February 26, 2018 631

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.



June 27, 2017 875

If you’re planning a trip to the Causeway Coast or Magherabuoy House Hotel (and why wouldn’t you want to experience 120 miles of breathtaking scenery, glorious natural beaches, local food, drink, craic and more?) then you might be trying to figure out directions to the Causeway Coastal Route.

Luckily, we’re here to help make that journey, and your planning, a little easier.Directions to the Causeway Coastal Route - Magherabuoy House Hotel

Directions to the Causeway Coastal Route

Find various directions to the Causeway Coastal Route below:

Belfast to the Causeway Coast

If you’re coming from Northern Ireland’s capital city Belfast you’re most likely coming from one of the two main airports or the city centre.

Belfast to Portrush (which brings you roughly slap bang into the middle of the Causeway Coastal Route) takes approximately 1 hour by car if you’re using the M2 motorway and A26 Dual Carriageway.

If you decide to tour the entirety of the Causeway Coastal Route (which we would highly recommend) then your journey could be anything from 3-4 hours to 3-4 days. It’s up to you…

From George Best Belfast City Airport

George Best Belfast City Airport is right in the heart of Belfast so you should find travel quick and easy.

If you plan to drive from Belfast City Airport to the Causeway Coast simply follow all directions for the M2 Motorway, Coleraine and Portrush. For those of you wanting to drive the whole route, follow signs first for the M2 and then the M5 which will bring you onto the A2 road, known locally as the “coast road” or “Antrim coast road”.

For those of you planning to travel via bus or train, you can take a bus directly to Belfast Central or the Europa Bus Station where you can then plan your journey to Portrush and beyond.

From Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport is located approximately 13 miles outside of Belfast city centre.

Travel arrangements are very similar to Belfast City Airport.

If you plan to drive from Belfast International Airport to the Causeway Coast simply follow signs for the M2 and then eventually Coleraine and Portrush.

Various bus options are also available and can be viewed by clicking here and the nearest train station is Antrim Train Station.

From Belfast City Centre

From Belfast city centre you can:

  • Drive via the M2 (direct option) or the M5 (scenic option) motorways
  • Take a bus via the Europa Bus Station
  • Take a train via Belfast Central Station

Dublin to the Causeway Coast

Dublin is just a short journey over the border and Dublin to Belfast, via car, bus or train, shouldn’t take longer than approximately 2 hours. If you’re coming straight to the Causeway Coast your journey will probably be closer to 3 hours in total.

From Dublin Airport

If you’re travelling directly from Dublin Airport you can drive to Belfast via the M1 motorway which shouldn’t take more than 2 hours. When in Belfast you can follow signs for the M2 for the direct route or take the M5 for the scenic Causeway Coastal Route.

You could also take the X1/X2 bus from Dublin Airport to Belfast’s Europa Bus Station and then make your way to the coast from here.

From Dublin City Centre

From Dublin city centre you can:

  • Drive to Belfast via the M1 motorway and then follow signs for either the M2 (direct option) or M5 (scenic option) to the Causeway Coast
  • Take a bus to the Europa Bus Station in Belfast via the Busaras Central Bus Station and then plan your journey to the coast
  • Take a train to Belfast Central Station via Connolly Station and then plan your journey to the coast

Derry/Londonderry to the Causeway Coast

If you’re coming from Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland’s second largest city and also known as the Walled City, you’ll most likely be travelling from the City of Derry Airport or the city centre.

From City of Derry Airport

If you’re travelling by car take the main A2 Derry to Coleraine road until your Causeway Coast destination. This could take approximately 30-40 minutes depending on where you decide to stop.

If you would like to travel by bus, Ulsterbus operates various scheduled services to and from the airport to the main Bus Depot on Foyle Street in the City centre. From here you will be able to organise travel to most destinations along the Causeway Coastal Route.

For those of you travelling by train, the Derry-Londonderry Train Station is located at Duke Street in the Waterside area of the city and it is served daily by the Belfast to Derry service. This train stops at various Causeway Coast stations including Portrush and Castlerock.

From Derry/Londonderry City Centre

From Derry/Londonderry city centre you can:

  • Drive via the A2 road towards any Causeway Coast location
  • Take a bus via the main station on Foyle Street
  • Take a train via Derry-Londonderry Train Station

More Information

If you’re still unsure about the best means of travel, or simply have other questions, you can get in touch with our team at the hotel via the details below:

Call: 028 7082 3507

Email: enquiries@magherabuoy.co.uk



June 6, 2017 718

The summer is now well and truly here and that can only mean one thing… Days on the Causeway Coast!

We’re lucky that we great to live, work and play in one of Northern Ireland’s most breathtaking locations but if you’re coming to visit you might not be sure what all is on offer.

