Hi everyone. I’m so delighted to be arriving in County Antrim this week as our virtual tour of Ireland continues. This beautiful county is famed for it’s stunning Causeway Coastal Route with the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway being it’s most visited landmark. Of course in recent years, the region has been in the international spotlight due to the worldwide success of Game of Thrones which was shot in many County Antrim locations. The choice of stop offs in this Irish county is truly endless so I thought we’d take a tour of a few of its lesser known gems.
County Antrim Hidden Gems
1. Cavehill Country Park
We begin in Belfast and Cave Hill Country Park in the north of the city. The park features woodland walking trails leading to the summit of Cave Hill itself, taking its name from the 5 caves located in the cliffs. The imposing summit juts out from the hilltop and is locally known as Napoleon’s Nose. This famous Belfast landmark resembles a sleeping giant watching over the city, inspiring Johnathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels ”. The views up there are stunning, taking in the city below, Belfast Lough and the magnificent Mountains of Mourne to the south.
2. Dunluce Castle
I know we have more than our fair share of castles in Ireland but when it comes to dramatic fairy tale settings, it’s hard to beat Dunluce. Dating back to around 1500, this a true gem on the Causeway Coastal Route. These beautiful ruins are connected to the mainland by a bridge and are said to have inspired C.S Lewis when writing his tales of Narnia.
Glenariff is one of the 9 Glens of Antrim. These are valleys carved into landscape during the Ice Age. Known as the “The Queen of The Glens”, this area is truly breathtaking. Glenariff Forest Park is a walkers paradise where the trails take you by numerous waterfalls and give the finest views of the glen in all its glory.
So next we’re off to the neighboring glen of Glendun and Cushendun. This picturesque village was designed in the style of a Cornish village by architect, Clough Williams-Ellis for the then Lord Cushendun, Ronald Mc Neill. Scotland’s Mull of Kintyre lies just 15 miles out to sea and can be seen on a clear day.
5. Belfast Botanic Gardens
So we end our journey in the calm and restfulness of beautiful garden. The Botanic Gardens are a short walk from the city center in the heart of the Queens University area. As city botanic gardens go, the park is fairly small but beautifully formed. Home to a stunning rose garden, a tropical ravine and a classic Victorian glass house which dates back to 1840.
That’s all from me for this week. See you next time for further virtual travels!
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!
I WANTED TO BE PART OF A VIRTUAL TOUR BUT I COULDN’T GET IN!! IS IT ALL JUST THE PHOTOS YOU POSTED ABOVE OR A VIRTUAL TOUR??
There’s no virtual video tour just the photos.Hope you enjoyed them!
I enjoy seeing these pictures. I have been to parts of Ireland…
So glad you enjoy the tour.
Thanks so much for reading,
Hi Lulu, and thank you for all the wonderful tours you have shown of Ireland of which I have toured when I lived there, and there were still places I wanted to see and you have shown them to me and everyone else. All of Ireland has beauty to share and each place has it’s own authenticity and beauty and most of all history. I grew up in Belfast and my family always did walks up the Glencairn Rd to Robins Well (for watercress) and also the Cavehill Rd (not as often) but I have to say even back then it was stunning. I can still picture the views even after so many years, they are definitely etched in my memories. I now live in Canada and have been here since the early 1960s, but believe me, my heart belongs to Ireland for its beauty, people and hospitality. So thank you again for taking the time to share these wonderful sights and for the record I love your store and I am a customer.
I am so delighted to receive your very kind comments. It means so much to me that you’re enjoying the virtual tour and that it brings back such fond memories. I have friends in Belfast and going for a walk up Cavehill is one of my favorite things to do when I go there. The views of the city and the Mourne Mountains are stunning! So glad to hear too that you love the store. I’m over half way through the tour now and will be visiting every county in Ireland. It’s a pleasure to have your company!
Take care and again many thanks,
I so love everything about this website. The things offered in the store and all of the interesting things you share about Ireland. My father introduced me to Ireland and all things Irish when I was a little girl. I am the product of a biracial marriage, both my parents are gone, and I try to learn and embrace all of my heritage.
I remember my father always saying things, and talking about a place called Ireland. As I grew up and learned more, I developed this deep passion and love of Ireland and all things Irish. I have read books, read books, love the music and many movies that are Irish or have anything to do with Ireland.
I Am Catholic, so I know quite a lot about the Catholic church in Ireland I watch just about anything I find on TV, and even look up and try to learn words and phrases that are Irish.
Please keep all things Irish coming, I loved my father so much he was my ” King.”
Audrey Charles Hayes
Thank you so much for your very kind comments. I’m delighted to hear you’re a fan of the store and the blog. To get this kind of feedback means so much to me and all of us here in The Irish Store Family.
Great to have your company,
Take good care,
Thanks Lulu for the beautiful photos of these places in Ireland. I love so many things about Ireland. I’ve studied the history, the fabled tales, the fight for independence, the music and dancing, and I’ve been there twice in ’03 and in 2015. I would be greatly blessed if I was able to live there. I love the people. We have folk in our family from several towns and cities in Ireland, some of them heroes to us.
Bless you. I love your store too.
Thank you so much for your lovely feedback. It’s very much appreciated! I am so glad you love the store and are enjoying the tour. It’s great to have your company.