Glenariff Forest Park: Ably crowned, the Queen of the Glens, is considered by many people to be the most beautiful of the nine Antrim Glens. Dividing the Park are two small but beautiful rivers, the Inver and the Glenariff, containing spectacular waterfalls, tranquil pools and stretches of fast flowing water cascading through steep sided ravines.
The Moyle Way: The Moyle Way takes you from Glenariff to Ballycastle. The route passes through a great blend of scenery as you travel through five of the famous nine glens, Glenariff, Glendun, Glentaise, Glenballyemon and Glenshesk, before reaching Ballycastle. The route is entirely within the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Rathlin Island: Rathlin Island is situated just 5-miles, 8-kilometers north on Ballycastle. A small L-shaped island with a population of approximately 80 inhabitants. The island is immersed in flora and fauna and in spring and summer Puffins, Guillemots and Kittiwakes, to mention but a few, nest in their thousands along its steep on-shore cliffs, a naturalist must.
The Causeway Coast Way: This waymarked way follows one of the most invigorating stretches of coastline in Europe. From Ballycastle to Portstewart the trail passes along sandy beaches, high cliffs, ruined castles, Carrick-a-Rede Rope and a great variety of coastal scenery and the World Heritage Site and Nature Reserve of the Giants Causeway.
Green Glens Of Antrim!
Far across yonder blue lies a true fairy land,
Where the sea ripples over the shingles and sand.
Where the gay honeysuckle is luring the bee,
And the green glens of Antrim are calling to me.
Written by Kenneth North
Day 1: Cushendall. Your walking tour of the Glens of Antrim begins in the village of Cushendall, better known as the capital of the Glens. Cushendall is a charming village that nestles in the heart of the Glens, situated between the hills and the sea of Moyle and it is here that you will spend your first two nights.
Day 2: Glenariff Nature Reserve and Forest Park to Waterfoot. The distance that you will travel will depend on which trail that you take in the park, of which we will give you several options, it will vary somewhere between 15 to18Km; or 9 to 11 miles. After breakfast a bus will take you to the entrance of Glenariff Forest Park to begin your walking tour in the park. The vast variety of the landscape, woodlands and habitats that are to be found within Glenariff Forest Park provide you with a superb walk through the natural beauty which is to be found her. You will enjoy the tranquility and admire the spectacular views down the glen, across the sea of Moyle and beyond to the Scottish Mountains. Your day finishes by follow the Glenariff River through the glen to the village of Waterfoot and back to your accommodation in Cushendall.
Day 3: Orra Beg to Ballycastle. You will be transferred to the beginning of your walk at Orra Beg, an intersection of the Moyle Way that takes you north to Ballycastle along the Moyle Way. This section of the trail is mixed between forest trails, quiet country roads and open mountains. From Orra Beg the trail takes you along a forest track to reach the open mountain side of Agangarrive Hill. From here you will follow the banks of the Glenshesk River to join the Breen Forest Trail, a Nature Reserve and Woodlands. From here the trail leads you along a quiet country road along the town land of Glenshesk, the most northern of the 9-glens. You will be rewarded with some fantastic views of the Glenshesk River and Coolaveely Forest on your right and Knocklayd Mountain on your left. The final section of the day takes you through Ballycastle Forest and finally into the town of Ballycastle where you will spend the next two nights.
Distance: 17.6Km: 11 Miles: height gain: 380m: 1140Ft.
Day 4: Rathlin Island. We will be giving you the choice of a two walk on the island so distance will depend on which route you take, both very interesting and stunningly beautiful. You will take the 45 minute ferry ride from Ballycastle to Rathlin, cost varies between £8 and £9, per person return, depending on what time of the year that you are traveling. The island is a rare place of wild and natural beauty, extraordinary environmental values and social interests. Shaped like a boot the island is 10Km/6 miles long and almost 1.6Km/1 mile wide Three lighthouses stand as monuments to its wild coast line, while over 40 recorded shipwrecks lie in the depths of its underwater cliffs. The island is immersed in flora and fauna and in spring and summer Puffins, Guillemots and Kittiwakes, to mention but a few, nest in their thousands along its steep on-shore cliffs, a naturalist must. Returning back to Ballycastle on the evening ferry.
Day 5: Ballycastle to Ballintoy. Ballycastle is the northern gateway to the Glens of Antrim and dates back to sometime around 1565 when a son of Sorley Boy McDonnell, the first Earl of Antrim built a castle in the center of the old part of the town, unfortunately nothing of this castle remains today, but this area is definitely worth a walk around before you leave for Ballintoy. After leaving the town of Ballycastle you will follow a country road to Clare Woods. Following a short forest trail that links you with a very quiet country road that will take you through the farming community of Craignagolman and Ballaghcravey, down to the world famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This is an amassing place and if you are brave enough to cross the bridge that spans an 80ft chasm the experience will be invigorating, but it is an option, so crossing is not compulsory. If you do wish to cross there is a charge of £2 for the pleasure! Over night stay is in Ballintoy. Distance: 14Km: 8.75 miles: height gain: 110m: 330Ft.
Day 6: Ballintoy to Portballintra. Like we said in our introductory this is probable one of the best coastal walks in Europe, if not in the world. The day offers you an awe inspiring array or scenery, flora and fauns, a combination of which you will find hard to beat in a days walk, anywhere. The trail from Ballintoy passes along the golden sandy beach of White Park Bay, past the ruins of Dunseverick Castles and along a cliff top path that takes you around by Benbane Head to the World Heritage Site and Nature Reserve of the Giants Causeway. When you are finished exploring this amazing place your trail continues along Bushfoot Strand to the pictures town of Portballintra for your overnight stay.
Distance: 17.6Km: 11 miles: height gain 100m: 300Ft.
Day 7: Portballintra to Portstewart. Your final days walking tour of Antrim takes you along the coastal road to Portrush, overlooking Binbane Cove, Dunluce Castle, The Burnfoot and The White Rocks, before making the short descent down to Curran Strand. From here you have some very nice views over a series of small islands that lie a short distance north of the strand. The two biggest being The Skerries, Big Skerries and Little Skerries. Then it's into the town of Portrush and a chance to do a little exploring and maybe some shopping before starting the final leg of your gurney into Portstewart. This is a beautiful section of the trail and a perfect finish to what hopefully will have being a perfect week.
Distance: 19Km: 12 miles: height gain: 80m: 240Ft.
Day 8: Unfortunately all good things come to an end so after breakfast and your farewells you will commence your homeward journey. This tour can be tailored to fit in with your holiday plans, the tour can be changed from a short break of 2 right up to 10 days or any amount of days in-between. The itinerary above is only a rough guideline of the tour, distance may be altered slightly depending on the accommodation that we use at the time of booking.
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