6187 NORTHERN IRELAND

Highlights

  • Tour of Belfast and insight into The Troubles
  • Spectacular coastal walking around The Giant's Causeway
  • Ferry trip to wild Rathlin Island
  • The Gobbins dramatic and exhilarating coastal walk (Note: this is currently rendered unsafe due to landslides and undergoing essential repairs. If not reinstated, we will enjoy more of the spectacular Causeway coast instead).

The delights of Antrim and its coast encompass some of the UK's finest visual experiences such as the iconic Giant's Causeway and Rathlin Island with its colony of seals competing for attention with the haunting cries of seabirds soaring and diving around rugged cliffs.

Sunday Overnight: Ballygally Castle

Meet in Belfast for a poignant black taxi tour of the town. Northern Ireland now is a peaceful place, and Belfast continues to heal. We visit memorials and important historic sites, and hear moving first-hand accounts. After, we transfer to our Ballygally hotel for our Welcome Dinner.

Monday Overnight: Ballygally Castle

Walk with splendid views of Scotland across the sea into Glenarm, one of the nine Glens of Antrim. We continue to the private Glenarm Castle with its beautiful park, home to the Earls of Antrim. We take lunch in the castle gardens and enjoy a walk through the earl's private garden and estate.

Tuesday Overnight: Bushmills Inn

Today's hike takes us to the Queen of Glens to explore the most dramatic of the nine Glens of Antrim, Glenariff. We'll pass waterfalls, gorges and woodland, and continue to the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge hanging precariously over an 80-feet chasm (crossing it is optional!) Then head to the tiny harbor village of Ballintoy and walk along the water's edge on the glorious sandy beach at White Park Bay.

Wednesday Overnight: Bushmills Inn

Transfer to Ballycastle Bay where we take a ferry to fascinating Rathlin Island, eight miles off the coast towards Scotland. This island has a particularly unspoiled environment which attracts scientists and bird watchers alike. It is where Robert the Bruce retreated from Edward I (Longshanks) in 1306 and where, in 1898, Marconi made the world's first radio communication.

Thursday Overnight: Bushmills Inn

Today we'll drive south to Sallagh Braes, to walk the exhilarating Gobbins Coastal Path. There's many interesting twists and turns, with tubular and suspension bridges, caves and carved tunnels, and spectacular views over the ocean and of the waves crashing far below. We continue back to our hotel with the option to visit the famous Old Bushmills Distillery.

Friday Overnight: The Merchant Hotel

Walk along a memorable stretch of coastline past the Giant's Causeway “ the extraordinary geological phenomenon of 40,000 basalt columns. We descend by the shepherds' steps to the stones themselves and stop into the new visitor center. After lunch, we take the coastal path around Runkerry Point. After a transfer to Belfast, we have some time to explore the town, and conclude our day with our Farewell Dinner.

Saturday

We bid farewell after breakfast and transfer to our onward connections.
Easy-Moderate
"Wayfarers' Walks enrich your whole understanding of a country. They understand it's not just scenery; it's culture and history too"
Terrain: Spectacular coastal paths,unspoiled moorland, some hills. 8-10 miles walking per day.

TRIP DETAILS

6 nights from
$4,395.00
per person, double occupancy
(Single Supplement $675.00)
Our Wayfarers friends' Price is $4,175.00

Dates

From Jul 8 to Jul 14 (more dates)
Request booking
Arrival: Belfast Central Station
Departure: Belfast City Airport and Belfast International Airport

Activities

Walk ClassicBoat RideCoastal walkingGarden VisitHistoric Monument Visit
Northern Ireland July 2018 Map

Hotels - Where we stay

Ballygally Castle

Ballygally Castle

Perched on the tip of one of the greatest road journeys, the Causeway Coastal Route, sits a 17th castle called Ballygally Castle. Originally built in 1625, it has a fascinating history. It has glorious views over the golden sands of Ballygally Bay towards Scotland and is just a small distance from the 9 Glens of Antrim and the Giants Causeway. The original period rooms have been sympathetically and cleverly updated to retain the enchanting charm of the original castle. Each bedroom has its own style and charm and offers ensuite bathroom, phone, TV, tea/coffee-making facilities and hairdryer. The Garden Restaurant serves up a range of delicious dishes, many using the finest local produce.
Guests at Ballygally Castle can enjoy the use of Cairndhu Golf Course, with its magnificent coastal views. Only 2 miles from the hotel, tee off times and preferred green fees can be arranged by the hotel. Other excellent courses nearby include Portstewart, Castlerock and Masserene.

Bushmills Inn

Bushmills Inn

This award-winning hotel & restaurant has very successfully recreated its origins as the oldest Coaching Inn and Mill House dating back to 1608. Located in the same village as the worlds oldest distillery, between the Giants Causeway and Royal Portrush Golf Club, this hotel excels in providing an inherently warm, welcoming and relaxing atmosphere. The rooms are spacious and include telephone, TV, radio, hospitality tray, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, trouser presser, room safe and connection for modem or fax. Overlooking the garden courtyard, the award-winning restaurant takes in the original 17th century stables and wine cellar. The Taste of Ulster restaurant welcomes visitors for an imaginatively planned selection of dishes with a unique blend of classical and new Irish cuisine. Relax and savour the atmosphere of the Victorian bar and sample a glass of 25 year-old Bushmills malt whiskey from the hotels private cask.

The Merchant Hotel

The Merchant Hotel

One of Belfasts most renowned and best-loved buildings, the Merchant Hotel is the former headquarters of the Ulster Bank and a prime example of High Victorian architecture. It is located in the beautiful Cathedral Quarter, one of the oldest parts of the city. A luxury hotel with elegant rooms furnished with elegant Victorian or Art Deco styling, it also features a spa and gym. Each guest room enjoys full air-conditioning, free WiFi, blackout blinds or curtains, hospitality trays, fridge, television, hairdryer, robes and slippers, safe and multimedia hub. Diners in the Great Room Restaurant can enjoy the remarkable original Victorian interior topped by a glass cupola (the largest chandelier in Ireland), while savoring the imaginative menus which use the finest seasonal ingredients.

Start planning your trip

What Is Included in the Price of My Vacation

  • Full-time services of two staff - a Walk Leader and Walk Manager
  • A backup vehicle for resting walkers and moving luggage
  • Comprehensive Travel Information Package and Reading List
  • Diverse itineraries with an emphasis on history, geography, culture, peoples, flora and fauna
  • Demonstrations, wine tasting, admissions to museums and historic sites
  • All ground transfers (ferries, cable cars, trains, etc.)
  • Maps and unique souvenirs to commemorate your trip
  • First-class accommodations with cultural and historical interest
  • All meals - with choices - (Special dietary requirements? No problem!)
  • Wine with dinner
  • On-trail snacks and refreshments
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants