The Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland
Belfast to Derry Scenic Drive
The Causeway Coastal Route from Belfast to Londonderry (Derry), Northern Ireland is one of the top scenic drives in the world. The contrast of various landscapes and some of the most intriguing view points make this drive a favourite among tourists and locals alike. Whether you are visiting Northern Ireland in particular or planning a trip to and from a main city like Dublin or another nearby town, this is one drive you simply cannot resist! Pick up your rental car, book your accommodation along the route and get ready for adventure!
Attractions in Belfast and Derry
When organizing your scenic drive, you need to make sure that you allow some extra time to explore your starting and finishing points. Belfast and Derry have plenty to offer tourists so, while you here, why not make the most of it?
In Belfast, you can visit the SS Nomadic which is referred to as “Titanic's little sister” since it was constructed by the same company and around the same time too. Other interesting attractions include the Crumlin Road Gaol, the Ulster Museum, Cathedral Quarter and Cave Hill Country Park.
As for Derry, a walk along the city walls provides both a scenic experience and a chance for visitors to get a close look at one of the oldest historic sights in the area. The Museum of Free Derry, Tower Museum, St. Columb's Cathedral and the Peace Bridge are some of the many wonderful attractions in Derry for everyone to enjoy.
Sights along the Causeway Coastal Drive
As you begin your trip from Belfast, you will make your way towards Larne which acts as a marker or gateway to the famous Nine Glens of Antrim. One of the best sights along this portion of the road is the Glenarm Castle and Walled Garden. The garden is, in fact, one of Ireland's oldest walled gardens which makes it a fantastic sight all on its own.
As you continue along the coast, you will see some amazing cliffs with various layers of rock exposed. Slemish Mountain is located slightly inland near Ballymena and is all that remains of a once powerful volcano.
The Glenariff Forest Park is right in the heart of the glens and it is a wonderful place to stop, walk around and enjoy a light meal or refreshment before you continue.
You can take a slight detour to visit Torr Head before driving on to Ballycastle where you can enjoy a ferry ride to Rathlin Island if you choose.
The narrow gauge steam train can take you from Bushmills to the famous World Heritage Site, the Giant's Causeway and the local visitor's centre can provide you with some fascinating facts and information about the area.
On your way to Londonderry, you will travel by Castlerock and this is another great place to stop. The Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne are popular sites here along with the amazing surrounding views. Although the drive shouldn't take you more than a few hours, you may want to book accommodation somewhere along the route so that you have extra time for additional stops.