Antrim offers the visitor a great view of Northern Ireland, including some spectacular scenery along with the World heritage site of the Giants Causeway and the world’s oldest Whiskey distillery in Bushmills.
Day 1 The holiday begins with a “meet and greet” in the picturesque country village of Broughshane, famous for its floral displays, winner of the European Entente Florale and is also your gateway to the glens.
Day 2 Distance: 16 miles / 25km
Your first day’s cycle is a gentle run on quiet country roads heading towards Glenarm the oldest village in the glen.
On your way you may wish to take a slight detour and venture up Slemish Mountain, where Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, is said to have tended livestock as a slave boy in the 5th Century. Your destination today is Carnlough; a coastal village with a neat little harbour situated at the foot of Glencoy a few miles round the coast from Glenarm. The day finishes in the Londonderry Arms Hotel, which offers a warm welcome, an excellent meal and on most Sunday evenings good craic in the bar with live traditional Irish music.
Day 3 Distance: 32 miles / 51km
Today’s cycle heads for Glenariff glen known as the queen of the glens with its gushing waterfalls and scenic path skirting the sheer side of the plunging gorge. Cycling on from Glenariff you come to Cushendall the “Capital of the Glens”. The last leg of your journey then continues cross-country and after a short climb you cycle on a quiet road with magnificent views, free wheeling past the edge of Ballypatrick forest and on into Ballycastle.
On your way be careful not to fall prey to Loughareema, the mysterious “vanishing lake”, watery grave to coach and horses throughout the ages, legend has it. You stay in Ballycastle for two nights.
Day 4 Rest day
Ballycastle is a busy small town with numerous restaurants, musical pubs and a blue flag beach. From here you can get a ferry to Rathlin Island whose rugged cliffs are home to the biggest seabird colony in Europe.
Day 5 Distance: 18 miles / 29km
This morning you set off for a jam-packed day, only a short route of 18 miles but a lot to see. The famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the windswept ruins of Kenbane, Dunseverick and Dunluce castles, golden sands of White Park Bay, the Giant’s Causeway and finishing up in Bushmills, home of the famous distillery. Tonight you stay in the little port and beach resort of Portballintrae.
Day 6 Distance: 29 miles / 46km
Today you head back towards the glens along quiet country lanes. You will be cycling through Glendun, capturing some of the most breathtaking scenery of the week. The last stretch of which is mostly down hill into the National Trust village of Cushendun where pretty Cornish style cottages line the streets and is your stopover for the evening.
Day 7 Distance: 22 miles / 35kmThe route today takes you through the magnificent glen, Glenaan; translated to mean “Glen of the little fords” followed by a relaxed cycle alongside Slieveanorra Forest as you head back to Broughshane. On your way you can visit a Neolithic court grave of Ossian, who was reputed to be Finn McCool’s son, the giant from the Causeway.
Day 8 After a final breakfast and farewell you commence your homeward journey.
The above cycle details are a guideline and all distances may vary according to your chosen route.