Clinging to the wave battered north east coast of Northern Ireland, a dramatic seaside road runs all the way from the capital of Belfast to Derry – Londonderry. Known as the Causeway Coastal Route, this winding, snaking passage contains some of the country’s most awe-inspiring natural backdrops and is renowned as one of the world’s greatest road journeys. Expect dramatic cliff faces, majestic castles and 195 miles of some of the most breath-taking scenery on the face of the planet.
This fabled route features some of the most majestic views in the UK, and you’ll pass deep glens full of wildlife, stunning waterfalls and sheer gorges as you travel across the green landscape of Atrium. Eventually, you’ll arrive at the Giant’s Causeway, one of the most striking natural areas in the world. Here, 40,000 perfectly shaped hexagon columns interlock together to create the image of a broken bridge stretching out into the sea. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is steeped in folklore, with the legend going that the bridge was created by fearsome giant Finn McCool.
Your epic journey begins in the Northern Ireland capital of Belfast – where the legendary Titanic was constructed – and sees you pass through a number of peaceful towns and villages. Stop along the way to pop into charming spots like Carrickfergus to grab some fish and chips or enjoy a drink at one of the many traditional pubs in Cushendall. For those starting the route in Belfast, the final stop is the walled city of Derry – Londonderry, which boasts a rich history and is covered in thought-provoking murals from ‘the Troubles’.
There are plenty of places all along this route where you simply have to stop and take the time to explore. The first sight along the route is the dizzying Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which stretches precariously to an old fishing island, and its stunning coastal views make this walkway a truly exhilarating experience. For those seeking a tipple of the hard stuff, the historic Bushmills Distillery offers free tastings, and a tour of the sights and smells of an award winning whiskey factory. For the history buffs, you can stop off at Dunsverick Castle or hear the mysterious tale of Dunluce Castle, where the kitchen fell into the sea during a storm in 1639. Just before you reach the end of your journey, stop at the village of Castle Rock and walk along the beach, looking up at the circular Mussenden Temple perched on the tip of the cliff edge.
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