Top Staycation Spots on the North Coast
After such a tough year being stuck at home, we are all in desperate need of a holiday! With travel abroad still up in the air we are forced to look at staying a little closer to home – when you live in Northern Ireland that is definitely not a bad thing!
To help you plan your Northern Ireland Staycation, we have put together our top destinations in the North Coast – places for you to explore, relax and have a merry time!
First up we have Ballycastle, on the north-eastern tip of the country. Not only does Ballycastle have beautiful coastal scenery, but it sits on the edge of the Glens of Antrim, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
This little seaside town lies between 2 incredible sights, the first being Fair Head. This part of the coast is a 5 kilometre stretch of mountain cliff, whose rock face is formed into long vertical columns, somewhat like organ pipes. Being up to 100 metres high in places, Fair Head is thought to be one of the biggest expanses of climbable rock in Northwest Europe. For those not as brave (or mad), the walk along the cliff edge is absolutely stunning, taking in incredible views over Rathlin Island and right down the coast.
The other sight sitting just north of Ballycastle is Kinbane Castle. The castle stands on a narrow limestone headland projecting into the sea. Not much of the castle is still standing, but the landscape surrounding it is.
Once you’ve finished all your exploring, Ballycastle is unique for its independent shops lining the main street. From cafes to pizzerias, florists to clothing shops, be sure to check out the great mix of local businesses.
Bushmills is a little village just down the road from the Giant’s Causeway. It is known for its old, quaint shops and pubs, as well as being home to the famous Bushmills Irish Whiskey Distillery. If you’re looking for a cosy night with a glass of wine by the fire, the Bushmills Inn Hotel is the perfect spot. Or for a modern brasserie style dinner, the Tartine Distillers Arms offers a warm setting for great food, local ales & wine.
If you’re visiting the Giant’s Causeway, you can’t get much closer than staying in Bushmills. Aside from the main attraction, the walks along the cliffs past the Causeway are beautiful, stretching right around to Dunseverick Castle. This rocky path hosts views across the whole coast with some of the most breathtaking scenes in the north. On your way back to Bushmills there is a quirky little food truck called Mini Maegden. They serve incredible toasties and are a must try when you’re in the area!
Portstewart has always been a popular destination on the North Coast, walking along the promenade with your ice cream from Morellis in hand. If you look a little further than the main street, Portstewart is home to great spots to explore the coast and grab a bite to eat.
If you’re looking for a beautiful walk along the sea, the walk from the town center to Portstewart Strand is stunning. Starting with the dramatic cliff face and curling round to the serene sand dunes at the strand. When you’ve finished your walk, Harry’s Shack is a little wooden restaurant sitting right on the beach. It’s the perfect spot for an afternoon pint of dinner overlooking the sunset.
In recent years Portstewart has had some great businesses open its doors, particularly coffee shops. Guilt Trip is a quirky spot along the Promenade with its specialty being their incredible, freshly made donuts – with every flavour you could imagine! Or if you’re looking for somewhere just outside the town centre, Lost & Found are perched right on the sea. Enjoy their tasty coffee and treats sitting outside with a view of the ocean. No better spot to relax!
Here at Quest we hope you get to enjoy a beautiful staycation on the coast! For more tips such as this, sign up to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss a thing!
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