Right up on the northern shores of the island of Ireland, you find the Causeway Coast, with a reputation as one of Ireland’s most beautiful destinations, and boasting a multitude of attractions.
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I journeyed north to sample the sights. Watch our film from the trip above, and check out our top recommendations for the area below.
Blackrock House B&B
Run by local woman Nicola O’Neill, the Blackrock House B&B is the go-to place to stay in the coastal village of Portrush.
It’s the first ever five-star B&B in the town, situated in a period building, lovingly refurbished by Nicola, into a building of light and relaxation.
Her interior design taste, combined with breakfasts cooked by the host herself and featuring the best local produce available, as well as rooms with views out over Portrush’s main beach, make it the best place to stay in town.
Kiwi Brew Bar*
Run by a former New Zealand construction worker, and his Spanish tourism lecturer wife, the Kiwi Brew Bar in Portrush boasts a wide and varied selection of craft beer in a quite remarkable old, art-deco cinema.
You can take a drink and bite to eat in the downstairs section and watch movies and sport on the cinema’s big screen upstairs with a craft drink* in-hand brought in from the bar below.
The Giant’s Causeway
Natural wonders don’t come much more awe-inspiring or spectacular than the Giant’s Causeway, which this coast is named after. 40,000 basalt columns jutting out of the Atlantic Ocean, caused by a volcanic eruption, surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of cliff faces: not only is the Giant’s Causeway one of Ireland’s most visually stunning attractions, it’s one of the world’s most beautiful. I’ve been here countless times and never tire of clapping my eyes on this true beauty.
The Dark Hedges
Game of Thrones fans are coming to Northern Ireland in their droves to see filming locations for the TV series, which is shot in the Titanic Studios, Belfast, but also in 14 different destinations across the country.
The Dark Hedges is the most impressive with the ominous trees looming out and up over the road; even non-Games of Thrones fans will be struck by the stark beauty of the bizarre shape and structure of the trees. The nearby Gracehill House also makes a great stop-off for locally produced dishes from the region.
Bushmills Inn and Restaurant*
If you want to get your fine-dining skills on, then the place to go is Bushmills Inn and Restaurant. A stunningly refurbished hotel, complimented by a restaurant and bar that is known as one of the best in the country, specialising in local meat and fish, complimented by an excellent wine list, and superb service, make this my top tip for a high-end meal.
Alive Surf School
If you want to get out into the elements – and perhaps work off your dinner in Bushmills*! – then Alive Surf School can help you out. Based in Portrush, and run by German surfer Hanno, the school runs surfing and stand-up paddleboarding classes for those of all abilities. Lash on a wetsuit and you won’t even feel a bit cold in that Atlantic water!