As the weather picks up and the days begin to get longer, get exploring the outdoors again and make the most of Northern Ireland’s coastline adventures and activities.
Spring into the new season with a short break to Lonely Planet’s Top Region to Visit in 2018, the Causeway Coast.
1. Set up camp at Cushendall Caravan Park, where you can experience a more luxurious alternative to camping.
Make one of the purpose built ‘glamping’ cabins your home for the night, allowing you to sleep under the stars and down by the sea.Your cabin will come equipped with electric, soft padded beds and a seating area, a table and, for those essential brews, a kettle.
Use the campsite’s barbecue facilities and get the whole family involved in dinner time, while watching the waves crash along the shore.
Here you’ll enjoy a peaceful escape in tranquil surroundings and with views over the sea, yet still be in the thick of activity at the nearby town of Cushendall.
2. Begin your adventure activities with a journey along the stunning coastline to Carrick-a-Rede, where you can brave a walk across the suspended rope bridge which hangs 100 feet over the sea.
Your courage will be rewarded as you’ll catch a glimpse of some of Northern Ireland’s most spectacular coastal views.
Also remember to tell the kids to can keep an eye out for an array of seabirds, basking sharks, dolphins and porpoises, as Carrick-a-Rede is alive with wildlife.
3. Hop back in the car and travel 15 minutes further along the coast to Bushmills, home of the world-renowned Giant’s Causeway.
Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO world heritage site, this geological wonder is steeped in history and legend.
Geologist findings tell us that the unique stone formations resulted from volcanic eruptions over 60 million years ago, however, many also contend that it was Finn McCool who built the causeway during a battle with a Scottish giant. Visit the state of the art visitors centre to find out for yourself.
4. All that exploring is sure to have worked up an appetite, so a trip to Morelli’s Ninos in Portstewart is essential.
Treat the little ones to a tasty lunch at this bright and cheerful seafront café, boasting uninterrupted views of the sea. Top off the day with a delicious ice-cream, chosen from Morelli’s famous array of exotic ices.
5. The Nook at the Giant’s Causeway is found at the entrance to the site and the perfect spot for your next excursion.
This 1850’s listed building was originally built as a school house. Today the Nook still boasts its Victorian features and open fires, thanks to careful restoration and renovations.
Stop off during your visit to the Causeway to enjoy a spot of lunch, teas and speciality coffees, or take in the views on the outside terrace.
6. Hop aboard and sail from Ballintoy Harbour via Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge to Rathlin Island's West Lighthouse to enjoy the Rathlin Puffin Patrol.
Pass Northern Ireland's largest seabird colony, taking in sights of Puffins both on the water and around their burrows. Keep an eye on the cliffs and stack which are also home to thousands of Guillemots, Razorbills and large numbers of Kittiwakes and Fulmars.
7. Explore the iconic ruins of Dunluce Castle, a dramatic site built around 1500 on the coastal cliffs at Bushmills.
Visitors can discover findings of archaeological digs within the cobbled streets and stone merchants’ houses of the long-abandoned Dunluce Town.
Historic tales of Dunluce also include stories of a banshee and how the castle kitchens fell into the sea one stormy night in 1639.