Antrim: An insider’s guide to the best walks, beaches, food, drink and activities

There’s more to Antrim than just the Giant’s Causeway and Game of Thrones

Sunset at the Giant’s Causeway.

Sunset at the Giant’s Causeway.

Even without a renowned Unesco World Heritage Site (the Giant’s Causeway) to burnish its tourist credentials, the Antrim coast would still be one of the island’s major highlights.

Take Carrickfergus Castle (Marine Hwy), for instance. The first major stop along the coast from Belfast, this is one of Ireland’s best-preserved medieval fortresses – and it overlooks the spot where King Billy stepped ashore in 1690 on his way to the Boyne. Just a bit north of here is the marvellous Gobbins (thegobbinscliffpath.com), a coastal cliff path that runs along the peninsula at Islandmagee. The 5km-long path (allow 2½ hours) takes you along rock and crevice through tunnels, caves and tubular bridges; it’s a bit arduous but exhilarating.

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