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Causeway Coastal Drive

‘One of the world’s great road journeys’ around the exceptionally beautiful coast and glens between the cities of Belfast and Londonderry

Game of Thrones information board at Ballintoy Bay/
Couple of ladies sitting on a seat on the Peace Bridge in Londonderry with the city in the background/

Peace Bridge, Derry

Path leading down a hill past Dunluce Castle to a rocky beach/

Dunluce Castle

Couple standing next to a canon on the city wall of Derry/

Derry

Stream flowing under a stone arched bridge in a forest in the Mourne Mountains/

Tollymore Forest, Mourne Mountains

Pathway leading through lawns towards Belfast Castle/

Belfast Castle

Couple enjoying a drink in the Garrick Bar in Belfast/

The Garrick Bar, Belfast

Night time view of the Titanic museum in Belfast/

Titanic Belfast

The polygonal steps of the Giant's Causeway/

Giant's Causeway

Group of people relaxing on the grass in front of Queens University, Belfast/

Queens University, Belfast

Two people looking at the large pillars of the Giant's Causeway/

Giant's Causeway

Mussenden Temple at the edge of grass covered cliffs above the sandy beach at Downhill Strand/

Mussenden Temple Downhill Strand

Belfast city lit up at night time/

Belfast

Couple crossing the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge/

Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge

Sea crashing against cliffs by the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge/

Discover the real Westeros, tour the filming locations set in mountains, castles and coastline, stunningly brought to life in The Game of Thrones.

The Dark Hedges, Stranocum, Co. Antrim. fans will know it as The Kings' Road, one of the most photographed natural wonders in Northern Ireland, originally planted by the Stewart family in the 18th century seen in season 2, episode 1 The North Remembers.

Ballintoy Harbour, Co Antrim, a small rugged fishing harbour fans will know it as the Iron Islands, filmed on numerous occasions seen first in season 2, episode 2 The Night Lands.

Castle Ward, near Strangford, Co Down, owned by the National Trust and open all year, known to fans as Winterfell, shown throughout season one.

Larrybane, Co Antrim, one of scenic highlights of the Causeway coastal drive, seen in season 2, episode 3, What is dead may never die.

Portstewart Sands, Co Londonderry, beautiful stretch of coastline. First seen in season 5, episode 4. Sons of the Harpy.

Downhill Beach, Co Londonderry, a seven mile stretch of breath-taking beach, majestically watched over by the Mussenden Temple, seen in season 2, episode 2 The North Remembers.

Plus, many more locations that bring this memorable series to life.

Spend a day or two in Belfast visiting some of its many attractions before commencing on your journey. Take a tram ride in the Titanic quarter with a visit to the Titanic Museum. See the impressive cranes of Harland and Wolff. Enjoy a boat tour on the River Lagan before a visit to Belfast Castle in Cave Hill Country Park offering superb views of the city. Visit the Ulster Museum, Crumlin Road Gaol and Belfast City Hall.

From Belfast head towards the pretty seaside town of Carrickfergus and see the 12th century preserved Norman Castle. Head towards Larne and perhaps take a detour around Islandmagee where you’ll have stunning views of the Scottish coast.

Continue on towards Glenarm a pretty village at the mouth of the first of the Glens. Take time to marvel at the sunset over Carnlough’s picturesque harbour. Magnificent Glenariff with its high cliffs and tumbling waterfalls is known as the Queen of the Glens. Take time out to visit Glenariff Forest Park with a network of scenic walks by tumbling rivers and cascading waterfalls.

Travel further along the coast to Cushendall – the Capital of the Glens; a picturesque village with preserved Georgian houses and the Curfew Tower at its centrepiece. Enjoy a walk along the beach or a ramble around the glens before continuing on to Cushendun, a beautiful seaside village with Cornish-style cottages, small shops and pubs. Take a scenic walk along the beach front, harbour and Glendun River.

Stay on the coast road for a while longer and experience one of the finest sections of the coastal road. Torr Head is worth a diversion for great seascape views. Continue on to Murlough Bay for outstanding beauty and views of Rathlin Island and the Mull of Kintyre, Islay and Jura.

Ballycastle is your next port of call with its award winning beach. Visit the museum and marina before taking a ferry ride over to Rathlin Island with its population of around 140. April to July is puffin season so make the most of this opportunity to see these beautiful birds. If you have the courage why not take a walk across the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge over a 23m deep 20m wide chasm to Carrick Island where you will be rewarded with stunning views of Rathlin and the Scottish Islands.

Ballintoy has a charming array of shops and is an ideal stopover. Its small fishing harbour reached by a steep windy road is a painter’s paradise.

As you continue further west you will reach the iconic Giant’s Causeway, a sight not to be missed. Formed from volcanic eruption over 60 million years ago the polygonal columns of layered basalt are a sight to behold. It is Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site and is steeped in myth and legend and the story of the giant Finn McCool is sure to delight. With four stunning trails the area offers walking for everyone; from pram friendly jaunts to challenging coastal hikes and cliff top walks.

On leaving the Gaint’s Causeway pass the magnificent cliff top castle of Dunluce and visit Bushmills, home of Ireland’s oldest whiskey distillery. Stop for the Bushmill’s tour and enjoy a taster of this beautifully smooth tasting Irish whiskey. Continue your journey onto the traditional resort towns of Portrush and Portstewart with their magnificent blue flag beaches, hotels, amusements and night life. Enjoy a long walk along Portstweart Strand and explore a beach hugged by ancient dunes full of wildlife.

Enjoy shopping in Coleraine before returning to the coastal route and travelling onto Castlerock. Look out for the Mussenden Temple perched dramatically on a 120ft cliff top in the beautiful surroundings of Downhill Demesne. Continue on through Limavady to your final destination of Londonderry.

Spend time in one of Europe’s best preserved walled settlements. Take the Walled City tour and see some of the 24 original canons. Visit St Columb’s Cathedral and the Guildhall. Walk across the Peace Bridge spanning the River Foyle. This is a city that loves to party and there are a wide range of festivals taking place throughout the year.

Whether you are lucky enough to drive the whole route or just part of this scenic coastline you can rest assured that you will experience the journey of a lifetime. It really is a special place for a special holiday!

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