March 22, 2018 751

If you searched for “where is Northern Ireland on a map” or landed here for some other related reason then chances are that you don’t come from our little corner of the world.

If that’s the case – HELLO!

Before we answer that important question you should know that you won’t find a better welcome anywhere else in the world! Honestly, we pride ourselves on hospitality, atmosphere and, most importantly, the craic!

Moving on…

Where is Northern Ireland on a Map?

If you’re unsure as to where Northern Ireland is on a map then your best bet is to open up Google Maps, Apple Maps or some other variation.

A quick search of “Northern Ireland” or a scroll around to the UK and Ireland, and a quick zoom into us right up in the north, should leave you with something looking like this…

Where is Northern Ireland on a Map

As you can see, Northern Ireland is located on the island of Ireland and within the UK, right on the very edge of Europe.

Not a bad spot if we do say so ourselves…

What is in Northern Ireland?

No country, no matter how small, can be defined or described by a few short sentences. But to give you an idea of the country, and what we have to offer, we’ll highlight some of the key features below.

For such a small area, relative to other nearby countries, Northern Ireland’s landscape is incredibly diverse. It’s also filled with beautiful attractions and landmarks.

Right in the heart of the country you’ll find Lough Neagh. To the east you’ll find the majestic Mourne Mountains and the serene Strangford Lough. To the west you’ll find the Sperrins and in the south-west you’ll find the Fermanagh Lakelands.

In the north, right at the tip of the island, you’ll find the beautiful north coast.  Sometimes this is referred to as the “Causeway Coast” or “Causeway Coastal Route”. We might be biased (we definitely are…) due to our location here in Portrush, but the north coast is at the centre of Northern Ireland’s tourist attractions. There are golden beaches, dramatic glens and a scattering of idyllic coastal towns and villages to enjoy.

As we said before, this is just a small snapshot of what and where Northern Ireland is!

If you’re thinking of paying us a visit, or have more questions and queries you can get in touch by clicking here!

Until next time…



February 26, 2018 140

In a world of social media and travel shows it’s hard to imagine that any area contains “hidden gems” nowadays. However, there are always a few lurking just off the beaten track, and the Causeway Coast is no different. Read on to discover five hidden gems on the Causeway Coastal Route.

The Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Old Bushmills Distillery and a few others attract the biggest crowds, headlines and photos. But read on and discover another side to the coastal route we love amd call ‘home’.

Hidden Gems on the Causeway Coastal Route

Glenarm Castle

Glenarm Castle - Hidden Gems on the Causeway Coastal Route

First up, Glenarm Castle.

Incredibly, a castle has stood on this site, in the coastal village of Glenarm, since the 13th century. It is the ancestral home of the Earls of Antrim and is still a residence to this day.

Visitors can enjoy the beautiful Walled Gardens, Tea Rooms and multiple events throughout the year including the likes of the Tulip Festival, Dalriada Festival and Highland Games.

Ballintoy Harbour 

Ballintoy Harbour - Hidden Gems on the Causeway Coastal Route

For those in the know Ballintoy Harbour represents one of the absolute best spots along the Causeway Coastal Route. the problem is, if you don’t know it exists, you’ll drive right by it.

On a long, winding lane, past a tiny little isolated church, sits Ballintoy Harbour, right on the very edge of Northern Ireland’s north coast.

This little harbour and beach is a breathtaking display of rugged beauty. It’s no wonder that Game of Thrones location scouts chose it to feature in the world of Westeros.

Mussenden Temple

Mussenden Temple - Hidden Gems on the Causeway Coastal Route

It might come as a surprise that Mussenden Temple is mentioned in a list of Causeway Coast hidden gems. But consider just how beautiful this iconic attraction is, and how many regular visitors it actually gets.

This beautiful temple, originally built as a library, has been dramatically perched 120 feet above the crashing waves below since 1785!

Throw in the idyllic gardens and surroundings of Downhill Demesne, in which Mussenden Temple sits, and you’ve got the making of a wonderful day exploring along the cliff tops. 

Murlough Bay 

Murlough Bay - Hidden Gems on the Causeway Coastal Route

Similar to Ballintoy Harbour, Murlough Bay sits just off the well-beaten tracl. It also offers some of the most beautiful coastal scenes anywhere in Northern Ireland.

You’ll find the secluded bay just outside Ballycastle and just beyond the imposing landmark of Fairhead. Whilst it might not be the easiest to get to (as all hidden gems are…) your efforts will be rewarded with beautiful panoramic views, seaside walks and hardly a soul in sight.

If you’re looking for solitude along the Causeway Coast this might be the best place for it.

