- For other places with the same name, see Antrim (disambiguation).
County Antrim (Irish: Contae Aontroma) is a county in Northern Ireland. The Antrim coast is one of the most beautiful parts of Northern Ireland, with the Antrim Coast Road taking in some of the best scenery in the country.
The Glens of Antrim offer isolated rugged landscapes, the Giant's Causeway is one of the most striking landscapes on Earth and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, Bushmills produces legendary whiskey, and Portrush is where mostly farmers go to party, with most heading for a better night out in Belfast. It is one of Ireland's most fascinating counties. It is also home of the Ulster Grand Prix, set in the tiny village of Dundrod and is the world's fastest motorcycle racing circuit.
Antrim the county town is worth a visit with many historical locations and for the bargain hunters a large outlet centre and huge Saturday morning bootsale at Dunsilly.
Cities and townsEdit
- 1 Belfast is Northern Ireland's lively capital, rejuvenated after decades of conflict. It has a confident Victorian centre and University quarter, in-your-face history, and its eastern part (in County Down) is focused on its tragic ship Titanic.
- 2 Newtownabbey is a large residential area north of Belfast
- 3 Lisburn, named for a prehistoric gambling den, was birthplace of the Irish linen industry.
- 4 Antrim is on the shores of Lough Neagh: its castle burned down but the 17th century gardens remain.
- 5 Ballymena is the large market town at the centre of Ulster's "Bible Belt".
- 6 Carrickfergus has a fine Norman castle.
- 7 Larne is a ferry port close to Islandmagee and the Antrim glens.
- 8 Ballycastle (Baile an Chaistil, "town of the castle") – town on the coast near Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge
- 9 Ballymoney (Baile Monaidh, "homestead on the peatland") – head out to find the "King's Road" from Game of Thrones
- 10 Bushmills (Muileann na Buaise) – home of the oldest whiskey distillery in the world.
- 11 Portrush is a beach resort. Nearby Dunluce Castle teeters on the coastal cliffs.
- 12 Cushendall (Cois Abhann Dalla, "foot of the River Dall")
- 1 Rathlin Island is the only inhabited offshore island of Northern Ireland
- 2 Giant's Causeway is the imposing cascade of basalt columns on the north coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- 3 Lough Neagh is the great lake at the heart of Northern Ireland. Ram's Island near its east shore has a ruined monastery with a Round Tower.
- And see Belfast for rail, bus and road connections from Dublin.
- 1 Belfast International Airport (BFS IATA, aka Aldergrove) is 4 miles south of Antrim town. It's Northern Ireland's main airport, with flights across UK and Europe mostly by Easyjet. It has frequent buses to Belfast, and a bus to Lisburn and Antrim.
- 2 George Best Belfast City Airport (BHD IATA) has flights mostly from UK. It's only two miles east of the city, so by public transport it's better linked to the main bus and railway stations.
- Car ferries sail to Belfast from Birkenhead, from Cairnryan near Stranraer, and in summer from Douglas, Isle of Man.
- 3 Belfast ferry terminal is north side of the city so by car you get straight onto the motorway and avoid downtown.
See Translink for bus and rail timetables and fares. Trains run hourly from Belfast (which has trains from Dublin) to Antrim town, Ballymena, Coleraine (change for the branch line to Portrush) and Derry. Trains also run from Belfast to Carrickfergus and Larne, and from Bangor via Holywood to Belfast and Lisburn.
A network of national cycleways crosses the county, though they're mostly on road.
The Glens of Antrim, known locally as "the Glens", is a region of County Antrim. It comprises nine glens (valleys), that radiate from the Antrim Plateau to the coast. The Glens are an area of outstanding natural beauty and are a major tourist attraction in north Antrim. The main towns and villages in the Glens are Ballycastle, Cushendun, Cushendall, Waterfoot, Carnlough and Glenarm.
- Watch Gaelic games: The County GAA play Gaelic football and hurling, but their usual home ground of Casement Park in Belfast is closed. There are 50-some club teams across the county.
Standard Northern Irish fare, but if you're lucky enough to catch the Oul Lammas Fair in Ballycastle (held on the last Monday and Tuesday of August), be sure to try Yallow Man, a rock-hard yellow sweet that is eaten with the aid of a hammer. Make sure your dental insurance is up to date first.
Bushmills Distillery, of course. You can take distillery tours, and you'll likely be more merry going out than when you went in. At the end of each tour, four people from the tour group (two women and two men) are asked to volunteer for a special whiskey tasting, where participants get to try nine different types of whiskey.
Visitors who are unaccustomed to driving on the left are well advised to shun the whiskey tasting. Buy some to take back to your hotel.
Stay sensible, don't wander around urban areas at night or make political statements in strange company, and you'll be just fine.