Giant's Causeway Coastal Northern Ireland

Giants Causeway Coastal Route

Giant's Causeway Coastal Drive

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Whether you are traveling from Dublin Airport, Kerry Airport, Shannon Airport,Dublin City or any Irish destination we would highly recommend you include a trip to the Gaints Causeway Coastal Drive when in Ireland, it's a beautiful scenic route and is well worth the trip when visiting Ireland.

Located in Northern Ireland, the Giant's Causeway and Causeway iconic route has been regarded as one of the world’s ultimate road trips by Lonely Planet. Giant’s Causeway Coast is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization site (UNESCO) and more recently heavily associated with ‘Games of Thrones’ locations.

Starting from Belfast, you’ll hit the winding coastal road and journey through your way through scenic tourist attractions including Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and Torr scenic road.

‘Game of Thrones’ fans will love this route, from medieval buildings to epic views across the landscape and recreate scenes using an iPad like these bloggers.

This article has been broken up into sections, all you have to do it is click the link below to jump to it.

Watch the video by Discover Ireland

Places to see

Glens of Antrim – The locals call it The Glens, nine glens stretching 80 miles of stunning greenery backdrops and Glenariff Forest Park. Glenarm, Glencloy, Glenariff, Glenballyemon, Glanaan, Glencorp, Glendun, Glenshesk, Glentaisie. The main towns in the Glens are Ballycastle, Cushendun, and Cushendall. You will see these during your giants causeway coastal route. The highlight of the Glens would be Glenariff Forest Park and the 2 mile waterfall walkway trail.

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Murlough Bay / Torr Head – This a small scenic route of its own to enjoy the spectacular towards Mull of Kintyre (Scotland) views and Torr Head, however, it is a narrow drive and not advised for nervous drivers. The road gives access to Murlough Bay, Fair Head and Torr Head which was once a lookout station.

Kinbane Castle - A secluded limestone headland with a castle ruin, built in 1547. The name Kinbane means White Head and refers to the white limestone on which the castle stands. A worthy of stop before you move onto Carrick-a-Rede attraction.

Carrick-A-Rede – The famously recognized rope foot bridge connecting to a small island where you can cross to visit. The bridge was built in 1755 by salmon fishermen. This is an extremely popular attraction, go early or even walk around for free and enjoy the views of the rope bridge instead.

Giant’s Causeway – Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction and the main draw of the Causeway Coastal Route. What is Giant’s Causeway? Giant’s Causeway is an UNESCO World Hertiage Site with myth and legends, they say Finn McCool the giant carved out the hexagons columns.

Its perfectly hexagon shaped columns was formed by a 60 million year old volcanic and geological activity!

The attraction has an interactive exhibition in the visitor centre and outdoor audio guide is available in nine languages. Entry fees are £9 per adult and £4.50 per child however you can visit Giant’s Causeway without paying by bypassing the visitor centre and walk on the road to walk on the footpath. If you decide to go in for free, you will not be able to avail of the audio guides. It is highly recommended to go early to avoid the crowds.

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Bushmills - Visit Old Bushmills Distillery, Ireland’s oldest working distillery since 1608. Learn how the famous whiskey is made and have an Irish meal with a whiskey tasting.

Dunluce - Dunluce Castle is a now ruin medieval castle offering picturesque opportunities with dramatic cliff top views and even better at sunset. It is accessible by a bridge connecting from the mainland.

The Dark Hedges – The avenue of beech trees was planted already in the 18th century and provides a unique backdrop. Also featured in Games of Thrones in the Arya and Gendry’s journey from King’s Landing towards The Wall scene.

Nearby attractions;

Gobbins Visitors Centre – a 2.5 hour guided walking tour hugging the cliff face edge. On the Gobbins coastal path tour, you will be able to see the sea and wildlife close up. The Gobbins Path is a difficult hike that is narrow and uneven, accessed by a very steep pathway. Due to the nature of the rugged coastal location suitable outdoor clothing and walking boots or shoes are essential. The reviews on TripAdvisor are very good.

Castle Ward & Audley’s Castle – while it is not actually on the Giant’s Causeway drive. It is located in County Down so for those who love Game of Thrones, you may want to add Castle Ward Game of Thrones Archery Experience, you get to dress up in Game of Thrones costumes and practice archery at the same spot where Bran, Robb, and Jon shoot in the first episode. Castle Ward Ireland Visit their website

Causeway Coastal Route Map

Belfast, Larne, Glens of Antrium, Cushenden, Torr Head, Carrick-a-Rede, Giant's Causeway, Bushmills, Portrush, and The Dark Hedges.

How to do it

Having your own car to do this route is ideal, you'd be able to stop whenever you want whereas a coach is time limited and destinated stops only. Car Rental Ireland provides car hire service from nine locations in Ireland which you can easily pick up a car and do the Causeway coastal scenic drive.

The route is accessed from the A8 and Coast road, from Dublin Airport, it is approx. 2 hours’ drive (103miles)

Book a car with Car Rental Ireland and add Ring of Kerry drive to your itinerary.

Driving Itinerary

Starting from the capital, head for the A8 towards the Coast Road. The first point of call would be visiting the Glens of Antrim, stopping at Ballygally, Carnlough, and Cushendall.

From Cushendall, stay on the Coast Road and join the Torr Road for the Torr Scenic Route for access to Fair Head, Murlough Bay, and Torr Head.

Leaving Torr Head, make your way through Ballycastle towards Ballintoy for Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, Ballintoy Beach.

From Ballintoy, stay on the coast road to Giant’s Causeway & Bushmills.

Dunluce Castle is between Bushmills and Portrush.

Tip: Start from the top towards Belfast as you’ll be next to the coast which provides better views.

TripAdvisor Reviews

With a five-star rating on Tripadvisor, it's safe to say that those who have taken the route enjoyed it greatly.

“This is a beautiful drive along the coast!” If you ever get the opportunity this is a great experience. From the coastal views of cliffs, beaches, a castle, Giant's Causeway and rope bridge, to sheep and cattle farms to the dark hedges you will be overwhelmed by scenic greenery and beauty.

“a must to do” the scenary is amazing so glad we hired a car to se this beautiful part of the world. we also stayed in Bushmills and visted the bushmills distilarry.

“Stunning scenery” This is a spectacular drive and would recommend taking 2-3 days at least to do it as some fantastic stops en route and it really shouldnt be hurried. Dont miss the Carrick rede rope bridge, giants causeway, Tor Head, Bushmills Distillery, Ballytony Harbour and the numerous little villages alohg the way.

“Very pretty” Hiring a car gives you the freedom to stop off and admire the spectacular scenery . There are lots of little bays on the way round.

Giant's Causeway Accommodation

Ulster Cottages, Bushmills – View website
Finn McCools Giants Causeway Hostel, Bushmills - View website
Antrim House B&B, Portrush – View website
Crockatinney Guest House, Ballintoy – View website

If you want to keep traveling around Ireland, why not take take your rental car and have a look at our other suggested driving routes. If you have any questions regarding car hire, please take a look at our car rental guide. There is so much beauty around Ireland just waiting for you to capture it on your cameras. Don't forget to send in your pictures and review of any of the trips you've taken, we love getting feedback from our customers.