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Giant's Causeway & The Nine Glens

Cushendall is a spectacular and increasingly mountainous journey from the airport. Situated at the head of Glen Ballyemon, it's an ideal centre for a walking holiday.

From£729

  • Northern Ireland

  • 7 nights
  • May

    Jul

    Sep

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 75207

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 5

Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.

The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.

Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore the beauty of Northern Ireland’s countryside on foot
  • Discover the legendary hexagonal rocks of the Giant’s Causeway
  • Dunluce Castle, perched on rocks above the sea and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, originally built hundreds of years ago by salmon fishermen
  • Enjoy ‘free range’ walking – there are not many footpaths in Ireland!
  • Receive great hospitality at our guesthouses in Cushendall

Imagine the view from the cliffs overlooking the sea to the Mull of Kintyre. The gentle sea breeze and coconut scent of gorse hangs in the air. Yellow flowers dot the land, picked out by the warm rays of the sun. This is a remote and wonderful place. The hills of Antrim reach from the sea to the skyline. Traditions have remained strong in this land, and the hospitality, food and perhaps a pint of stout or tot of whiskey are all here to be savoured.

The beauty of Northern Ireland’s countryside is impressive and there is lots to explore. We’re within easy reach of the iconic hexagonal basalt pillars of the Giant’s Causeway; Dunluce Castle, perched on rocks above the sea and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, originally built hundreds of years ago by salmon fishermen.

Cushendall, where we’re based for our week, is a short, but spectacular and increasingly mountainous journey from the airport. Situated at the head of Glen Ballyemon, it’s an ideal centre for a walking holiday, extending a warm welcome to all who visit.

  • En suite accommodation with breakfast
  • Dinners in local restaurant
  • Airport transfers
  • All transport necessary to and from the walks
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Independent travel to Belfast. A complimentary transfer bus will operate between Belfast City Airport and Cushendall on the day of arrival and departure. On arrival we may have time for a walk to Layde Church.

Transfer Time = 1 hour 15 minutes

Day 2

Fallowvee

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Distance

    6.2 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    360m

This walk passes through the "Hidden Village"of Galoby. There used to be a monk in residence here, but he is recently deceased. The walk climbs to the plateau and crosses rough moorland then along the eastern side of Lough Galboly out to the plateau front and then back the same initial route. 

Day 3

The Glenariff Forest Park

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Distance

    7.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    384/465m

Today the walk in Glenariff Forest Park starts on the Dungonnell Reservoir road and crosses part of the largest area of blanket bog in Northern Ireland. In the late 1800s and early 1900s tourists were brought to the top of the glen by narrow gauge railway and transported down to the waterfalls by horse drawn vehicles. Several waterfalls have no names but the Ess-na-Crub near the refreshment stop at Laragh Lodge can be visited. 

Day 4

Lurig & Lurigethan

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Distance

    7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    280/500m

Lurig is the hill that dominates Cushendall. Lurigethan is the escarpment on the face of the hill. Our walk takes in the edge of the undulating plateau-like top with good views into the glen and across the sea to Scotland on a fine day. There is a steep descent from the hill, mostly on grassy slopes, before returning on lanes to Cushendall. 

Day 5

Carrick-a-Rede & the Giants Causeway

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Distance

    7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    170/120m

Today is a classic day that will doubtless be the holiday highlight for many. We also plan to visit Ballintoy Village and Harbour on our walk today.

Day 6

Cushendall - free day

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

It should be possible to make a day trip to either Belfast or Derry using public transport, which will undoubtedly mean an early start. It should also be possible to visit Rathlin Island.

Day 7

Fair Head & Murlough Bay

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Distance

    7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    400m

A scenic walk along cliffs and back before descending to the sea at Murlough Bay. 

Day 8

Departure day

Meals

Breakfast

Departure after breakfast. A transfer will be arranged to operate after breakfast from Cushendall to Belfast City Airport with the intention of arriving at the airport by noon.

Departure dates for your selected tour

16th May 2020 - 23rd May 2020 (7 Nights)

30th May 2020 - 6th Jun 2020 (7 Nights)

18th Jul 2020 - 25th Jul 2020 (7 Nights)

5th Sep 2020 - 12th Sep 2020 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

On arrival day a complimentary transfer bus will operate from Belfast City airport at 4pm. On departure a transfer bus will operate to arrive at the airport at 12pm. Should you wish to join this transfer coach, please let us know. Full details are available in our Holiday Information Sheet.

