The Village of Cushendall

Cushendall is the largest, and one of many individual villages along the famous Causeway Coastal route on the North Antrim Coast. It is nestled in the Glens of Antrim on the A2 Coast Road between Larne and the Giant’s Causeway. surrounded by five of the nine glens – Glenariff, Glenballyeamon, Glendun, Glenaan and Glencloy.  It has the unique Curfew Tower built in the centre by Francis Turnley, (landlord of the village) in 1817. Cushendall is a central location on the coast road A2 about 45 minutes from the Giant’s Causeway on the Causeway Coastal Route. It is an hour’s drive from Belfast and well positioned to visit many of the beauty attractions around North Antrim.  As Northern Ireland is not a big place 2 hours in a car in any direction can take you to most of the counties and further afield. Cushendall is a vibrant village, now famous for the well established ‘Heart of the Glens Festival’ which runs annually in August.  The village caters well for visitors with the hotel, a variety of shops, eating establishments and traditional pubs.  It also has a Tourist Office, Post Office, Pharmacy, Medical Centre and Library, Boat Club and Golf Club. The traditional Irish game of ‘Hurling’ is very skillful and popular sport in the Glens with the successful local team ‘Ruairi Ogs’ being one of the top teams in Ulster.  Matches can be watched regularly at the local playing fields throughout the season.  Many of the young players can be seen ‘pucking the ball’ to each other on the street and around the village.

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There nine Glens of Antrim stretching from Glenarm to Ballycastle with Glenariff featuring its Forest Park with it’s beautiful waterfalls.  No visit to the Glens would be complete without a visit to Glenariff waterfalls.  Other interesting sites around the area are the ruins of the Red Bay Castle, which is set above the Red Bay arch, close to Red Bay Pier. It is thought to have been built around 1561 by Sir James McDonnell.  Following various battles in the late 16th Century it was abandoned about 1600. Layde Church and graveyard is situated just a mile outside of the village, with stunning views across to the Scottish Isles, one of the oldest and most important historical sites in the Glens area.  It is known as the Franciscan Monastery and several interesting graves are located in the graveyard. Parking is available. The Causeway Coastal Route is a detailed 120 mile scenic drive with spectacular scenery around natural landscapes of mountains, cliffs, glens and coast bringing in views across the Scottish coastline and Rathlin Island. It has deservedly been described as ‘one of the world’s great road journeys’. It is a well signposted route which runs along the coast between the two cities of Belfast and Derry/Londonderry.  As a visitor to the area it is something you ‘must do’ –as it brings you off track through the small unique villages and charming hamlets, taking in the Glens of Antrim, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Bushmills Distillery and the Giants Causeway.  Continuing past the famous Royal Portrush Golf Course on the North West coastline and ‘finishing in the City of Derry.

 

‘Game of Thrones’ Tour is now a major attraction in Northern ireland with sites locally at Cushendun Caves.  McBrides pub in Cushendun has been allocated one of their specialised doors made from the fallen trees at the ‘Dark Hedges’.  Call in for a pint of the ‘black stuff’ and see the door for yourself.  At the weekends the restaurant upstairs ‘The Little Black Door’ is worth stopping off for dinner in the evenings, but booking is essential.