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Welcome to Antrim

Welcome to Antrim, an ancient county in the north-eastern part of Ireland with a fascinating history that lives on today in its people and its culture. Antrim is home to Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland and an industrial powerhouse from the 18th century to the late 20th century. Belfast today is the largest city in Northern Ireland and is a vibrant and welcoming city. In the heart of the city is one of the world’s top visitor attractions, the famous Titanic Belfast experience. This award winning museum transports you back to 1912 and illuminates the construction and launch of the ill-fated Titanic.

Antrim has a lot more to offer outside the bright lights of Belfast however. From the picturesque Glens of Antrim (used as a location for many scenes from Game of Thrones), to the scenic views of the Antrim coastline, it is easy to see why people have fallen in love with this place over the years. One of the most recognisable attractions in all of Ireland is the Giant’s Causeway. This UNESCO World Heritage Site sits on the edge of Ireland and is a geological wonder. Nearby is the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge; you definitely don’t want to miss your chance to walk the treacherous path over a 20m-wide (and 23m-deep) chasm to Carrick Island.

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Things to See & Do

Landmarks

  • Dunluce Castle
  • Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge
  • Giant`s Causeway
  • Port of Larne
  • Port of Cork

Things to Do

  • The Titanic Experience, Winner of the World's Leading Visitor Attraction (World Travel Awards, 2016) is a must see on your visit to Belfast. It is located in the heart of the city, right beside the historic Harland & Wolff Shipyard, site of this world-famous ship’s construction.

  • Black Taxi Tours are brought to you by drivers who have themselves lived through the tumultuous past of this now thriving city. You will be taken on a mural tour that includes east to west and north to south of the city taking in both sides of the community. The amazingly detailed murals depict the war efforts and the drivers will give you the history behind them whilst sharing their own experiences of living through the war years.

  • Crumlin Road Gaol dates back to 1845 and closed its doors as a working prison in 1996. The Gaol is now renovated and has opened as a visitor attraction. Guided tours can be taken where you can learn about the history of the site and you will see what prison life was like through the ages including the political segregation of republican and loyalist prisoners. Your guide will bring you to the underground tunnel that used to connect the gaol to the Courthouse and to other interesting areas including the ‘condemned man’s cell’.

  • Belfast City Hall, one of Belfast’s most iconic buildings, is the city’s civic building. It is located in Donegall Square, in the heart of the city centre. Free public tours are offered every day and last around an hour. A visitor exhibition can be found in the City Hall’s east wing which offers a journey from the city’s past to present. 16 separate rooms can be explored and the refurbished coffee shop offers lunch and refreshments. Also worth seeing are the beautifully maintained lawns surrounding the City Hall containing a wealth of memorials to the history, people and events associated with the City including the Titanic Memorial Gardens which contains a nine metre long plinth listing the names of the 1,512 people who perished on RMS Titanic.

  • Ulster Museum is Northern Ireland’s treasure house of the past and present. Located in the beautiful botanic gardens, the museum houses a fine collection of art, history and natural sciences and free to all visitors. With everything from dinosaur bones, to the Spanish Armada and Samurai armour, the Ulster Museum is the perfect day out for all the family.

  • Antrim Castle Gardens are a historical gem. Walk into the past as you stroll through these magnificent 400 year old gardens. The gardens contain layer upon layer of design features and planting that has been added over the centuries. Exceptional features found here include the ancient Motte, the Large Parterre, the Yew Tree Pond and the Pleasure Gardens. The Garden Coffee Shop has plenty of treats to tempt you with and the Visitor Shop contains a unique rage of goods with a distinct garden focus.

  • Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coastal Route – The Causeway Coastal Route is a designated scenic tourist drive around the coast of Northern Ireland between the cities of Belfast and Londonderry. The Giant’s Causeway is found on this route flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean and a landscape of dramatic cliffs. Visit the world-famous basalt columns shaped as a result of cooled lava from volcanic eruptions that took place over 65 million years ago. You can also take in the award-winning Visitor Centre and avail of the café and retail zone.

  • Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge (Ballintoy) – Once you have experienced the 30m high rope bridge that brings you over to Carrick-a-Rede Island (home to a single building – a fisherman’s cottage) enjoy the spectacular views back to the mainland and along the coastline.

  • Old Bushmills Distillery is the oldest working distillery in Ireland. It is found in the small village of Bushmills on the beautiful north coast of Antrim. Bushmills is the only distillery in Ireland to make triple-distilled single malt whiskey. During your guided tour you will see the copper potstills used to distil this special spirit. The tour will also include all the associated sights and smells, whiskey tastings, a specialist whiskey shop and a gift shop with exclusive Bushmills merchandise. Following your tour you will be offered a whiskey or a soft dring in the 1608 Bar and there is also a restaurant serving lunches and treats through the day.

  • Dunluce Castle, one of the most picturesque and romantic of Irish castles bears witness to a long and tumultuous history. It is situated on the dramatic coastal cliffs of north County Antrim and was first built around 1500. It is now an iconic ruin where visitors can explore the castle itself and also enjoy the breath-taking views

  • Carrickfergus Castle has been a symbol of military power in Ulster for the last 800 years. Built in the 13th century on the northern shore of Belfast Lough, the castle played an important role in the many wars that were fought throughout the centuries. The castle was garrisoned by English troops for over 750, and has been besieged by everyone from the Scottish, Irish, French and even the English themselves. Today visitors can view historical displays and examine the strong defences of the castle, as well as cannons from the 17th to the 19th centuries.