Antrim Glens & Coastal Path – 8 Days – Self-Guided Walking Tour

Antrim Glens Coastal Path Walking Tour 8 Days

Enjoy an 8-day self-guided walking tour of the Glens of Antrim, the Causeway Coast and Rathlin Island. This tour takes you on a journey through a landscape that is breathtakingly beautiful, through mysterious and mystical glens into lush-green forests and along one of the most dramatic coastlines in Europe and onto the enchanted Rathlin Island.

The scenic beauty and the diversity of the landscape make a walking tour of Antrim an ideal hiking vacation in Ireland. The quiet country villages and the friendliness of the people all add to the charm of this magical landscape.

The Causeway Coast and Glens of Antrim provide you with a journey of discovery where imagination meets reality and where every village and town, castle, cave and rocky shore is just waiting to be discovered. It’s a journey in life that is not to be missed, a journey that will relax the mind, body and soul.

Green Glens Of Antrim!

Far across yonder blue lies a true fairyland,
Where the sea ripples over the shingles and sand.
Where the gay honeysuckle is luring the bee,
And the green glens of Antrim are calling to me.

Written by Kenneth North

Prices / Dates

Price:  €719 per person sharing

Single Supplement: +€350

Tour Dates: 1 March to 31 October

Tour Grade: Easy to Moderate

Accommodation: Guesthouse

Included / Excluded

We will supply you with all the information deed to travel from your point of entry into the country to your first night in Cushendall.

Your walking tour of the Glens of Antrim begins in the village of Cushendall, better known as the capital of the Glens. Cushendall is a charming village that nestles in the heart of the Glens, situated between the hills and the sea of Moyle and it is here that you will spend your first two nights.

Overnight Cushendall

Your adventure begins with a walk in Glenariff Forest Park. The vast variety of the landscape, woodlands and habitats that are to be found within Glenariff Forest Park provide you with a truly superb walk through nature. You will enjoy the tranquillity and admire the spectacular views down the glen, across the sea of Moyle and beyond to the Scottish Mountains.

Distance: 17 Km / 11 miles, Ascent: 330 m / 1000 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hrs

Overnight Cushendall 

You will be transferred to the beginning of your walk at Orra Beg, an intersection of the Moyle Way that takes you north to Ballycastle along the Moyle Way. This section of the trail is mixed between forest trails, quiet country roads and open mountains.

From Orra Beg the trail takes you along a forest track to reach the open mountainside of Agangarrive Hill. From here you will follow the banks of the Glenshesk River to join the Breen Forest Trail, a Nature Reserve and Woodlands.

From here the trail leads you along a quiet country road along the townland of Glenshesk, the most northern of the 9 glens. You will be rewarded with some fantastic views of the Glenshesk River and Coolaveely Forest on your right and Knocklayd Mountain on your left. The final section of the day takes you through Ballycastle Forest and finally into the town of Ballycastle where you will spend the next two nights.

Distance: 17.6 km / 11 miles, Ascent: 579 m / 1737 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hrs

Overnight Ballycastle

On Rathlin Island, we will be giving you the choice of two walks, depending on your preferred walking distance. Both walks are very interesting and stunningly beautiful. You will take the 45-minute ferry ride from Ballycastle to Rathlin, costing £12 per person return.

Rathlin Island is a rare place of wild and natural beauty, with extraordinary environmental values and social interests. Shaped like a boot the island is 10 Km/6 miles long and almost 1.6 Km /1 mile wide. Three lighthouses stand as monuments to its wild coastline while over 40 recorded shipwrecks lie in the depths of its underwater cliffs.

The island is immersed in flora and fauna and in spring and summer Puffins, Guillemots and Kittiwakes, to mention but a few, nest in their thousands along its steep on-shore cliffs. You will return to Ballycastle on the afternoon ferry.

Depending on which walk you take while you are on the island you distance and ascent will depend on this. Routs will be marked clearly in your tour pack so you can decide on the day the distance you would like to travel. 

Approximate Distance: 11/14 km / 7/9 miles

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

 

Overnight Ballycastle 

Ballycastle is the northern gateway to the Glens of Antrim and dates back to sometime around 1565 when a son of Sorley Boy McDonnell, the first Earl of Antrim built a castle in the centre of the old part of the town. Unfortunately, nothing of this castle remains today, but this area is definitely worth a walk around before you leave for Ballintoy. After leaving the town of Ballycastle you will follow a country road to Clare Woods. Following a short forest trail, you will continue on quiet country roads that will take you through the farming community of Craignagolman and Ballaghcravey. You will arrive at the world-famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This is an amazing place and if you are brave enough to cross the bridge that spans an 80 ft chasm, the experience will be invigorating but crossing is not compulsory. If you do wish to cross there is a charge for the pleasure!

Distance: 14km / 8.75 miles, Ascent: 240 m / 720 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 5 hrs

Overnight Ballintoy 

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 by Benbane Head to the World Heritage Site and Nature Reserve of the Giants Causeway. 

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

Overnight Giant's Causeway 

Your final days walking tour of Antrim takes you along the coastal road to Portrush, overlooking Binbane Cove, Dunluce Castle, The Burnfoot and The White Rocks, before making the short descent down 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 two biggest being the Big Skerries and Little Skerries. Then it’s into the town of Portrush with a 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.

Distance: 19 km / 12 miles, Ascent: 778 m / 2334 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hrs

Overnight Portstewart 

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 to get from Portstewart to your next location.  

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A few words from our customers...

We are in our 70's and have done a bit of walking in our time….mainly here inAustralia….but the five days that we spent walking along the Causeway Coast - Footfall's response to our request for a suggestion - has been about the best ever! Our first visit to Ireland, packed all the wet weather gear but the sun shone out of cloudless blue skies every day! Christopher arranged this walk for us at pretty short notice and adapted it to give us shorter walking days. Their directions, maps and information pack were very straight forward, reliable and easy to follow. It was a great experience and we appreciate how well Footfalls organised it for us.
Morag & Arthur
Australia
We are a family of four and walked from Glenshesk to Portstewart via the Giant's causeway. The logistics went wonderfully smoothly, Christopher was very easy to contact and helped arrange transport to and from Belfast. The ordnance maps provided were really helpful and the narrative very clear. When we pointed out one omission from the narrative directions they were very receptive and were going to re-walk to route to make sure the directions were as clear as possible. The B & B's booked were all very pleasant and tips on where to find lunch and dinner were helpful.
Grace
Canada