The Mystical Glens of Antrim, Windswept Coastal Scenery, Historic Lighthouses, and Much More
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: mysterious and mystical glens, lush-green forests, one of the most dramatic coastlines in Europe, and 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 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: €739 per person sharing
Single Supplement: +€350
Tour Dates: 1 April to 15 October
Tour Grade: Easy to Moderate
Included / Excluded
We will supply you with all the information needed to travel from your point of arrival to where you will spend 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 rolling green hills, a stone’s throw from the sea of Moyle and it is here that you will spend your first two nights.
You will stay overnight in 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
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 around £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 boasts an array of flora and fauna, a favourite of guests being the puffins who are found here in the spring and summer. Guillemots and Kittiwakes, also make their home here in their thousands along the steep on-shore cliffs.
You will return to Ballycastle on the afternoon ferry.
Depending on which walk you take, today’s hiking distance will vary widely, but their are a variety of options available. Routes will be marked clearly in your tour pack so you can decide on the day the distance you would like to travel.
Stay overnight in Ballycastle.
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.
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 charming area is definitely worth walking 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 unforgettable, famous attraction in the region. With a historic rope bridge spanning an 80 ft chasm, here you can test whether or not you’re good with heights! If you do wish to cross, tickets can be purchased at the site. Otherwise you can explore the nearby country.
We stay overnight in Ballintoy.
Distance: 14km / 8.75 miles, Ascent: 240 m / 720 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 5 hrs
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 by Benbane Head to the World Heritage Site and Nature Reserve of the Giants Causeway.
Overnight stay, Giant's Causeway.
Distance: 17.6 km / 11 miles, Ascent: 977 m / 2931 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hrs
Your final day of our walking tour of Antrim takes you along the coastal road overlooking Binbane Cove, Dunluce Castle, The Burnfoot and The White Rocks, as we hed toward Portrush. We make a descent down to Curran Strand from where 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 we hope will
have been a memorable week of hiking in the Antrim Glens and Coastal Path.
Overnight stay in Portstewart
Distance: 19 km / 12 miles, Ascent: 778 m / 2334 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hrs
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.