1. Giant’s Causeway – If you love geology or legends, this is the place to be! learn the story of Finn McCool and how the hexagonal rocks of the Giant’s Causeway were created. This UNESCO site is worth the trip!
2. Portstewart beach and sand dunes – Take a picnic lunch and go for a walk along the sand dunes of Portstewart. These dunes are an area of special scientific interest. Be sure to keep your eyes open and you just might see some wildlife.
3. Dunluce Castle – Dunluce castle ruins are perched precariously on a cliff-edge, with the kitchen having long ago fallen into the sea. It has been vacant ever since. You may recognise it as being the backdrop to a tv series or two.
4. Rathlin Island – Take the ferry from Ballycastle to car-free Rathlin Island. Spend the day walking around (or take a bike or bus if you’d rather) the island and do a little bird-spotting. It’s well known for having puffins, guillemots, fulmars and razorbills.
5. Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge – Are you brave enough to cross over this rope bridge to reach the wee island on the other side? It’s worth a visit even if you don’t cross as the views of the cliffs are amazing. If you’re lucky, you may even sight a dolphin or whale passing by.by. Due to the nature of this bridge, it is closed during the winter and inclement weather.
6. Barry’s Amusements – Barry’s is a very popular indoor amusement park for locals. It’s open during the summer months and makes a great stop when the weather turns, as it sometimes does on the Emerald Isle.
7. Bushmills Steam Train – Take a ride on this cute steam train between the Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills. (If you have someone to watch the kids, the parents can take a tour of the world-famous Whisky distillery).
8. Whiterocks Beach – Take a walk along the pathway, or if you can take a boat our you’ll really see the view. Look out for Wishing Arch, Elephant Rock and the Lion’s Paw limestone formations. This is the perfect spot for outdoor sports such as surfing and body boarding.
9. The Dark Hedges – Children love ‘tree tunnels’, and The Dark Hedges are an amazing site! Don’t forget your camera for some moody and atmospheric shots. Maybe you could learn about the tale of the ‘Grey Lady’ from the locals.
10. Watertop Farm – This is a fun place to spend a day. There are lots of activities for the family ranging from a play area to pony trekking and go karts. Watertop open farm also caters to campers and caravanners,
The North Coast of Northern Ireland is home to some amazing rugged coastline the likes of which you’ll not see elsewhere. In addition to nature’s beauty you won’t be looking far for thrilling outdoor or indoor pursuits.