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Causeway Coast and Antrim Glens

8 Days & 7 Nights
  • Causeway Coast and Antrim Glens, an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”
  • View film locations for the Game of Thrones; Ballintoy Harbour and Portstewart Strand
  • Cross the Moyle Sea to the ruggedly picturesque Rathlin Island with its multitude of birdlife
  • Pass the geological splendour of the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO Heritage Site
  • Sample a dram of Bushmills Whiskey in the world’s oldest distillery
Discover Northern Ireland’s most magical landscapes, the Causeway Coast and the tranquil highlands of the Antrim Glens. It is easy to appreciate, with its diversity of unusual landscapes, why this region was chosen as a filming location for the ‘Game of Thrones’ series; Ballintoy Harbour unchanged for 100’s of years, the Antrim Glens with its stunning waterfalls and forest, plus Portstewart Strand, a 2-mile stretch of stunning golden beach. The Giant’s Causeway is an curious landscape of over 40,000 black basalt columns and is over 60 million years old. Its scenic beauty, along with an outing by ferry to Rathin Island to visit its Puffin population, is sure to create many lasting memories. The warmth and friendliness of the Northern Irish people is a genuine highlight and you will stay in family-owned B&B’s en route. Enjoy the atmosphere of a local pub in Ballycastle, as you listen to local music and eat a traditional plate of fish and chips!
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What To Expect

This tour is moderately rated and has an average walking distance of 17 km per day. The first day is almost flat and gradually the elevation gains and losses build up as you go. A nice tour to get fitter as you walk, although you will need to be fairly fit to fully enjoy this experience right from the start. The geological aspects of this tour are interesting because of this areas unique landscapes, in particular the Giant’s Causeway and the sweeping valleys and plateaus of the Antrim Glens.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Multi Centre Walking | You will spend multiple nights in one or more of the locations on this walking holiday

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers, Families, Multi-Generational, Groups > 10

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Wine, Whisky & More...
  • Coastal & Island

Grade & Terrain

This trip is rated ‘moderate’ overall. The first day of walking is relatively flat and after that, there are some elevation gains and losses on the coast and when you reach the Antrim Glens area. You should be in good physical fitness to fully enjoy the walking on this tour. Most of the route follows either coastal or countryside tracks and trails and some of the time you will also be walking on quiet rural roads. The walks are an average of about 19km per day, with the exception of the walk on Rathlin Island which is only 9km, giving you time to explore the rest of the island as well.

Navigation

The route is waymarked most of the time, with signs for the Causeway Coast Way or the Moyle Way. However, this is not always the case (especially on the Orra Beg to Ballycastle route) so you will have to remain vigilant when there are no waymarkers. We provide you with detailed turn-by-turn route notes and maps. You will also have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App enabling you to follow the route using your phone's GPS so you will have no problems finding the way. You can simply download the GPX tracks to your phone for offline use and off you go!

Accommodation Information

7 Nights in B&B’s and guesthouses. All accommodation is very comfortable and mostly in convenient locations in the town centres, although there could be exceptions to this if availability is a challenge when you want to book.

We regularly use the properties below but may accommodate you elsewhere if these are not available. However, they will be of a similar standard.

You can add on extra nights in any of the overnight locations on this tour.

Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This trip is available to solo walkers, although there is a supplement due to the fact that some of the costs (such as transfers) are not shared. Single rooms are available on request and a supplement is payable.

Meals

Breakfast will be provided by your accommodation every morning. Usually, they are buffet-style with cereals, fruit and yoghurt, combined with the cooked breakfast of your choice, which generally consists of eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, mushrooms, etc. You will certainly be ready to embark on your days walking after these offerings! Dinners are not included, however, there are options to dine out in any of the towns and villages  Pub food is a very good option and fish and chips being a traditional dish, is also a tasty choice.

Lunch is not included, but you can find small stores in which to purchase items for a picnic lunch, or your accommodation can possibly make a picnic lunch if you ask in advance. In your route notes, we give advice on where you can eat/pick up lunch.

Included
  • 7 Nights in B&B’s and guest houses
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Baggage transfers
  • Transfers as outlined in the itinerary
  • Information Pack, Maps, route notes, GPX tracks, access to our smartphone app
Excluded
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Coleraine and from Ballymena
  • Lunches & Dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Ferry to and from Rathlin Island
  • Local bus
  • Entrances
Extras
  • Extra nights before, after or during your walk

When To Go

You can start this walking tour anytime between April and October. July and August are particularly busy so we recommend booking early if you want to go during these months.

Please note: Due to the 2020 International North West 200, which is one of the biggest motorcycle race events in the UK, it will be very difficult to book between 10 - 16 May 2020.

Getting to the Start

You can fly into Belfast International Airport. This airport serves many airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair, and Jet2. From here the quickest way to get to Coleraine is to take a short taxi ride to Antrim Train Station (8km away and costs around €15 to €20). Then in Antrim you can take a direct train to Coleraine. (Leaves hourly and takes approximately 1H).

It’s also possible to fly into Belfast City Airport. From here take a train into Belfast Centre, and then another direct train to Coleraine. However only Flybe serves this airport so your choices will be limited.

If you are choosing to arrive by some other means take a direct train from Belfast Centre to Coleraine.

From Coleraine a transfer to your accommodation in Portstewart is included. Please give us your arrival time as soon as possible so that we may set up this transfer for you.

For more public transport information please check the Translink website.

Getting from the End

From Cushendall an included transfer to Ballymena Train Station is included. From Ballymena you can take a train to Antrim, then a short taxi ride to Belfast International Airport from here. Or take a train into Belfast Centre if you are not taking your onward journey from the international airport.

Baggage Transfer

Daily door-to-door baggage transfers are included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum weight of 20 kilograms per item.

Although most airlines have a standard baggage allowance of 23kg, we kindly ask you to distribute any excess weight over a separate bag. Please note that 2 bags per person are allowed, meaning 4 bags per couple.

General Information

Please note that the reviews for this walking holiday up until December 2019 are based on our previous itinerary. As of December 2019, minor changes and improvements have been made to enhance your experience.

Equipment

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take with you to Northern Ireland. This includes warm and cold weather gear, hiking boots, and lots of other useful bits and bobs.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care. 

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Portstewart and overnight Day 2 Walk to Bushmills 12 miles / 19 km Day 3 Walk Ballintoy via the Giant’s Causeway 13 miles / 21 km Day 4 Explore Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge. Bus to Ballycastle, then free time Day 5 Explore Rathin Island. Church Bay Loop Walk 6 miles / 9 km Day 6 Transfer to Orra Beg, walk to Ballycastle 12 miles / 20 km Day 7 Transfer to Glenariff Forest, Queen of the Glens, walk to Cushendall 9 miles / 15 km Day 8 Onward travel

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