Portstewart Golf Club

Portstewart Golf Club - Hidden Gems on the Causeway Coastal Route

Trophy hunters might focus on Royal Portrush and Royal County Down but when it comes to golf, and specifically incredible 1st tees, the Causeway Coastal Route has the answer in the form of Portstewart Golf Club.

Enjoy stepping onto the tee and looking onto a breathtaking coastal vista that stretches across the pristine Portstewart Strand. Take in the views, with Mussenden Temple and Donegal in the distance.

The only issue is that it might affect your swing… More details at www.portstewartgc.co.uk

Agree or disagree with our Causeway Coast hidden gems? Let us know!

If you’re ready to explore all our beautiful coastline has to offer then get in touch here if you have any questions or queries about the area.



January 23, 2018 49

With Christmas and New Years now a distant memory we’re more than ready to turn our attention to the excitement 2018 has yet to bring!

As is the same every year, 2018 is fit to burst with events and fun along the Causeway Coast. To inspire and help you organise and plan, we thought we’d collect the best our beautiful north coast has to offer.

See you there!

Causeway Coast Events 2018

Please see a complete list of events below. We will update this list as and when more dates and details are confirmed.

 

Easter 2018 – 2nd April 2018

Easter Sunday will occur on 1st April 2018 this year and Easter Bank Holiday will occur on the following day, Monday 2nd April 2018.

Causeway Challenge Walk – 6th May 2018

For more information on the Causeway Challenge Walk click here.

May Bank Holidays 2018 – 7th & 28th May 2018

The May Day Bank Holiday will take place on Monday 7th May 2018 this year. The Early Spring Break Bank Holiday will take place on Monday 28th May 2018 this year.

The Vauxhall International North West 200 – 13th – 19th May 2018

For more information on the Vauxhall International North West 200 click here.

Causeway Coast Ford Fair – TBC (Approx. June 2018)

For more information on the Causeway Coast Ford Fair click here.

Walk the Glens Festival – TBC (Approx. June 2018)

For more information on the Walk the Glens Festival click here.

Salmon and Whiskey Festival 2018 – TBC (Approx. June 2018)

For more information on the Salmon and Whiskey Festival click here.

Causeway Coast Amateur Golf Tournament – 3rd – 9th June 2018

For more information on the Causeway Coast Amateur Golf Tournament click here.

NI Super Cup – 22nd – 27th July 2018

For more information on the NI Super Cup, formerly known as the Milk Cup, click here.

Portstewart Red Sails Festival – 22nd – 28th July 2018

For more information on the Portstewart Red Sails Festival click here.

Armoy Road Races – July 27th – 28th 2018

For more information on the Armoy Road Races click here.

Causeway Coast Mini Club Weekend – TBC (Approx. August 2018) 

For more information on the Causeway Coast Mini Club Weekend click here. 

North West Pipe Band Competition – TBC (Approx. August 2018)

For more information on the North West Pipe Band Competition click here. 

Cushendall “Heart of the Glens” Festival – 4th – 12th August 2018

For more information on the Cushendall Heart of the Glens Festival click here.

The Auld Lammas Fair – TBC (Approx. 27th – 28th August 2018)

For more information on the Auld Lammas Fair click here. 

Northern Ireland International Airshow / Air Waves Portrush – 1st – 2nd September 2018  

For more information on the Northern Ireland International Airshow / Air Waves Portrush click here.

The Great Northern Links Challenge – 16th – 20th October 2018 

For more information on the Great Northern Links Challenge click here.

Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive – 8th September 2018

For more information on the Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive click here.

Portrush Beer Festival 2018 – TBC (Approx. October 2018) 

For more information on the Portrush Beer Festival click here. 

Halloween 2018 

The Causeway Coast always turns into a spooky, scary place every October and 2018 will be no different! Stay tuned for more. 

Ghosts in the Glens Storytelling Festival – TBC (Approx. October 2018)

For more information on the Ghosts in the Glens Storytelling Festival click here.

Atlantic Sessions 2018 – TBC (Approx. November 2018)7

For more information on the Atlantic Sessions click here.

Christmas 2018

It might seem like an age away right now but we all know that Christmas creeps up faster and faster every year. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for more information on events the closer it gets.

Safe to say it’s a pretty impressive list, right?

Which event is a must see or do for you? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

For all other enquiries, including rooms and rates for any of the dates and events listed above, you can get in touch with our team by clicking here or by phoning 028 7082 3507.