We thought we’d pull together a perfect summer itinerary so you don’t have to… Enjoy!

Things to do on the Causeway Coast

See Golfing Greats at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

With The Open in 2019 just around the corner and this summer set to play host to the 2017 Irish Open, the north coast is in golfing heaven right now.

Join the fun this July (6th – 9th) at Portstewart Golf Club and watch a full roster of European Tour greats including the likes of Rory McIlroy (last years Champion), Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Henrik Stenson all set to battle it out in the glorious surroundings of the Causeway Coastal Route.

Hear the Local Talent at Atlantic Midsummer Sessions 

Coinciding with the Irish Open is the Atlantic Midsummer Sessions, which will see over 20 local artists performing in shops, bars, restaurants and coffee shops throughout the north coast.

Best part about it? Apart from the incredible local talent, great craic and a chance to grab a pint of the black stuff?

Every performance is absolutely free! Click here for more details.

Dive In!

We all know the Causeway Coast looks lovely from land but what about from water?

Whether you’re jumping from cliffs and staring back at our glorious beaches or learning how to surf for the first time this should be the summer to get out there and give it a go!

Have a Classic Barry’s Day Out

Have you even had a north coast summer if you don’t visit Barry’s? We don’t think so!

Barry’s Amusement Park, home to the infamous Big Dipper, has been a north coast staple for almost 100 years and it’s fair to say that with ghost trains, bumper cars and swing chairs (amongst everything else) it remains a Causeway Coast classic!

Walk Glorious North Coast Beaches

Summer on the north coast of Northern Ireland

We are blessed with some of the best beaches in the UK here on the north coast!

From Whiterocks to the East Strand, Portstewart to Downhill, there are loads to choose from meaning it won’t be hard to plan road trips and family days out this summer.

Just don’t forget the picnic…

Go to the Red Sails Festival 2017

Join everyone at the Red Sails Festival (23rd – 29th July) for a week packed with music, dance, parades, local art exhibitions, boat trips, fireworks and more!

Now in its 17th year, in the current incarnation, the Red Sails Festival has become a firm part of the Causeway Coast calendar and this year promises to be just as good.

Discover the Real Westeros…

Winter is Coming…

Ok, thankfully winter isn’t coming but season seven of Game of Thrones is right around the corner!

Did you know that countless Northern Ireland locations have been used by HBO over the last six seasons? We’ve listed a few of the biggest and best here so you can get out and start touring.

See the Iconic Sites!

Mussenden Temple on the Causeway Coastal Route

When was the last time you visited The Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge or Mussenden Temple? We bet it’s been years!

Where else in the world can you hop, skip and jump all over a UNESCO World Heritage site, cross an old fisherman’s rope bridge from years gone by and wander around a library perched on a cliff?!

Make this the summer that you get out and see the iconic north coast sites again!

Try the Best Local Drinks 

We know that a pint of the black stuff is a classic but what about trying something different this summer?

We’ve got a range of premium of gins waiting to be tasted alongside some delicious local beers crafted in our very own Portrush by the award-winning Lacada Brewery!

We also recently interviewed Lacada Brewery’s head brewer which you can see here!

Relax…

Finally, just relax…

There’s nothing wrong with simply taking a few days to relax, take it easy and soak it all in. Have a wander around Portrush town, take those extra long lie-ins that you deserve, in our range of premium rooms, or grab a coffee and a traybake and watch the world go by at Leona’s.

Perfect.

For more information about the Causeway Coastal Route or the north coast in general get in touch here!

We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction for that classic Causeway Coast summer experience.

See you soon!



May 9, 2017 42

Lacada Beers at Magherabuoy House Hotel in Portrush, Northern Ireland on the Causeway Coastal Route

You might have noticed over the last year or so that we now stock some local craft beers, courtesy of Lacada Brewery, here at the hotel.

We recently had a chat with one of Lacada’s directors, and more importantly their Head Brewer, Laurie Davies about all things craft beer and Causeway Coast!

When and why was Lacada Brewery formed? Laurie Davies, head brewer of Lacada Brewery

Lacada Brewery was initially formed in May 2014 but we didn’t go to market until October 2015. In hindsight everything arrived at the right time just as the craft beer scene here in Northern Ireland was about to take off but for us it was simply a group of people together who wanted to form a co-operative brewery.

We all had various forms of experience in co-ops, food and drink to draw upon and we started with a few beer tasting evenings to get the ball rolling!

How do you draw influence from the surrounding Causeway Coast?

The Causeway Coast, and surrounding local area, has been a focus and mainstay from the beginning. Everyone involved wanted something that celebrated the place we all love.

Unusually, we actually started by selling the co-operative idea to our co-owners before any beer was involved so this meant that we asked them for names right from the beginning!

