Thursday, May 16, 2013

Northern Ireland's hidden treasure

The Antrim Coast is is one of the most scenic shorelines in the world. It stretches along the northern part of Ireland west of Larne and to the Irish county of Donegal. Along the way are quaint and colorful fishing villages as Glenarm home of the best Irish pasties. Dunluce castle a most picturesque medieval castle overlooking the dark cold Atlantic, a photo here promises to be one of your best. Then there is the tidy town of Bushmills home to the world famous Bushmills whisky distillery. The rolling green hills are stereo-typically looking Irish hillsides dotted by sheep and dairy cows. Not to forget The Giants Causeway, a UNESCO world heritage site an area of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns.

There are also numerous trailer parks and long sandy stretches of white virgin beach along the way and are easily accessible for strolling along and forgetting all your troubles. The locals are very friendly and as you travel along the coast you will hear many changes to the accent. With many sounding more Scottish at times than Irish. This is an area steeped in legend, history and folklore and is often overlooked by the hordes of tourists that go to Ireland. The air is crisp and refreshing, scented by the smell of the sea which seems to add to the holiday appeal in such places as Portrush and Portstewart with their carnival by the sea atmosphere, cafes and ice cream shoppes.

No trip would be complete to the Antrim coast and its winding roadway without taking in a game of golf at one of its world class golf courses as The Royal Portrush course for example. The game here is different as you play the rolling rough landscape usually in the rain and the not a manicured landscape. It should also be noted that some of the finest golfers in the world as Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke to name but a few are from this area.

Getting There: Ferry’s from Scotland to Larne will take one right to the eastern part of the Antrim Coast. While RyanAir flights into Derry (Londonderry) from England and Scotland will take one to the extreme opposite direction. Easyjet flights from the UK and United Flights from Newark also service Belfast International. Whereas Belfast’s George Best airport see’s regular flights to the UK and France via Flybe.

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