Slide your curser over the pictures to find out more about each one.
This World Heritage Site owned by the National Trust is situated just 5 miles from Meadow Cottage. Visit the new interactive visitor centre (opened in 2012) before going down to the Causeway to marvel at the stunning rock formations found there. Also discover the fascinating story of the legendary giant Finn McCool who originally built this incredible feature!
This amazing Indiana Jones style crossing has been in place connecting Carrick Island with the mainland for over 400 years. Do be aware before you cross that several people upon reaching the Island have refused to return and instead have waited to be picked up by boat! Up until forty years ago the bridge had a handle on only one side however there are no recorded accidents of people falling off this often rather precarious crossing. Situated 10 miles from Meadow Cottage the bridge is now operated by the National Trust.
One of the most picturesque villages in Northern Ireland has to be Portbradden situated on the coast between Bushmills and Ballintoy. The village was originally a salmon fishing station and its slipway is still used today for this purpose. Its unique location and spectacular views makes it a favourite stop for visitors many of whom venture from here round the headland to Dunserverick harbour. The hamlet has what has often been termed the smallest church in Ireland the building although originally it was a cow byre built in the 1950’s and then converted into a small meeting place that still receives many visitors. Portbradden is situated about 8 miles from Meadow Cottage.
This spectacular castle stands majestically as a sentinel to the North Antrim Coast and is considered by many to be one of the most picturesque, majestic and romantic of all Irelands castles positioned as it is high above the roar of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Cut into the rock below is theMermaid’s cave which runs directly under the castle making this a wonderful place of history and adventure. It was here in 1639 that tragedy struck when the rock supporting the castle kitchen suddenly gave way, casting the whole kitchen area including cooks and servants down the sheer cliff to perish in the sea below. This hauntingly beautiful attraction is only 3.5 miles from Meadow Cottage.
The Strand beach at Portstewart measures one and a half miles in length. Although (in our opinion) there are nicer beaches in the area (White Rocks at Portrush and White Park Bay at Ballintoy are much prettier) the Strand does allow you to drive your car onto the sand. This makes it a very popular destination with visitors on those days when it is both warm and dry enough to allow you a day at the beach! The Strand is owned and maintained by the National Trust and is situated 9 miles from Meadow Cottage.
A trip from Ballycastle to Rathlin Island will furnish you spectacular views of Northern Ireland’s largest colony of seabirds. Here you will find puffins, razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes and fulmars all nesting along its imposing cliffs. It was here in 1306 that Robert the Bruce fled following defeat by the English. Whilst hiding in a cave under the lighthouse at Altacarry Robert was mesmerized by watching a spider attempting to attach its web to the side of the cave. After many attempts the spider finally succeeded and this inspired Robert to return to Scotland and continue the fight for Scottish independence. There in 1314 at the battle of Bannockburn he defeated King Edward thus freeing Scotland from English rule. It was also on Rathlin in 1898 that Guglielmo Marconi managed to send the first wireless signals on Irish soil between the East Lighthouse and Kenmara House in Ballycastle and this achievement is marked by a plaque at the harbour in Ballycastle. The ferry to Rathlin leaves from the harbour at Ballycastle which is 15 miles from the cottage.
Originally planted in the 1700’s by the Stuart family to form an impressive entrance to the family home Gracehill House this incredible avenue of Beech trees still awes and inspires visitors to the area over two centuries later. The road and its trees are now world famous and have appeared in several film and TV productions as well as being one of the most photographed and painted landscapes in Northern Ireland. However do pick your time to visit for legend records that the road is haunted at dusk by a grey lady who appears among the trees before apparently gliding down the road and disappearing from sight! The Dark Hedges is approximately 11 miles from Meadow Cottage.
Built in 1785 by Fredrick Augustus Harvey Bishop of Derry, Mussenden Temple sits high on the cliffs near Castlerock. This interesting building was built as a library and modelled upon a similar Italian structure. The temple and its neighbouring ruin of Downhill House both have interesting histories, the house having been destroyed by fire in 1851 was restored between 1870 and 1874. During the Second World War it was used to house RAF servicemen however it fell into disrepair shortly after the end of hostilities and was dismantled in 1950. The drive of 11 miles from the cottage and walk to the ruins will furnish some spectacular views along this fascinating coastline.
The Glens of Antrim is a completely unspoilt area of outstanding natural beauty. Travel through these gloriously delightful glens to discover an area of great contrasts where gentle bays are separated by blunt headlands, exposed moorlands give way to gentle valleys and wide vistas contract to enclosed farm lands. The distance from Meadow Cottage is around 22 miles however a trip to the glens is well worth the drive.
For an afternoon out or just for a quick cup of coffee the beautiful and quaint Ballintoy harbour at Ballintoy is very hard to better. Here you can sit and relax as you admire the pretty location. The children can play on it’s small but safe beach and the more adventurous can do a little walking to explore some of the magnificent scenery found nearby including far reaching views to Rathlin Island and the Scottish Islands of Islay and Jura. The little coffee shop found here makes this a good place to unwind.