Giant's Causeway, Co. Antrim

The Antrim Coast and Glens Walking

8 days
from
£1,079
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Walking & Trekking
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
W07AN
Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Self-Guided Walking
Ages:
12+

Explore Northern Ireland's magnificent coastline, forest paths, waterfalls and Glens including the famous Carrick-a-Rede bridge and Giant's Causeway. 

This 7 night holiday explores the beautiful Northern Ireland coastline and the most famous Glens in the area. You start by exploring the nature reserves of Slievenorra and Glenariff, with spectacular views and bird watcing a plenty! Through forest paths and along the magnificent coastline, this holiday has it all. Visit the wonderful Rathlin Island renowned for its sea birds and classed as the largest sea bird colony in Europe.

Cross the famous Carrick-a-Rede bridge used as a location in the popular Game of Thrones TV series and walk across the magnificent UNESCO listed Giant's Causeway where there are more than 40,000 hexagonal interlocking, basalt columns, formed over 60 million years ago by volcanic eruptions or maybe, as local legend suggests, built by the giant Fionn as a path to Scotland to challenge his rival there.

Coastal walking galore, impressive forests and waterfalls, a naturalists delight, the impressive Giants Causeway, fantastic castles, beautiful beaches and a whiskey distillery - experience it all here in Northen Ireland.

Highlights

  • UNESCO world heritage site of Giants Causeway, hexagonal interlocking basalt columns formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago
  • Stay in Bushmills, the home of the famous Bushmills whiskey distillery
  • Explore Northern Irelands glens, the nature reserves of Glenariff and Slieveanorra and the forests of Ballycastle and Glenariff
  • Spectacular scenery with castles and beautiful beaches

Key information

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of 2 and 3 star hotels
  • Breakfasts daily
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers as required
  • Return ferry ticket to Rathlin Island
  • Countries visited: United Kingdom

What's included

  • All breakfasts 
  • All accommodation
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers 
  • Walking transfers as required
  • Return ferry ticket to Rathlin Island

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request, compulsory supplement)
  • Solo traveller supplement (where only one person is travelling on a departure date)
  • Transfers for Land only (available on request at additional cost)
  • Visas and vaccinations
Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

Walks on this holiday are on coastal and forest paths. 

Day by day breakdown
Day 29.0km/14.0miles
Day 320.0km/12.5miles
Day 48.0km/5.0miles
Day 56.5km/4.0miles
Day 616.0km/10.0miles
Day 717.0km/10.5miles

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Cushendall
to
Portstewart
  • Day 1

    Arrival in Cushendall

    Arrival in Cushendall

  • Day 2

    Orra Beg to Glenariff Forest Park

    A transfer to Orra Beg today and you’ll head south to through the Slieveanorra Nature Reserve, which has spectacular views over the glens and plays host to a great variety of birds. From Slieveanorra you carry on over open moorland towards Trostan Mountain and on to the Glenariff Nature Reserve and Forest Park with its visitor centre, nature trails and famous waterfalls. From here you will be collected and returned to your accommodation.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Orra Beg to Ballycastle

    After a transfer to Orra Beg you head north for Ballycastle along the Moyle Way. Passing through forest tracks and along the banks of the Glenshesk River through the Breen Oakwood Nature Reserve. Continuing onward by country road with views of the Glenshesk River, Knocklayd Mountain and Coolaveely Wood before following a good forest path through Ballycastle Forest following a good forest path into Ballycastle itself where you stay for the next three nights.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Fair Head Loop

    A return transfer takes you to the start of your walk around the magnificent coastal route of Murlough and Fair Head. The path hugs this ruggedly beautiful coast with dramatic cliff drops. Return to Ballycastle.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Rathlin Island

    Rathlin is described as a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered and is just six miles across the Sea of Moyle (return ticket included). It’s an L-shaped island, six miles long and nowhere is more than a mile across. The island is a naturalist’s delight and you can choose between three walks varying from 1.5 miles to 4 miles. Visit the RSPB West Light viewpoint to see the puffins, guillemots and razorbills along with kittiwakes and fulmars, which together make up the largest seabird colony in Europe. Overnight at Ballycastle.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Larrybane to the Giants Causeway