We wanted to promote the idea of community with a north coast focus on the landscapes and seascapes around us but we also wanted to draw influence from lesser known stories and places. This was to add a “discovery” factor to our beers that would encourage people to go off and ask locals about the area.

A good example of this is our Giant’s Organ IPA which draws its name from the Giant’s Causeway…but not in the way most people would expect!

What is your favourite part of the Causeway Coast?

I’ve been living here for over 30 years now which just about qualifies me as a local…I think!

I love the sense of community, especially amongst the local food and drinks producers, as well as the incredible coast and views around us!

What’s your favourite Lacada beer?

It might seem strange but I honestly don’t have a personal favourite. As Head Brewer I’m always testing and tasting variations of the Lacada beers out there in the world, alongside new and upcoming beers, so it differs from time to time.

It’s an ongoing process so it’s hard to say but our limited edition Salamander Series beer, the Utopian Stout, stood out last year and was named best beer of 2016 by Northern Ireland beer blogger Quare Swally!

Why should someone pick a craft beer over bigger/traditional beers?

Three words – taste and aroma!

I might be biased but when you try a great beer, no matter what kind, by a microbrewery you get the full experience. Everything tastes and smells so much better and you’ll soon discover what real lagers, stouts and ales are supposed to taste like.

You could say beer is the new wine and there really is so much diversity out there!

What are Lacada’s plans for rest of 2017?

We’ve got new beers scheduled for every other month for the rest of 2017 so that should be fun and we also have new beers coming out of barrels planned for 2018.

When we looked back on 2016 we realised that we released up to 16 different beers last year when you consider special editions and one-off casks etc so it’ll be more of the same!

We also have plans to take part in the Portrush beer and food festival again in early October as well as some collaborations with other local food producers so stay tuned!

If that hasn’t whetted your appetite we don’t know what will!

You can pick up some Lacada beers here in our fully stocked bar after a long hard day seeing the Causeway Coast sights!

For more information contact us here.



January 10, 2017 30

With all the wedding venues to view, menus to consider and guests to invite, making wedding arrangements can seem like a bit of a chore. But if you break it down into a few key points, you can easily plan your special day. We hope, becuase you’re reading this, you’ve already found the perfect venue!

However in the rush of excitement of planning, small details can be overlooked or forgotten. So if you’ve recently got engaged or are planning to pick your venue, keep in mind some of the points below.

lanyon-room-civil-cermony-pick-a-seat

Location

Choosing the right location is essential to a successful wedding reception. But what makes a locaiton ‘right’ for you?

Many couples have to consider the travel time for family and friends alongside the desire to celebrate in a beautiful location. You might also wishto consider where the venue is in relation to when you want to get married as resorts can be particularly busy during peak holiday seasons. Likewise, rural venues might be harder to get to during the winter months.

Size

It might seem like a no-brainer but many wedding venues simply only cater to small or large groups. So keep that in mind if you’re somewhere in-between. You might find the perfect spot only to realise they focus on huge weddings and overcharge for your more intimate gathering.

Menu

Your Wedding meal will be a key focal point during the days’ proceedings. You’ll want to make it enjoyable and suitable for everyone. This usually means you’ll need to consider vegetarian and gluten-free options, alongside any other guest dietary requirements, as well as menus for any children attending.

Another consideration is whether alcohol or other refreshments are included in wedding menu packages. Which brings us conveniently on to our next point…

Bar Facilities

You and your guests may or may not want to drink alcohol on the big day. Either way refreshments will be needed and it’s useful to confirm if your proposed wedding venue has a suitable license.

After that you might want to consider the drinks on offer. For some, a good winelist is important. A special gin bar or maybe even a whiskey room lend a particular appeal.

Equipment

This might seem like paranoia but depending on the type of venue you’re viewing, it’s worth double-checking basic details. Ensure that standard equipment like chairs, tables and a PA system for entertainment are included in the cost. The worst thing you could do is make an assumption only to realise the worst when you arrive.

Similarly, if babies or young children are attending you may need highchairs. Also think about any of your guests who use wheelchairs or mobility scooters. Some wedding venues don’t have vital accessible toilets or accessible ramps.

Costs

The final point will be the costs involved in hiring the venue for the day. You’ll probably decide on an initial budget and will be aware of this throughout. The trick when choosing a wedding venue is to set a budget and stick to it.

At Magherabuoy House Hotel we offer 30 years experience hosting beautiful weddings in our converted 19th century Gentleman’s residence here on the incredible north coast of Northern Ireland.

Our Hotel is perfect for weddings from 10 to 300 guests. So whether you’re having an intimate celebration or a massive party you’ll be able to enjoy all our amenities. This includes great food, excellent bar facilities that include a boutique gin bar. All Hotel guests can use free WiFi and free on-site car parking.

If you have any queries don’t hesitate to contact us via clicking here.