May 18th 2016

History, architecture, natural wonder and local culture – hiking in Northern Ireland certainly delivers. Take to the trail on the Antrim coast and follow in the footsteps of saints, giants, warriors and poets through the beautiful Glens of Antrim and along the coastline, where man first settled on the island of Ireland. Voted the UK’s best heritage attraction in 2015, the Giant's Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, this is the focal point of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries. According to locals though, the real story is that celebrated giant Finn McCool built the Causeway as stepping stones for a walk across the seas to Scotland, just a giant-sized hop, skip and jump away to the northeast. Take the ferry over to tiny, unspoilt Rathlin island, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, alive with rugged scenery, seabird colonies, history, amazing hikes and total peace and quiet. Or discover Glenarm, where Glenarm Castle, one of Ireland’s oldest estates and home to the Earls of Antrim, reveals splendid walled gardens and vivid blooms – the perfect spot to have lunch. Gobbins Footbridge with The Wayfarers Crossing the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge (don’t worry, it’s optional!) as it spans a dizzying 80-foot chasm is great practice for The Gobbins Coastal Path walkway, which takes us on bridges clinging to the cliffs and through caves and tunnels next to the sea. Belfast, a city now renewed and vibrant for the 21st century, is the start and end point of our Walk and it’s the chance to learn about its history, so entwined with that of Ireland as a whole. And of course, fans of Game of Thrones will be thrilled to be hiking in the region used as a location for so much of the series. NI smoked salmon sandwich with The Wayfarers And because we’ll have earned it, we will take advantage of 2016 as Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink, celebrating everything from the 'Ulster fry' – a breakfast never-to-be-forgotten - to cider and the freshest seafood. Why not step out with us in September? Read all about our Northern Ireland Walk on our website.

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