January 22, 2018 178

If you’re planning a break to Portrush this summer and enjoy live entertainment, we have lots of options in the coming months.
From Irish country, easy listening, classic rock to chart covers, Gareth, Tom and Jason have something for everyone!

Summer Sundays entertainment schedule…

Sunday 15th July       Gareth Hamilton

Sunday 22nd July     Tom Laverty

Sunday 29th July      Jason McAllister

Sunday 5th August    Gareth Hamilton

Sunday 12th August   Jason McAllister

Sunday 19th August   Tom Laverty

Sunday 26th August  Gareth Hamilton

From 9.30pm – Late

Why not make an evening of it? Enjoy a meal in our Bistro or a few sips in our Gin Bar before settling in for an evening’s music.

 

About Gareth Hamilton

Singer & Entertainer

Gareth made early appearances on stage at his school in Castlederg and has grown not only in stature but musicality ability in the years since. He plays in many venues across the north west and is able to entertain young and old alike.



September 22, 2017 73

Portrush Beer & Food Festival 2017 - On the Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland

Portrush Beer & Food Festival 2017

Do you know your IPAs from your saisons? Your stouts from your sours?

Chances are you might do, or are eager and ready to start learning!

Either way, the upcoming Portrush Beer & Food Festival is the perfect way to experience some quality craft beers, whiskeys and food from a variety of specialist providers all within the four handy walls of Portrush Town Hall.

The event, organised by our friends at the Lacada Co-operative Brewery here in Portrush, will take place between Friday 6th and Sunday 8th October starting at various times each day but finishing at 10pm each night.

Whilst there you’ll be able to enjoy the exploits of the likes of Lacada, Beavertown, Glens of Antrim Ales, Yellow Belly, Kraken Rum, Bushmills Whiskey and more!

Festival goers will also be able to take in the delightful tastes of Babushka Café, Broughgammon Farm, Causeway Catering and Naturally North Coast and Glens Market who will all be providing delicious food to pair with your drinks.

Sounding pretty good, right?

You can find out more about the event on the official website by clicking here.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our local brewing friends Lacada then click here for our interview with their head brewer!

Need to Know:

  • October 6th – 8th
  • Portrush Town Hall
  • £6 per head (price include glass and menu to keep)
  • Organised by Lacada Co-Op Brewery

We all know that craft beers can pack a pretty big punch so please be extremely careful, drink responsibly and always have a designated driver if you’re travelling far.

If you would like to soak up the sights, sounds and charms of our incredible Causeway Coast during the festival then get in touch with our team for room rates by clicking here.

Have fun!



September 13, 2017 120

Causeway Coast Events Halloween 2017

With everyone well and truly back into work and school routines it’s fair to say that summer 2017 is now a distant memory.

However, all is not lost! Thankfully Halloween and the mid-term break are just around the corner and that means plenty of fun on the Causeway Coast for you and the family!

We’ve picked out some key Causeway Coast Halloween events so that you’re all set for October 31st!

Causeway Coast Events Halloween 2017

Ghost in the Glens Storytelling Festival – Cushendall (19th – 22nd October 2017)

The Ghost in the Glens Storytelling Festival, just around the corner from Portrush in Cushendall, Cushendun, Glenariff, Ballycastle and Rathlin Island, will be a four-day celebration of all things spooky and storytelling!

From Thursday to Sunday locals and tourists alike will be able to enjoy traditional scary Irish stories of ghosts, fairies and banshees, to really get in the mood for the big night.

Parents of young children don’t need to worry because there will also be crafts, quizzes, fancy dress and slightly less scary stories for the tiniest members of the family!

Enjoy this unique Halloween experience in some of the most picturesque parts of our incredible Causeway Coastal Route.

Halloween Happenings – Coleraine (28th October 2017)

On Saturday 28th October Coleraine will be awash will Halloween Happenings perfect for all the family. Events and activities will include a fancy dress competition (dust off those wigs, dig out those swords and apply the makeup!), outdoor entertainment, spooky guests and characters wandering around the town, live concerts, fire juggling, live fireworks and more!

Other events and activities will be taking place in the local area between 27th October and 31st October so keep an eye on our social pages, blog and local council posts!

Naturally North Coast & Glens Halloween Artisan Market – Ballycastle (29th October 2017)

Over the last few years the Naturally North Coast & Glens Market has generated a reputation for providing a heady mix of delicious tastes and smells, unique artisan experiences and crafts and great craic from traders, performing musicians and the attending crowds.

This Halloween weekend (the weekend before Tuesday 31st October) sees the market take on a spooky twist with food and craft traders offering a brilliant mix of classics and scary surprises!

