Antrim Causeway Coastal & Rathlin Island Route: 6-Day Self-Guided Walking Tour

Antrim Causeway Coastal & Rathlin Island Walking Tour

Six Days of Self-Guided Walking Along the Causeway Coast and on Rathlin Island

This walking tour is designed for those who want to take life easy, relax, and savour the beauty of Northern Ireland’s iconic Causeway Coast.

No walking tour of Northern Ireland would be complete without visiting Rathlin Island, where you will experience a world that moves at a different pace from the modern-day world. On this self-guided walking tour of Antrim, You can let your mind wander and discover a tranquillity and beauty that is unique to Rathlin Island.

Walking the Causeway Coast, you will encounter quiet country villages and towns. Dunluce Castle, the Giant’s Causeway, rocky shores, and golden sandy beaches are waiting to be discovered.

Prices / Dates

Price:  £629 per person sharing

Single Supplement: +£250

Solo Traveller Supplement: +£60

Tour Dates: 1 April to 15 October

Tour Grade: Easy

Accommodation: Guesthouse or B&B

Included / Excluded

Day 1 - Travel to Ballycastle

We will supply you with all the travel details required to get from your point of entry into Ireland to your first accommodation in Ballycastle. Ballycastle is the northern gateway to the Glens of Antrim and dates back to around 1565 when a son of Sorley Boy McDonnell, the first Earl of Antrim, built a castle in the centre of the heart of the old town. Unfortunately, nothing of this castle remains today, but this picturesque environment makes for pleasant walk before you leave for Ballintoy. We stay overnight in Ballycastle.

Day 2 - Ballycastle & Rathlin Island

This island is a rare place of wild and natural beauty, extraordinary environmental significance, and authentic local culture. You will take the morning ferry from Ballycastle to the island departing at 10 am. The crossing time is approximately 45 minutes.

Shaped like a boot, the island is 10 km/6 miles long and almost 1.6 km/1 miles wide. Three lighthouses stand as monuments to its wild coastline (over 40 recorded shipwrecks lie in the depths of its underwater cliffs). The island is covered with fascinating flora, which includes Puffins in the spring and summer. Guillemots and Kittiwakes nest in their thousands along its steep on-shore cliffs. The walk you decide to take while you are on the island will determine the distance and ascent, but their are routes for all fitness levels.

Pathways will be marked clearly in your tour pack so you can decide on the day the distance you would like to travel.

Distance: 11/14 km / 7/9 miles

Ascent Approximately: 200 m / 600 ft, Approximate walking time: 4-5 hours.
Afternoon ferry back to Ballycastle.

Overnight Ballycastle

Day 3 - Ballycastle to Ballintoy

After leaving the town of Ballycastle, you will follow a country road to Clare Woods. After enjoying a short forest trail, you will take a peaceful country road leading through the farming communities of Craignagolman and Ballaghcravey, until you reach the world-famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This is an amazing place! Cross the rope bridge that spans an 80ft chasm and experience something truly invigorating (if you’re okay with heights!). Those set on braving the bridge crossing will need to purchase a ticket from the National Trust, while those who’d rather not can explore the surrounding countryside. Our overnight stay is in Ballintoy. Distance: 14.16 km / 8.9 miles Ascent: 270 m / 810 ft, Approximate walking time: 4-5 hours. Overnight Ballintoy

Day 4 - Ballintoy to the Giant's Causeway

Like we said in our introduction, this is probably one of the best coastal walks in Europe, if not in the world! The day offers you a unique and awe-inspiring array of scenery, flora and fauna. The trail from Ballintoy passes along the golden sandy beach of White Park Bay, past the ruins of Dunseverick Castle, and along a cliff-top path that takes you around Benbane Head to the World Heritage Site and Nature Reserve of the Giant’s Causeway.

Distance: 17.6 km / 11 miles, Ascent: 977 m / 2931 ft, Approximate walking time: 5-6 hours.

Overnight Giant's Causeway

Day 5 - Giant's Causeway to Portstewart

Your final day’s walking tour of Antrim takes you along the coastal road to Portrush. This scenic route overlooks Binbane Cove, Dunluce Castle, The Burnfoot, and The White Rocks, before descending to Curran Strand. From here you have some very nice views over a series of small islands that lie a short distance north of the strand. The most prominent islands are the Big Skerries and Little Skerries. Then it’s into the town of Portrush for the chance to do a little exploring and shopping before starting the final leg of your journey into Portstewart. This is a beautiful section of the trail and a perfect finish to what hopefully will have been a memorable week of hiking in the Antrim Glens and Coastal Path. Our overnight stay is in Portstewart. Distance: 19 km / 12 miles, Ascent: 778 m / 2334 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hrs Overnight Portstewart

Day 6 - Depart

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, so after breakfast, you will commence your homeward journey.

We will supply you with all the travel details that you will require to get to your onward destination.

A few words from our customers...

On behalf of Mary & Myself, I want to thank you for our wonderful trip. We loved every minute of it, even the wet bits. The B&B’s that you work with are second to none and in every place we stayed we were made to feel welcome and at home at all times. In each place, they even refrigerated our wine and provided us with wine glasses in order to enjoy our pre-dinner drinks. I would like to give a particular shout out to Donnach in The Castle B&B in Ballintoy. He told us that we were his first “Footfall” visitors so our feedback on his B&B is that it is excellent. Your notes and attention to detail on your trail instructions were excellent.
Marion & Mary
Ireland
Alaskans here. First Footfalls self-guided walks in April 2017- Dingle Way and Burran. Second walks - April 2019 - Kerry Way and Antrim Glens/Coast Causeway. We have been very pleased with Footfalls. Great response time to questions. Helpful maps and notes for directions, guesthouses, options. All correspondence was friendly with a personal touch. The guesthouses were lovely and luggage transfer seamless. We've never met in person, but I feel like we know Christopher, Theresa, and their staff. Highly recommended.
Leigh
Alaska