Antrim and the rugged coast of Northern Ireland
The rugged and mountainous coast of Antrim is one of the most picturesque regions of Northern Ireland, and still largely undiscovered compared to other parts of the UK. Stop for lunch or dinner, or have a pint in any of the small towns or villages, and the hospitality and friendliness of the people will leave a lasting impression. Whether having a pub lunch or a more formal meal, the food served is the equal of anywhere, based on traditional ingredients, with every meal accompanied by a slice or two of the local soda bread.
Two of the main attractions can be found within a few minutes drive of each other, Bushmills Distillery and The Giants Causeway.
Bushmills is said to be the oldest whiskey distillery in the world, having been granted a licence by King James 1st in 1608 although legend has it that illegal distilling had taken place on the site for hundreds of years previously. There is a visitor centre, and you may join a tour of the distillery to learn all about the whiskey making process followed by a wee tot in the bar!
The Giants Causeway is a dramatic and spectacular rock outcrop which juts into the sea at the base of a dramatic cliff face. The rocks were formed by a volcanic lava flow around 65 million years ago, at the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs. As the basalt rocks quickly cooled they formed into thousands of regular rectangular columns which make up the causeway and much of the surrounding cliffs. There is a visitor centre atop the cliff, with gift shops and cafes. This is also the starting point for all various signposted walks of differing lengths around the causeway nature reserve.
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