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Antrim coast

The Antrim coast between Royal Portrush and Ballycastle, contains a number of genuinely interesting attractions, and certainly enough to satisfy the thirst of a non-golfer. Indeed, a golfer who decides to extend an extra day, won’t be short changed either

By far the most famous of these is Ireland’s self-styled ‘8th wonder of the world’, the Giant’s Causeway. These are millions of hexagonal basalt columns, that meet the wild ocean in a series of bays and headlands. They are unique. You have a degree of freedom to explore them.

Brought to you by legendary giant, Finn McCool

It’s only a short-stop along the Antrim coast from the causeway to the Carrick-u-Rede, rope-bridge. Here you are invited to walk along the narrow single track that straddles mainland Ireland with a neighbouring rock in the sea. In other words, this is your chance to walk over the Atlantic, which should you need any reminding, is that frothy water swirling 70 feet beneath you.

The bridge was used by ancient fishermen (never really sure we’ve ever understood why?). No one’s ever fallen off the bridge, but there have been a fair number of people baulk at the return (which is where today’s fishermen come to the rescue). Just close your eyes and recite some stirring poetry, it’s a lot less undignified, and cheaper, than having to call out the rescue boat!

Don’t be afraid. No one has ever fallen off

Some of you will have taken the opportunity to sample some of Scotland’s whisky. Well the Irish also partake in the production of this clandestine chemical warfare weapon. The most famous of their distilleries is the ‘Bushmills’, which just happens to be on the road between Portrush and Ballycastle. Fear not. We don’t schedule this before a trip to Carrick-u-Rede, albeit the faint of heart might prefer some ‘Dutch courage’

The final ‘attraction’ in this string of pearls is Dunluce Castle. Few citadels can enjoy a more spectacular, or precarious, location in the world, than this 13th century ruin, albeit the current castle dates to the 17th century.

Dunluce Castle, historically the seat of the Earl of Antrim Don’t be afraid.