County Antrim in detail

Self-Guided Tours

Driving Tour: Ballycastle to Bushmills

  • Start Ballycastle Marina
  • End Old Bushmills Distillery
  • Length 30km; four hours

From Ballycastle Marina car park, turn right onto North St, which becomes Clare Rd, and begin the steep climb onto the cliff tops and out of town. Turn right onto Whitepark Rd (A2), and after 2km follow signs to turn right down a single track lane to Kinbane Castle, dramatically positioned on a limestone headland with stunning views of Rathlin Island. From the car park, steep steps lead down to the castle.

Return to Whitepark Rd, turn right, and continue west along the coast for 5km to reach Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, where you can cross the bridge – if you dare.

Turn right on Whitepark Rd, driving west through Ballintoy village, then turn right onto Harbour Rd, following signs to Ballintoy Harbour. The road snakes around some tight turns as you descend to a picturesque, sheltered bay, which Game of Thrones fans might recognise as the Iron Islands' Lordsports Harbour.

Go back up to Whitepark Rd and continue west past Whitepark Bay, a 2km-long expanse of glistening white sand; there is a car park (signed) at the western end of the beach.

Two kilometres beyond Whitepark Bay, look for a right turn onto the B147 Causeway Rd (signed the Giant's Causeway). Soon you'll see signs for Dunseverick Castle; park in the lay by on the right-hand side for views of the modest ruins; over the years most of the castle has been lost to the sea.

Continue along Causeway Rd for 4.5km to reach the Giant's Causeway. To park here you will need to pay for a ticket to the Giant's Causeway Visitor's Experience. Alternatively, continue on the Causeway Rd then turn right onto Whitepark Rd to reach Bushmills, where you can park in the free park and ride car park and walk back to the Causeway along the path running parallel to the Giant's Causeway & Bushmills Railway.

Drive south along Main St through Bushmills town to reach Old Bushmills Distillery, where you can take a tour and learn about its famous whiskeys.