Autumn is the perfect time of the year to escape. Along Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route, the country roads are lined with amber leaves, the beaches are quiet and tranquil, fires roar in pubs and restaurants.
There’s so much to see and do during your time here, regardless of what the word ‘holiday’ means to you. Whether you want to get active outdoors with kayaking or surfing, or relax and unwind at a spa followed by fireside drinks, there’s an abundance of activities to choose from! The beauty of it all is that however you choose to spend your time here, you’re guaranteed breath-taking scenery around every corner, as well as a warm welcome from our friendly locals.
You can experience it all when you visit the Causeway Coast and Glens and each town or village in the area promises something unique for visitors to the region.
Take for example, the stunning seaside town of Ballycastle – quaint shop fronts line the streets, which are filled to the brim with rustic cafes, boutiques, atmospheric restaurants and pubs. If you fancy peace and quiet, the pebble beach at Ballycastle strand offers panoramic views of the town, of Rathlin Island, and of the stunning Fairhead cliff face. Nearby lies the ruins of the enchanting Bonamargy Friary which dates back to the year 1500. The cloister, gatehouse, altar and church are well preserved except for the thatch roof. There are many interesting features including the east window, a staircase and a sealed burial vault.
Ballycastle is also home to the ferry serving Rathlin Island, which is well worth a day trip when journeying the Causeway Coastal Route. The island, which has a population of just over 150 people, is located just 6 miles across the Sea of Moyle from Ballycastle. To the delight of passengers, the ferry is regularly accompanied by dolphins keeping up with the journey, so keep your eyes peeled and have your camera at the ready!
On Rathlin Island, you can enjoy the many walks this rural island has to offer including along the shore to Mill Bay where you may see some of the resident seals basking or at play. Make a night of it in the recently refurbished Manor House guest accommodation or one of the B&Bs on the island.
Perhaps one of the most desirable qualities of visiting the Causeway Coast and Glens for a short break is that all of our famous attractions and iconic landscapes are conveniently located close to one another. From Ballycastle, the iconic stones of the Giant’s Causeway are just over a 20 minute drive away. On your way there, you’ll take the scenic route passing through Ballintoy, home to the famous harbour featured in HBO’s Game of Thrones®, as well as the ever-thrilling Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, which is suspended 100ft above sea level.
As well as the adrenaline-rushing experience of crossing the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, the Causeway Coast and Glens offer an abundance of activities for brave-spirited adventure seekers. Surfing is popular along the coastline – head to White Rocks Beach or Portrush’s West Strand to catch the waves and afterwards try a coasteering session at Portbradden or Dunseverick – the water is perfect at this time of year! Haven’t quite got your sea legs? No problem! The diversity of our landscapes allow for many other thrilling days out where you can enjoy climbing, running, and cycling. You can even try hovercrafting in Limavady against the stunning backdrop of Binevenagh Mountain!
After your excitement and adventures it’s important to refuel. The Causeway Coast is home to a rich variety of places to chow down. You can go traditional with an Irish stew or seafood chowder featuring the morning’s catch, or you can sample authentic tapas, washed down with a local brew. Visitors can’t get enough of the local food offering, and in fact, we’ll even be hosting a month long celebration of our local eateries and producers this autumn in our Taste Causeway festival, taking place from 4th-27th October. The festival is cultivated by our passionate local people – from organic food producers, to award-winning chefs, and will feature cookery demonstrations, foodie tours, catch and cook lessons and more.
For those who prefer a slower-paced break, there are plenty of ways to relax and unwind on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route. The region is home to five Blue Flag beaches; try a leisurely walk on White Rocks Beach, or a horse-riding session by the sea on Benone Strand followed by a hot chocolate treat in a nearby cafe.
New cycling and walking paths at Garvagh Forest have opened in recent months, providing visitors with the opportunity to explore our stunning woodlands. Glenariff Forest Park offers a magnificent 3-mile waterfall walk, and the Roe Valley Country Park in Limavady is equally as tranquil; here, you can even try stand up paddle boarding on the River Roe to explore the surroundings from a different perspective!
For those who enjoy relaxing indoors, there are plenty of spas and wellbeing centres along the Causeway Coastal Route to indulge in – treat yourself to an extravagant pamper package during your stay, it’s guaranteed to help you disconnect from stress and technology, and to reconnect with yourself.
At night time, you can sample the exciting nightlife across the region. Discover live music and traditional sessions in towns throughout the Causeway Coast and Glens; this November sees the return of Atlantic Sessions – when over 50 of Northern Ireland’s finest musicians will perform live in coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, venues and bars across four days in Portrush and Portstewart (14th-17th November). For a quieter night out, an abundance of rustic bars awaits you – there’s nothing quite like snuggling up fireside in a cosy nook enjoying a pint of Guinness.
Of course, this is only just a small sample of the many things you can see and do during your visit to the Causeway Coast and Glens – the choices are endless! Use our website to plan your perfect trip and learn more about our beautiful region!
There’s lots more to see and do in the Causeway Coast and Glens, and you can find even more inspiration and ideas on our website. Don’t forget to check out our What’s On guide before your visit to find out about exciting events taking place across the Borough during your stay!
Need help planning your accommodation for your trip? No problem! Our Visitor Information Staff in Coleraine are happy to help, you can find their contact details here or you can browse the wide variety of accommodation options and special offers on our website
We’d love to see your snaps of the Causeway Coast and Glens so be sure to tag us on Instagram @visitcausewaycoastandglens, and use the hashtag #VisitCauseway
We look forward to welcoming you to Northern Ireland’s famous Causeway Coastal Route!