WalkNI.com Your definitive guide to walking in Northern Ireland

Causeway Coast & Glens

The North Coast and Antrim area is justifiably famous for the Giant’s Causeway, wonderful coastlines and a unique natural beauty. The area includes three designated areas of outstanding natural beauty. Benbane Head on the Causeway Coast Way was voted ‘Most Epic View’ in the inaugural WalkNI awards. The area has nine glens including Glenariff the ‘Queen of the Glens’, lush forest parks, secluded coastal tracks and numerous quaint fishing villages. Walking routes exploring this world famous landscape are linear with good transport and accommodation options. The Glens of Antrim in particular will appeal to hillwalkers and offer some stunning views towards Scotland, the Isle of Man and England.

map of the North Coast and Antrim

 

The Causeway Coast Way

The Causeway Coast way is 33 miles (52 km) in length and is widely regarded as one of the finest coastal walks in Ireland. The routes passes by Dunluce Castle, The Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge.

Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge

Now standing as one of Northern Ireland’s best loved attractions, local fishermen first erected the famous rope bridge to Carrick-a-Rede island over a 23m-deep and 20m-wide chasm to enable them to safely check their salmon nets. 

Rathlin Island

The L-shaped Rathlin Island, sits just 6 miles off the North Antrim coast. The island itself is 6 miles long and 1 mile wide. In the 18th Century 1,200 people lived permanently on Rathlin Island. This number has dwindled significantly over the years and the most recent census recorded the population on the island to be 82. The island is most famous for its vast array of bird life, seal colonies and panoramic views. All this can be seen on one of Rathlin’s spectacular coastal walks.

The Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site was created from a volcanic eruption which occurred approximately 60 million years ago, the result of which created over 40,000 intriguing hexagonal columns which have attracted visitors for centuries.

 

The Causeway Rambler

A dedicated “rambler” bus service operates through the North Coast from April – September. This service runs in both directions from Coleraine to Carrick-a-rede and picks walkers up at 9 points along the Causeway Coast Way. Please see the Useful Information section for more details.

 

Walking Festivals

There are 2 walking festivals in this area; The Castlerock Walkfest and the Walk the Glens Walking Festival. The Castlerock Walkfest is organised by the Castlerock Community Association and is Northern Ireland’s newest walking festival. As it is only in it’s infancy this is still a relatively small walking festival. The Walk the Glens Festival, based around the Glenariff, Cushendall & Cushendun areas, offers walking in breath taking surroundings. The main attraction of this festival is simply spectacular walks led by knowledgeable locals. Find out more about both these walking festivals here.