I have been on the road once again. This time I went exploring the famous Glens of Antrim. It was a lovely sunny day and I started my trip at Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre at Portnagree House. There we had a meet and greet session and were introduced to our guide for the day – Liz Weir.
After the Visitors Centre at the seafront in Ballycastle we made our way to an aptly named establishment. Here I took some time to relax and savour the delights at Thyme and Co. I had never been before – but I will be back. The scones were adorable and the staff gave us the warmest of Ballycastle welcomes. You should call in and see for yourself.
All too soon it was time to head off on the next stage of my Glens of Antrim road trip. A leisurely drive was taken out the Antrim Coast Road passing through Ballyvoy, slipping past the vanishing lake of Loughareema, crossing the Glendun Viaduct before rolling down through Cushendall and on to our next stop at Glenariff Beach. Here we were met by the local Outdoor Recreation Officer who gave us an informative talk on outdoor opportunities in the Glens. A gentle stroll / drive along the beach was enhanced by the sunny shimmering stillness of the day. As the water lapped up onto the beach the sense of peace and tranquility were encapsulated in a moment in time which will long be treasured. I would certainly encourage anyone who needs or would like to unwind from the dizzy hectic bustle of modern life to step into the Glen that is Glenariffe. You will of course deserve an ice cream, tea, coffee or some nice pastries and the very place is right there. The ladies at Waterfoot Community Cafe Project will give you a warm welcome.
Taking in some information about The Antrim Coast and Glens AONB
We drove back up the Antrim Coast Road to Cushendall where we dipped in for a bite of lunch at Harry’s Cushendall. This is a restaurant of some renown and people travel to enjoy the excellent local cuisine served there. I must admit I partook of some rather fine local Salmon – wonderful ! I even managed to take a moment or two for a wee pic. The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Council – Mura Hickey addressed us and appraised us of the exciting opportunities for business’s and visitors alike in the Glens Of Antrim.
With a scrumptious lunch devoured we set off for the magical Cushendun. When you pass along the Antrim Coast Road – do not miss Cushendun. I repeat – do not miss Cushendun. This is a true gem which you could very easily drive past as you travel north towards Ballycastle. Here you will find a place of unspoilt beauty, the Cushendun Caves as used in Game Of Thrones and the exquisite traditional pub – Mary McBrides. We stopped for some time at Cushendun where another excellent local guide; Mark Rodgers of Dalriada Kingdom Tours took us on a journey in to the ancient past and the Game of Thrones. We also met another guide – Tommy Collins who is a local Blue Badge Guide. I think I may have inspired both Mark and Tommy. After that we headed over to Mary McBrides for some storytelling, traditional music and refreshment…
Well and truly relaxed and inspired by the stories I took some more time out to savour the stillness at Cushendun. If you find it hard to relax – just copy me in the picture below.
My last port of call was to Watertop Farm where Paddy told us of the work at the Farm and the experiences which are to be had there by young and old alike. I even took to a session of laser combat provided by Ardclinis. All too soon it was time to return to Ballycastle and on to the home trail to Muddytrac Farm. Be sure to visit the Glens of Antrim. In July you might also like to visit the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club from 6th to 9th of July. This is Jake the Tractor wishing you well wherever you are.