Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland's first UNESCO Heritage Site, is a geological wonder and home to a wealth of history and legend. The 40,000 basalt stone columns left by volcanic eruptions 60 million years ago intrigue and inspire visitors. State of the art interpretation within the award winning Visitor Centre unlocks the mystery and stories of this amazing place and offers a unique glimpse into the wonder that is the Giant's Causeway.
"You are standing on, or are about to visit, one of my favourite places. The jewel in the crown of the fabulous coast of Antrim. A site of World Heritage and therefore ranked alongside Mount Everest and the Giant Redwoods of California for it's importance to humankind.Volcanic activity helped Finn Mc Cool forge this wonder of the World some 60 Million years ago. It is today the habitat of rare plants and animals. Please treat their home with the pride and the care it deserves." David Bellamy
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Take the exhilarating rope bridge challenge across to tiny Carrick-a-Rede island (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) and enjoy a truly cliff-top experience. Set amid unrivalled scenery on the North Antrim Coast, the 30-metre deep and 20-metre wide chasm is traversed by a rope bridge that was traditionally erected by Salmon fishermen. It’s a bit more sturdy these days but there’s still only one way off the island – back across the swinging bridge!
If you choose to brave the rope bridge you will be rewarded with the wonderful scenery Carrick-a-Rede. It is a rocky island that sticks out of the sea and provides wonderful views. You can see for miles along the coastline and even as far as the Scottish islands.
The geology of the island, as well as the plant and animal life, has led to it being named as an area of special scientific interest.
The iconic ruin of Dunluce Castle bears witness to a long and tumultuous history. First built on the dramatic coastal cliffs of north County Antrim by the MacQuillan family around 1500, the earliest written record of the castle was in 1513.
It was seized by the ambitious MacDonnell clan in the 1550's, who set about stamping their mark on the castle under the leadership of the famous warrior chieftain Sorely Boy MacDonnell during an era of violence, intrigue and rebellion.
In the 17th century Dunluce was the seat of the earls of County Antrim and saw the establishment of a small town in 1608. Visitors can explore the findings of archaeological digs within the cobbled streets and stone merchants’ houses of the long-abandoned Dunluce Town.
The dramatic history of Dunluce is matched by tales of a banshee and how the castle kitchens fell into the sea one stormy night in 1639.
The Dark Hedges
This iconic archway of intertwining beech trees has become one of our most photographed natural phenomena.
It was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century to impress visitors approaching the entrance to their Georgian mansion.
Today the site is perhaps best known as a filming location in HBO’s Game of Thrones®; it doubled as The King’s Road in Season Two of the epic series.
Old Bushmills Distillery
Bushmills Irish Whiskey is made at Ireland’s oldest working distillery in County Antrim, on the beautiful North Coast.
Their original grant to distil was signed in 1608 by King James 1st and there has been distillation on the site since then, using the unique water from their own stream and Irish barley.
The Bushmills Brand Experience encompasses guided tours around a working distillery with all the associated sights and smells, tutored whiskey tastings, a specialist whiskey shop and a well stocked gift shop with exclusive Bushmills merchandise.
The North Coast is packed full of places to visit and yearly events which draw thousands of visitors to the area. Portrush is renowned for its blue flag beaches and its famous bars and restaurants such as The Harbour Bar and Ramore Wine Bar, a must visit for food and drink.
Below is a list of a few of the most popular attractions / events / things to do:
North West 200
Airwaves Portrush Airshow
Causeway Mini Weekend
Royal Scottish Pipeband Association Championships
Things To Do
Game of Thrones Tours
Royal Portrush Golf Club - Home of The 148th Open in 2019
Voted Number 7 in the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses, Golf Digest (2017).
Founded in 1888, the legendary Royal Portrush Golf Club has two Championship Courses – the renowned Dunluce Course and the smaller but equally enjoyable Valley Course. Both command impressive views across the North Atlantic with breathtaking views of Scotland and Donegal but the golf is even more spectacular.
The Dunluce Course, re-designed in 1947 by Mr H.S. Colt and later in 1951, became host to the first ever Open Championship held in Ireland. During the entire tournament only two golfers managed to break 70. It’s easy to see why; the greens are scattered among huge sand dunes gently raised above the Antrim Coast providing vistas of sea, cliffs and islands. But no matter how appealing the view, attention must be paid to your game as Portrush can challenge even the most experienced of golfers. Portrush’s most celebrated holes are the fifth hole and the fourteenth. The fifth, ‘White Rock’ is one of the most exhilarating two–shots in golf. Over hit the second shot, and your ball disappears into the Atlantic! The aptly named sixteenth Hole, ‘Calamity’ requires total precision to carry the ball over an enormous ravine. Mis-hit this one and you could be taking your next swing from at least fifty feet below the hole. Is it any wonder that Golf World magazine regularly rates Portrush in the world’s top twenty golf courses?
What the experts say: “The course winds its way back inland, twisting and undulating, until it comes to a heart stopping pause at Calamity Corner. This hole, the hardest par 3 I’ve ever seen, plays 210 yards, uphill and into the wind to a green on the side of a cliff. I retired to the upstairs bar and began the slow process of returning to our accustomed selves – the ones who play the ordinary, earthbound kind of golf.” Charles McGrath, New York Times.