One of Ireland’s most picturesque drives, the Antrim Coast Road winds around 40 kilometers (24,8 miles) of breathtaking coastline in Northern Ireland. The route follows the coastline, with high cliffs on one side and the water on the other.
Where is Antrim Coast Road located?
It’s located in Northern Ireland. More precisely, the route travels southeast from the County Down metropolis of Newry, passing through the fishing communities of Kilkeel. Then it’s going through Rostrevor and Warrenpoint.
You can locate this road on the map below:
Enlarge the map
Information about the Antrim Coast Road :
One of the best tourist roads in the world is said to be the Antrim Coast Road. Recently, traffic on this stretch of the road has grown significantly (in particular during warmer weather). It traverses the communities of Ballygalley, Glenarm, Carnlough, and Waterfoot as it travels 40 kilometers (25 miles) down the coast from the Black Arch in Larne to the Red Arch at Cushendall.
The road follows the picturesque coastline, and in some places, it is even built-in between two 100-meter-high cliffs. It connects the Red Arch at Cushendall to the Black Arch close to Larne. This stretch of the road is ideal for a road trip because it is quite narrow and hardly traveled.
The road, which primarily has one lane in each way, follows the majority of Northern Ireland’s shoreline. Also, it has multiple connections to other important routes.
History of the road:
The road was an extraordinary engineering accomplishment, stretching for much of its length between the rugged Irish Sea shoreline and steep limestone and basalt cliffs. In fact, it was finished in 1842 at a cost of £37,140 to open up the hitherto inaccessible Glens of Antrim to trade. By the 1960s, rockfalls had obstructed a portion of the path. That’s why it was shut down for three years while a new stretch was constructed.
Antrim Coast Road preview:
You can obviously have a preview of that drive. Here is a YouTube video that shows a part of the road:
How to get to Antrim Coast Road?
Take the A2 via Carrickfergus if you’re beginning in Belfast to see vistas of Belfast Lough and some breathtaking waterfront homes for the city’s affluent commuters. After that, you’ll arrive at the port of Larne, which serves as the gateway for many British tourists.
The road just gets better from there on out, with views of headland after headland opening in front of you and sheer cliffs to the left. On a clear day, you can see Scotland to your right.
Not so far from this road, you can also drive the Causeway Coastal Route.
You can visualize how to get there on this approximative map of the drive:
Is the road open?
The road is open all year long. In fact, this journey, which is regarded as one of the world’s top tourist itineraries, will live long in your memory. The route is jam-packed with landscapes, historic landmarks, and vibrant coastal communities, hidden under limestone cliffs with the water pounding a few feet to the right. Due care and attention should be taken by drivers, bikers, and pedestrians as there are currently no cycle lanes and few walkways.
Numerous tiny towns and ports, like Ballygally with its gorgeous harbor, are traversed by the route Antrim Coast Road. The town of Glenariff is located farther down and has a lovely bay. So, if you have time, it’s worth detouring inland to see Glenariff Forest Park, where the glacial valley perfectly encapsulates the Glens of Antrim.
Picture credit: By Antrim Coast Road near Ardclinis by Gareth James, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=121603626
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