Transport to and from the trailheads is included.

Nearest airports: Belfast City (50 miles) or Belfast International (35 miles).

Nearest bus stop:Cushendall (plese note that the service is very limited).

Nearest port/railway station: Larne (20 miles).

Taxis each way between Cushendall and Belfast City airport cost about £50 and between Cushendall and Belfast International airport about £35.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each nights' accommodation for each departure date.

The Meadows / Glendale Guesthouse

Accommodation is in twin and single rooms, all with en-suite facilities for The Meadows Guest Houses. This high standard and well reviewed guesthouse offers a warm and friendly welcome.

It is located a 10 minute walk from the centre of town and also close to the sea. Cushendall has all the facilities a walker might require. You will be advised on arrival in Northern Ireland at which guest house you will be accommodated.

Accommodation is on a half board basis, with ample breakfasts taken in your guesthouse and dinners taken in Harry's Restaurant. Lunches can be purchased locally and are not included in the holiday charge.

Free Wi-Fi is available.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This is a Grade 5 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding but equally rewarding. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' for more information.

Walks & Excursions

The Antrim coast and glens offer great walking opportunities and it’s difficult to do the area full justice in a week. We’ve put together a walking programme that shows the best of the hills and gives us a chance to enjoy some of the beautiful cliffs and beaches along the coast. An obvious highlight is the cliff walk to the Giant’s Causeway. From many places on the coast, weather permitting, you can clearly see the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland just over ten miles away across the sea.

The terrain on this holiday is rugged with many sea cliffs, however, our walks do not reach any great altitude and there are few sustained climbs. On most walking days we will cover 6-8 miles.

We’ll include walking from Cushendall; the coastal stroll to Layde Church is an ideal introduction. We also use transport, both public and private, to ensure we get the best from the area. Our sightseeing programme will be an integral part of the walks.

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Tipping

Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Your Travel Details

A complimentary transfer bus will operate between Belfast City Airport and Cushendall on the day of arrival and departure. 

The vehicle will leave Belfast City Airport at 4pm on the day of arrival. Should you wish to join this transfer vehicle, please ensure that you book a flight which allows sufficient time to negotiate the baggage and arrivals halls and complete the ‘Advice of Flight/Transfer Arrangements’ at the end of this document and return it to us.

On the return journey a transfer will be arranged to operate after breakfast from Cushendall to Belfast City Airport with the intention of arriving at the airport by noon. However, please try to avoid booking a return flight before 1pm as you may have to arrange your own private taxi transfer to ensure your arrival in Belfast in time to complete check-in formalities and board your flight. Please also remember to advise us of your return flight details

Please note a taxi airport transfer to or from Belfast George Best Airport will be appox. £55 and Belfast International Airport approx. £ 60

Travel between Belfast’s two airports: An airport bus operates every 20 minutes between Belfast International Airport and Belfast City Airport via Belfast (Europa) Buscentre. The total timetabled journey time between the airports is 55 minutes:

Belfast International Airport – Belfast (Europa) Buscentre: Service 300 – journey time 25 minutes.

Belfast (Europa) Buscentre – Belfast City Airport: Service 600 – journey time 15 minutes.

Details of the airport shuttle bus times are available at www.translink.co.uk.

Route planning to and from UK regional airports: the AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you find our hotels. Details can be found at: www.theaa.co.uk and www.rac.co.uk

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

Passport Information for United Kingdom

Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.

Meals

Accommodation is on a half board basis, with ample breakfasts taken in your guesthouse and dinners taken in Harry's Restaurant. Lunches can be purchased locally and are not included in the holiday charge.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

National Trust & English Heritage

If you’re a member of either of these organisations don’t forget to bring your membership cards as this holiday may include sites relevant to these memberships or you may wish to visit any local sites on a free day should they be nearby.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Holiday booking confirmation document
  • Travel insurance details (if applicable)
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

Our intended walks are covered by the following maps:

Irish Ordnance Survey Discoverer Map Series (1:50,000):

Sheet 9 Larne  
Sheet 5 Ballycastle

Glens of Antrim Activity Map (1:25,000)

Members of the National Trust should bring membership cards as these can allow reductions in entrance fees at Carrick - A - Rede and the Giants Causeway.

The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to your the areas you will be walking in may be brought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Health Advice for United Kingdom

No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.

Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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