Are you ready for an unforgettable road trip adventure in Northern Ireland? Look no further than the Dunsilly Hotel in Co. Antrim as your home base. This centrally located hotel is the perfect starting point for exploring some of the most iconic destinations in Northern Ireland. Let us take you through some of the must-visit locations close to the hotel and prepare you for a truly memorable weekend away!
Let’s start with the Antrim Coast, which is known for its breathtaking scenery, rugged coastline, and charming villages. This area is a must-see for any Game of Thrones fan, as many of the show’s most memorable scenes were filmed here. Be sure to stop by the Dark Hedges, which were used as the King’s Road in the show. This picturesque avenue of beech trees was planted in the 18th century and is now one of the most photographed locations in Northern Ireland.
Next up is the Giant’s Causeway, a natural wonder and UNESCO World Heritage Site. This iconic landmark is made up of over 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns that were formed over 60 million years ago. Legend has it that the columns were created by a giant named Finn McCool, who built the causeway to cross the sea to Scotland. Whether or not you believe the legend, there’s no denying that the Giant’s Causeway is a truly breathtaking sight. If you’re looking to explore more of the Northern Irish coastline, Ballycastle is a must-visit destination. This charming seaside town is home to a picturesque marina, beautiful beaches, and a bustling town center. Ballycastle is also a great place to catch the ferry to Rathlin Island, which is located just six miles off the coast. Rathlin Island is a haven for wildlife, with puffins, seals, and dolphins all calling it home.
Another highlight of the Antrim Coast is the caves of Cushendun. These stunning caves were formed over 400 million years ago and were used as a filming location for Game of Thrones. Fans of the show will recognise the caves as the spot where Melisandre gave birth to the shadow creature. If you’re interested in historic architecture, be sure to visit Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne. This stunning neo-classical temple was built in the 18th century and sits on a cliff-top overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Downhill Demesne, the estate that the temple is a part of, is also home to beautiful gardens, a waterfall, and a mausoleum.
For those who enjoy a good dram of whiskey, a visit to the Bushmills Distillery is a must. This historic distillery has been producing some of the world’s finest whiskey since 1608 and is just a short drive from the Dunsilly Hotel. Take a tour to learn about the distillation process and sample some of their award-winning whiskey.
Another historic site that’s worth a visit is Dunluce Castle. This medieval castle is perched on the edge of a cliff and offers stunning views of the coastline. It’s a fascinating place to explore, with a long and storied history that dates back to the 13th century. One of the most intriguing stories about the castle is that it was once the home of the MacDonnell clan, who were known for their fierce independence and rebellious nature.
If you’re feeling adventurous, make your way to Carrick-a-rede, a rope bridge that spans a 30-metre-deep chasm. It’s not for the faint of heart, but the views from the other side are worth it. The bridge was originally built by fishermen to access a nearby island, but now it’s a popular tourist attraction. The island itself is home to a bird sanctuary and offers stunning views of the surrounding coastline.
Finally, if you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path destination, consider taking a ferry to Rathlin Island. This remote island is home to a diverse array of wildlife and stunning scenery. The island is only six miles long and one mile wide, but it offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and exploring. One of the most popular attractions on the island is the Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre, which offers incredible views of the surrounding sea and is home to a colony of seabirds.
Northern Ireland is a treasure trove of natural wonders, historic sites, and charming villages. Whether you’re a Game of Thrones fan or just looking for a new adventure, there’s something for everyone in this part of the world. From the natural wonder of the Giant’s Causeway to the historic Dunluce Castle, there’s plenty to see and do.
Starting and ending your road trip at Dunsilly Hotel in Co. Antrim is the perfect way to ensure that you make the most of your Northern Ireland adventure. Our friendly staff, comfortable rooms, and convenient location make us the ideal base from which to explore all that this beautiful part of the world has to offer. And when you’re tired from a busy day of exploring – we’ll be ready and waiting to pour you a cold drink and serve up some delicious local food to recharge your batteries. Book your stay with us today and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!
Photo Credit: Tourism Ireland Content Pool