The Glens and Cliffs of County Antrim, Northern Island

County Antrim in the Ulster Province of Northern Ireland stretches inland from the Irish Sea all the way to Lough Neagh. Countless battles have waged over it between Celtic people and English invaders that sought to dominate it, and the conflict still simmers. Tradition has it that Saint Patrick was a slave here after Irish pirates captured him in Britain. Later he returned to the Slemish countryside he loved, as the world’s most famous missionary.

Places of Interest in County Antrim: Slemish Mountain
Slemish Mountain: Photo Dave Harrison / CC 2.0

Places of Interest in County Antrim

County Antrim’s Dunluce Castle

Perhaps St. Patrick landed on his return beneath the craggy cliffs of the tiny village of Portballintrae in County Antrim, where ancient houses still cling to cliff tops dangerously jutting out over the restless sea. Nearby, Dunluce Castle has stood proudly guard since 1500 when a warlike Scottish family that arrived as mercenaries chose to stamp their character on a wild and lonely place.

Places of Interest in County Antrim: Dunluce Castle
Dunluce Castle: Photo Brian Kelley / CC 2.0

Old Portballintrae

The ruins of the surrounding village of Old Portballintrae still jut out like broke crone’s teeth after rediscovery and excavation in 2007. The more modern fishing village of the same name nearby is a good place to find a hotel, unpack, and then set off to explore the cobbled street leading to the castle, and the historic forge dating the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st.

Places of Interest in County Antrim, Ireland: Portballintrae
Portballintrae : Photo Lindy Buckley / CC 2.0

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

A swing bridge named the Carrick-a-Rede leads across a narrow strait to an island where fisher folk have been setting their nets for at least 300 years. If you have a stomach for the 20 metre / 65 foot crossing, 30 meters / 100 feet above the ocean, surging views of clear green water and the causeway coast will reward you. Say a prayer of thanks to Saint Patrick for the handrails the authorities added in the 1970’s. Before that, you may have had just a rope to steady you.

Places of Interest in County Antrim: Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge: Photo Supermac1961 / CC 2.0

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About Richard Farrell

Richard FarrellI tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time.My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast (30.7167° S, 30.4667° E). I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

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