The Halloween market will take place on Sunday 29th October from 11am to 5pm in the Marine Hotel, Ballycastle. Just a short drive along the coast from us here in Portrush!

We hope you have a great Halloween break whatever you’re up to.

If you’re interested in any of the above events, or would like to know about what else is happening in Portrush and beyond, just get in touch with our team here!

For more information on our rooms, rates and food offerings just click on the relevant links!



August 22, 2017 118

World Surf Kayak Championships 2017 coming to Portrush on the Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland

The summer might be drawing to a close (always disappointing even if it’s expected) but the autumn months bring new events and excitement to the Causeway Coast, not least this year, the World Surf Kayak Championships in 2017!

In October, 20th to 28th, Portrush’ East Strand beach will welcome up to 150 competitors and it’s easy to see why the competition choose our backyard as the location for this years event.

The East Strand, set along the breathtaking Causeway Coastal Route, which was recently featured on BBC One’s The One Show, offers approximately 2.5 miles of glorious beach front and crashing waves.

Competitors from as far flung as Australia, USA, Japan, Costa Rica and countless other European nations, will battle it out on the hard swells of the Atlantic Ocean for Best Team and Best Individual Championships and crowds are guaranteed exciting viewing and big air moves!

The event, organised by the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland, will be free to spectators and will also include local boys Johnny Bingham and Andy McClelland competing for top prizes.

Need to Know:

  • October 20th – 28th
  • Free Entry
  • Over 150 nations competing

If you plan to visit Portrush during the Championships, to participate, support or just enjoy the fun, we’d be happy to accommodate you.

You’ll get a classic Causeway Coast welcome, a week of craic, and plenty of hospitality (should you require it…).

For more information simply call 028 7082 3507 or click here to get in touch with our team.

Looking forward to seeing all the competitors in action!



August 3, 2017 137

The Portrush Airshow, alongside many other annual events on the Causeway Coast, has become a staple in our calendar and something we look forward to every year!

This year the Airwaves Portrush Airshow 2017 will take place over the first weekend of September (2nd – 3rd) which should ease the pain of the return of school, work and the dreaded end of the summer holidays…

Airwaves Portrush: Northern Ireland International Airshow 2017

It’s not hard to see why the Airshow is one of Northern Ireland’s most popular events.

Set on the spectacular backdrop of the Causeway Coast, on Portrush’s East Strand, you’ll see the incredible RAF Red Arrows, RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Mig 15 amongst other airplanes and aircraft.

Alongside that we’ll also see Helicopter displays, the Irish coastguard, the Motor Village and Star Wars characters all coming to town.

Finally, we’re especially looking forward to wandering around the Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market. If you’re coming to the Airshow you have to make sure to stop by because some of the foods (and smells) are so heavenly!

If you want to make it a long weekend where you enjoy the show, the beautiful coastline and (most importantly) the craic, without having to rush home afterwards, then check out our rooms and rates here.

For any other questions, about the Airshow or otherwise, you can contact us here!

See you soon!



July 28, 2017 129

Ask anyone in Northern Ireland and they all seem to say the same thing: the Causeway Coast is the place to be!

Sure the Mourne Mountains are beautiful, the Fermanagh Lakelands enchanting and the cities buzzing but the Causeway Coast seems to pack all of this into one small corner of the country. Lucky for us!

We’ve taken a look at different parts of the coast before (like the Game of Thrones locations) but today we thought we’d focus on truly coastal experiences.

That means lots of water, lots of walking and incredible views!

Alive Surf School

Activities on the Causeway Coast

How about a spot of surfing?

There’s nothing better than getting out into the water and looking back at the incredible north coast and our Portrush partners in crime, Alive Surf School, offer up the best surfing options available!

Whether you’re a first timer, an expert, a group of young guns or some silver surfers, Alive will welcome you with open arms and give you a proper coastal experience!

Causeway Coasteering

Who wants to use our gloriously rugged coastline as their very own adventure playground?

Well, that’s what the guys and gals of Causeway Coasteering are promising if and when you join them for some fun. Alongside experienced professionals you’ll be able to dive, belly flop and bomb into the water after clambering all over the rocks to get to the best spots!

3,2,1…GO!

Aquaholics

Aquaholics will also give you plenty of chances to get your feet wet…and, your whole body actually…

The team over at Aquaholics will take you out on boat trips and sea safaris so you can enjoy the spectacular coastline and wildlife we can all, way too easily, take for granted at times.

If you’re feeling especially brave then you can don a wetsuit and dive right in!

Away a Wee Walk

Activities on the Causeway Coast

If you’re not a true “water baby” but still want to enjoy the incredible scenery the Causeway Coast has to offer we would highly recommend checking out Away a Wee Walk.

