County Antrim is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s most beautiful and interesting counties. There is so much to see and do in this little county. Here’s our top 10 things to see and do in Antrim.
10. Bushmills Factory
The world-famous Bushmills Irish Whiskey is made at Ireland’s oldest working distillery in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Offically known as ‘the Bushmills Brand Experience,’ this site offers insightful guided tours around a working distillery along with tasting, education and all you can expect from a world-class distillery. There is even a restaurant serving lunches and Bushmills inspired treats throughout the day! The Distillery is open for tours 7-days a week so you have no excuse to miss out…unless you are under 18 of course!
Address: 2 Distillery Rd, Bushmills BT57 8XH
9. Rathlin Island
The beauty doesn’t end at the cliffs of the north coast of County Antrim as there is a little paradise island just a stone-throw away. Rathlin Island lies a few miles off the coast and is accessible by ferry from Ballycastle.
This isolated island is the perfect location for walks, cycles and fishing. The beautiful puffin bird can be found here and as a result, birdwatchers love this island. Although this is not on the mainland, it is a deserved entry to the top 10 places to see in Co. Antrim!
8. Crumlin Road Gaol
This former prison situated on the Crumlin Road in north Belfast, is now an museum which provides amazing historical tours and entertainment events. It is the only remaining Northern Irish prison that remains from the Victorian era and it has been closed as a functioning prison since 1996.
Popularly known as ‘the Crum,’ the Northern Ireland Environment Agency has awarded this site as a grade A listed building status due to its architectural and historical significance. The building which is directly across the road, Crumlin Road Courthouse, is connected to the jail by an underground tunnel which was used to transport the prisoners directly from the court where they were sentenced to their cell.
Address: 53-55 Crumlin Rd, Belfast BT14 6ST
7. Glenoe Waterfall
One of the most beautiful waterfalls is located in Co. Antrim. This beautiful waterfall blends in nicely with the beautiful Glens of Antrim. Just around the corner from this gem is the charming village of Glenoe and some of the most beautiful places in Ireland. This waterfall is definitely worth a place on the top 10 most beautiful places in County Antrim.
Address: Waterfall Rd, Larne BT40 3NQ
6. Carrickfergus Castle
If you are into history, there is nowhere better than Carrickfergus Castle. This Norman castle is located in the small town of Carrickfergus, just outside Belfast. Amazingly, this castle was besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French. Amazingly, Carrickfergus Castle played an important military role until 1928 and it still remains one of the best preserved medieval structures in Ireland. It is one of the most noticeable and iconic sites in Ireland and therefore, is a worthy entry to the top 10 places in Antrim.
Address: Marine Hwy, Carrickfergus BT38 7BG
5. The Dark Hedges
The Dark Hedges was already one of the most photographed locations in Northern Ireland and this has only increased with the filming of the popular Game of Thrones TV series. This location is seriously out of this world. This top 10 list would not be right without this entry as it is simply stunning.
Address: Bregagh Rd, Stranocum, Ballymoney BT53 8TP
4. Causeway Coastal Route
The Causeway Coastal route is one of the greatest drives on earth according to many world tourist organisations. This road includes three designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) – The Causeway Coast, the Causeway Coast and Glens which just shows how amazing it is. If you love a drive and haven’t been here yet, do it as soon as possible.
Address: 160 Main St, Bushmills BT57 8QE
3. Dunluce Castle
Dunluce Castle is one of the top three icons of the north, therefore, it is only right that it is on the top three of this list. This historic castle is located on the cliff’s edge and surrounded by a beautiful coast. It was once the headquarters of the MacDonnell Clan and it is suggested that the castle which was destroyed by fire in 1641.
Address: 87 Dunluce Rd, Bushmills BT57 8UY
2. Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is probably the most famous bridge in Ireland. This famous rope bridge near Ballintoy links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. This bridge is 20 metres in length and is 30 metres above the rocks below, which is a massive drop! The bridge is primarily a tourist attraction and is owned and maintained by the National Trust. The attraction has in excess of 250,000 visitors annually and it is open all year round (subject to weather).
Address: 119a Whitepark Road, Ballycastle BT54 6LS
1. Giant’s Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway has to be one of the best, if not the best tourist attraction in Ireland. This natural wonder comprises of around 40,000 polygonal basalt rock columns, formed by the ancient volcanic landscape and stretching along the coastline like a series of gigantic stepping stones. This amazing attraction is not too far from Belfast, making it the ideal day-trip location. If you haven’t been there, write it on your Bucket List and make sure you go!
Address: 44 Causeway Rd, Bushmills BT57 8SU