Larne is the first town on the scenic Antrim Coast Road that leads to the Glens of Antrim.
Before reaching the Coast Road there’s a mile-long stretch of promenade that can easily be missed, as it’s for walkers only. Follow signage for Larne Leisure Centre and park there to stretch your legs and enjoy a scenic coastal walk – calm and serene in summer or exhilarating and refreshing on a stormy winters day.
Larne Promenade was built at various stages from 1902 to 1934, for locals to enjoy refreshing coastal walks and swimming. Until the 1950s there were bathing boxes here for females to facilitate the so-called ‘weaker sex’ to brave the cold waters of the North Channel. You’ll also spot ‘Waterloo lime kiln’– evidence of a long-standing industrial heritage.
It’s a great birdwatching spot to see a heron standing by a rock pool, a flock of oyster catchers probing for food or the shag with wings out-stretched to dry. The Town Park and Chaine Park sit above the Promenade and are worthy of exploration to enjoy impressive coastal views, with Scotland in the distance or the nearby Maidens Lighthouses or Chain Memorial Tower. Venture up the 'snake' path if you're feeling energetic.
From the promenade or these parks, you can also walk along and join the Antrim Coast Road to discover the ‘William Bald Memorial’, which recognises the impressive engineering involved in the construction of the Antrim Coast Road between 1832 and 1842. Further along via the roadway is the famous Black Arch.
There is useful signage along the promenade and on the path up to the Coast Road above.
Walk, swim, enjoy outdoor gym equipment, look for fossils at Waterloo Bay or just enjoy the coastal views - the promenade is a special place. End your walk with a visit to the Prom Cafe in Larne Leisure Centre for coffee and cakes or a delicious lunch.