    Transfer to Larrybane visitor centre and the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. The bridge first built in 1755 by salmon fishermen spans an 80 foot deep chasm that renders Carrick-a-Rede an island. Continue along the coastal path to Ballintoy, a fantastic little harbour at the foot of the cliffs before reaching the beautiful White Park Bay. Stroll onwards to the village of Portbraddan and the ruins of Dunseverick Castle and on to the Giant’s Causeway. More than 40,000 hexagonal interlocking, basalt columns formed over 60 million years ago by volcanic eruptions or as local legend suggests, built by the giant Fionn as a path to Scotland to challenge his rival there. From here you take the public bus (payable locally) for the last few miles into Bushmills, your destination for the evening and where you can find the famous Bushmills whiskey distillery.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Portballintrae to Portstewart

    After a transfer, today’s walk begins on the coastal road to Portrush passing the beautiful Magheracross viewpoint and medieval Dunluce Castle, perched precariously high on a promontory overlooking the sea. Onwards to Whiterocks beach with its limestone white cliffs, the coastal path leads you up around Ramore Head before reaching pretty Portrush harbour. Its then just a few miles along the beach and causeway markers before reaching the promenade in Portstewart where you spend your final evening.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Leave Portstweart

    Depart Portstweart after breakfast

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

United Kingdom

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts included.

Irish food is not exactly famous, but what you will find is extremely good ingredients used to create basic and classic dishes, both Irish beef and Irish lamb, are certainly well known all over Ireland and further afield. You will see rack of lamb, lamb stew and shepherd’s pie, in most places. The county’s other basket is the Atlantic Ocean, and its rivers and loughs. Sea bream and Sea Bass are popular.Trout and Salmon can be served in many different ways, and there is an abundance of shell fish, local chowders are excellent and look out for crab gratin.

Wine is readily available but of course one of the symbols of Ireland is Guinness, and we can say from experience that it tastes better in Ireland, but if have a thirst after a long walk, beware the Guinness is not poured quickly, many might say there is a certain amount of time you need to leave after filling the glass halfway up the harp. However it should be left until you see a vivid distinction between the dark body and the creamy white head. Only then can the rest of the glass be filled. Learning from the
locals, you should order your second pint before you have finished your first!
Craft beer is making a name for itself in Ireland and there are some excellent local ones. Ireland in general is renowned for its whiskey and in Northern Ireland you can sample the world famous Bushmills whiskey.  A visit to the distillery in Co. Antrim is not to be missed.

Weather

Northern Ireland's climate is temperate. Most of its weather comes from the southwest in a series of low-pressure systems bringing the rain and clouds that often lend character to the landscape. It often experiences high winds particularly in the north and on the east coast where severe westerly gales are common.

Northern Ireland experiences a realtively dry spring which leads to a wet summer and a wetter winter. Daily conditions are highly changeable but there are no extremes of heat and cold.

The mild conditions in Northern Ireland have made it a beautiful, green country in all seasons. 

Is this trip for you?

Walking Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
Average daily distance: 13.5km (8ml) 
No. of days walking: 6
Terrain and route: Forest and coastal paths are used throughout.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with route directions so that you can walk at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.

It is important that you are happy following route directions, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes directions contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local agent is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

THE VILLAGE B&B, CUSHENDALL
The Village B & B is a Georgian Town house built as a Gentleman’s residence circa 1780. It is located in the centre of the village of Cushendall in the heart of the Glens of Antrim. Most of the buildings are listed and this has given the village much character and history. It is an ideal base for your visit to the Glens and the Causeway coast. Nearby attractions include the Giants Causeway, Bushmills Distillery and the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.

CORRATAVEY B&B, BALLYCASTLE
Corratavey bed and breakfast is a few minutes walk to Ballycastle seafront and harbour and is situated close to the Giants Causeway Coast & Glens.

COTTESMORE B&B, BUSHMILLS
Cottesmore bed and breakfast is set on the edge of Bushmills Village and in a designated 'Area of outstanding Natural Beauty'. It is the perfect location for exploring the Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge and just a 5 minute walk from the world famous 'Old Bushmills Whiskey Distillery'. Rooms are modern and tastefully decorated.

CUL-ERG HOUSE B&B, PORTSTEWART
Cul-Erg House is a delightful guest house and is a two minute stroll to the clear blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Ideally situated close to a host of visitor attractions, including the world famous golf courses, in Portstewart, Portrush and Castlerock. This area of outstanding beauty. The renowned Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Bushmills Distillery and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope bridge to name but a few, all beckon to be explored and enjoyed.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

In 2020, unsurprisingly, many of us began to explore those hidden gems in our own back yard – and why not.

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Dates & Prices

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Please call one of our experts to discuss your private group requirements on 0203 993 4668, or fill out the form below and we will give you a call back.

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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