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Mid & East Antrim for pleasure seekers

Mid & East Antrim for pleasure seekers

Excitement in your own back yard: Things to do

Whether with friends, long-term partners or just on your own and seeking new adventures, there’s nothing like a scenic getaway with luxurious accommodation to set the mood. After a long day exploring the beautiful Mid & East Antrim landscape, what could be nicer than relaxing in front of a log fire and settling into a long evening with plans for the day ahead.

couple by fireside

PLACES TO SEE

An relaxing mix of leisure, education and beauty for everyone.

Glenarm Castle Estate and Gardens

Lords of the Route in medieval times, for centuries they have been Lords of Antrim. Luckily for us the McDonnell family are happy to share the exquisite grounds around their striking 18th century Palladian mansion (guided tours of which can be arranged). Stroll their Georgian walled  garden, a kaleidoscope of colours in any season, and enjoy its new extension, the delightful Woodland Walk. All kinds of events are held here,including a famous Christmas festival, and you can learn a traditional craft at their Stonemasonry School. The shop at its charming tea rooms is one of the few places you can buy world famous Glenarm Salmon and Glenarm Shorthorn Beef.

 

Glenarm Castle Estate and Gardens

Carrickfergus Castle

The great Anglo-Norman conqueror of Ulster, John de Courcy chose this idyllic location overlooking Belfast Lough to build his imposing castle in the late 1100s. As you walk by the walls with their mighty cannons and wander the ancient keep and medieval chambers, you’ll absorb the history of this part of Ireland. The castle was a power base for the Anglo Normans and later the Ulster stronghold of the English Crown. See the Great Tower’s new roof, featuring 1,000 metres of Irish oak timbers. No medieval castle in this island is as well preserved, nor as atmospheric.

Carrickfergus Castle

Whitehead Railway Museum

There’s nothing like the aroma of steam trains, smoke billowing back along the carriages as the train rattles through the countryside? Long gone nostalgia? Not here. Lovingly restored by volunteers, in sheds near a beautifully restored railway station, is one of Europe’s most atmospheric railway museums. In the early 1900s, thousands arrived each day here to take a jaunting car to the newly opened Gobbins. Now you can wallow in the age of steam, work old signal levers, explore vintage carriages and, if you book ahead on certain dates, like Halloween and Christmas, enjoy an unforgettable steam train trip.

Whitehead Railway Museum
Gaze over the splashing river outside while immersed in a hot tub …

More places to see

Andrew Jackson Cottage

History lovers can become time travellers for a day, exploring this authentically furnished thatched farmhouse of the 1750s. Imagine you’re saying goodbye to Andrew and Elizabeth Jackson. It’s so easy to do. They lived in a house just like this, just yards away. They’re embarking on the long journey to South Carolina, where within one year their son Andrew will be born. He will grow up to become the 7th president of America and the founder of the Democratic Party.

Andrew Jackson Cottage

Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort

It’s the perfect place to escape those winter blues! The Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort is one of the most luxurious spa hotels on the island of Ireland, where indulgence awaits in every corner. At its heart is the Thermal Village, centred around a 20-metre indoor leisure pool, where a beguiling choice of treatments, from deep relaxation massages, bodies nurtured by warm stones, and all kinds of facials are available. Gaze over the splashing river outside while immersed in a hot tub or enjoy steam rooms and saunas and the unique snow cabin. And you’ve only just started!

Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort

Carnlough Harbour

Little Carnlough, with its picturesque Victorian harbour, is a delight. Little has changed here since the village was developed by Lady Londonderry in the 1800s. Fishermen still set out from the harbour and now you can share their idyllic journey around the bay. As well as catching fish, third generation fisherman Davy Smyth now takes visitors on trips around these waters, telling fisherman’s tales. Ask him to tell you about the day Arya Stark from Game of Thrones emerged from the harbour.

Carnlough Harbour
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