemoth of the sea at Titanic Belfast. Next, head to the Gobbins, a cliff path created in the 19th century, and rejuvenated today to provide stunning sea views as you explore the nooks and crannies of this walkway that is, quite literally, along the cliff face.
Next up, Glenarm Castle, a beautiful structure that looks like it came straight out of a fairytale. Built in the 17th century by the McDonnell family, the walled garden and grounds are the height of country estate elegance. Further along the coast, the Cushendun Caves are ancient subterranean passages that you might recognise from Game of Thrones – this is where Melisandre gave birth to a shadow creature that went on to kill Renly Baratheon.
Venture off the coast and get the ferry to Rathlin Island, a seabird sanctuary with an “upside down” lighthouse that glows red at night. Travelling back to the mainland, you’ll sway out over the sea on the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, before visiting the namesake of the route, the Giant’s Causeway, where40,000 hexagonal basalt columns are a testament to this area’s volcanic past. Sip delicious Irish whiskey at the Old Bushmills Distillery, then experience true visual drama at Dunluce Castle, a ruined pile perched precariously on the cliffs. Remember the McDonnells from Glenarm Castle? This was their original haunt!
If you love golf, you won’t believe the links at Royal Portrush, set to host the Open 2019. Above the pristine sands of Downhill Beach, Mussenden Temple is a picture-perfect structure, modelled on the Temple of Vesta in Italy. And round out your journey in Derry~Londonderry, the walled city with a particular love for Halloween...