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Causeway Coast Short Break

5 Days & 4 Nights
  • Walk the Causeway Coast and its geological highlight, the Giant's Causeway
  • View Ballintoy Harbour, where scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed
  • Cross the Moyle Sea to the ruggedly picturesque Rathlin Island with its multitude of birdlife
  • Sample a dram of Bushmills Whiskey in the world’s oldest distillery
  • Pass the iconic ruins of Dunluce Castle, which bears a tumultuous history
Walk Northern Ireland's incredible Causeway Coast on this short break. En route you can view the Giant’s Causeway, more than 60 million years old and a curious landscape of over 40,000 black basalt columns. Its scenic beauty, along with an outing by ferry to Rathin Island to visit its Puffin population, is sure to create many lasting memories. 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, including Ballintoy Harbour unchanged for 100’s of years. You will also experience a walk along the Moyle Way in the Antrim Glens with its stunning waterfalls and forest. Enjoy the atmosphere of a local pub in Ballycastle, as you listen to local music and eat a traditional plate of fish and chips!

What To Expect

This short break has 3 days of walking and rated easy to moderate. It has an average walking distance of approximately 17 km per day. The first day's walk is completely along the coast and past the Giant's Causeway which you will need to slightly divert to see. Its a very nice combination of coastal, inland and island walking.

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

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveller this holiday would be suitable for is: 5 Years

Ideal if you have an interest in:

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

Grade & Terrain

This trip is rated ‘easy to moderate’ overall. There are some elevation gains and losses on the coast and when you do the walk from Orra Beg to Balllycastle. You should be fairly fit to fully enjoy the walking on this tour. Most of the route follows either coastal tracks or on the walk from Orra Beg walk countryside tracks and trails. Some of the time you will also be walking on quiet rural roads. The walks are an average of about 17km 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

4 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.

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
  • 4 Nights in B&B’s and guest houses
  • 4 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 and from Coleraine
  • 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 2021 International North West 200, which is one of the biggest motorcycle race events in the UK, it will be very difficult to book between 9 - 15 May 2021.

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 Ballycastle 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 Ballycastle an included transfer to Coleraine Train Station is included. Please follow the same directions in reverse in the Getting to the Start information.

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, including reversing the itinerary.

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.

How fit do I need to be?
How do the baggage transfers work?
How far in advance do I need to book?
What personal equipment do I need?
When is the best time of year?
What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Bushmills and overnight Day 2 Walk to Ballintoy via the Giant's Causeway 13 miles / 21 km Day 3 Ferry to Rathlin Island, Church Bay Loop Walk 6 miles / 9 km Day 4 Transfer to Orra Beg, walk to Ballycastle 12 miles / 20 km Day 5 Onward travel

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