Eimear Flanagan offers uniquely personal tours that take away the hassle of figuring out the “who, what, where, why and how”. All you have to do is turn up, follow the leader and set about enjoying the sights and sounds of the Giant’s Causweway, Murlough Bay, Fairhead and beyond.

Causeway Cycle Adventures

Causeway Cycle Adventures offers a similarly great way to explore and enjoy the Causeway Coast.

They offer electric bike tours, lead by experienced locals, that give you a proper insight into the sights, sounds, experiences and attractions of our local coastline.

Don’t worry if you’re not the most experienced of cyclists. The electric bikes will give you that little bit of extra power when it’s most needed!

If any of that sounds good (and how could it not?!) then let us know!

We’d be happy to help, or point you in the right direction, so contact us by clicking here for more information.



July 17, 2017 695

The Causeway Coast is beautiful, natural and breathtaking but…it’s also partial to rain from time to time.

Thankfully there’s plenty to do here even if there’s a downpour so we thought we’d list some fun rainy day activities to keep you and your family or friends happy in some classic Northern Irish weather!

Things to do in Northern Ireland when it Rains

  1. Go to Barry’s Amusements

A trip to Portrush just wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Barry’s Amusements. Northern Ireland’s biggest amusement park, first opened in 1926(!), has been the scene of many a fond childhood memory and the rain won’t stop that! 

  1. Find the Game of Thrones Dark Hedges Doors

The Dark Hedges have become an iconic tourist attraction in Northern Ireland, due to both their breathtaking beauty and an appearance in the world famous Game of Thrones TV series, but unfortunately some of the trees were destroyed in a recent storm.

Thankfully, the wood was reclaimed and reworked into 10 Game of Thrones inspired doors that are now hidden in 10 pubs and hotels throughout the country.

You can find 5 of these beautiful hand-crafted doors within the twists and turns of our very own Causeway Coast and Glens.

Are you up to the challenge?

  1. Visit Bushmills Distillery

A visit to Bushmills Distillery should be an essential part of every Causeway Coast trip but it makes even more sense on a rainy day!

This distillery has been around for over 400 years so when you take the tour you’re literally walking through history whilst getting all the sights, sounds and (most importantly) smells of this classic Northern Irish whiskey.

  1. Dive in with Causeway Coasteering and Alive Surf School

Causeway Coasteering - things to do in northern ireland when it rains

If you’re already wet then a little rain won’t hurt, right?

That’s why diving in and getting a real taste of the Causeway Coast experience makes sense on a rainy day! We recommend our friends at Causeway Coasteering and Alive Surf School if you want to get the blood pumping and forget about the grey skies above!

  1. Drink a Local Tipple

We know that sometimes the rain and gloomy weather can get the better of us all and in that case a relaxing drink at the bar is just what the Doctor ordered. Lucky for us we’ve got a bar stocked with all the classics, Bushmills whiskey, premium gins and a few local beers to boot! 

  1. Visit the Giant’s Causeway Centre

Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre - things to do in northern ireland when it rains

The Giant’s Causeway is the iconic centre piece of our coastline but, even though it looks even more dramatic with the crashing waves, you might not want to walk down during a downpour.

Step forward the Giant’s Causeway Centre. There are information displays, short films to watch and a café for teas and coffees to keep you warm.

  1. Visit Hezlett House

A rainy day might also be the perfect time to visit Hezlett House, a thatched cottage over 300 years old, that is one of Northern Ireland’s oldest buildings. You can walk the gardens if you’re wrapped up or enjoy the regularly hosted events and guided tours! 

  1. Relax with Tasty Traybakes

Try a traybake - things to do in northern ireland when it rains

We might be biased but Leona’s Tea Room is definitely worth a visit on a dark and rainy day when you need cheering up!

You’ll be greeted with fresh tea and coffee, classic Northern Irish traybakes and some of the best scones you’ll ever eat! Our tip is to always ask what’s on offer because the specials are definitely worth trying! 

  1. Have a Family Day at the Jet Centre

If you’ve got a car load of bored kids then you might be best heading straight to The Jet Centre. Indoor play areas, cinema, bowling, mini golf and more mean you should have enough options to keep everyone entertained and…most importantly, tire them out!

  1. Visit Ballymoney Museum

Sometimes a rainy day is the perfect opportunity to soak up some culture, history and heritage and Ballymoney Museum offers the perfect look at over 9000 years of local history. From the Celts and Vikings right through to our modern day motorcycle heroes. Best part? It’s absolutely free!