North of Ireland hiking tour – Day 3

Leave Belfast, drive through West Belfast to Clonard and Shankill for a quick tour then drive up the north coast (1hr 15, 50miles)

Carry on up north to Glenariff Forest

Drive to Ballycastle (40mins, 24miles)

Today we leave Belfast for the Glens of Antrim and the beautiful Causeway Coast. Before we leave the city we drive through West Belfast and the communities of Loyalist Shankill and Nationlist Clonard where working class Protestants and Catholics are found living side by side, divided by security gates and religion. We stop at a number of murals in each community and hear stories about how life was and is today before visiting the Peace Wall and leaving Belfast City.

We join the Causeway Coastal at Larne and follow it all the way to Ballycastle. This part of Antrim was once part of the ancient kingdom of Dalriada. Before the construction of the coast road in the 1800s it was easier and quicker for the local people to trade with the people of Scotland by sailing across the North Channel which is only 12 miles away at its closest point.

Today’s hike through Glenariff Forest Park takes us through lush, native woodland and past waterfalls to open mountains and breathtaking views over the ice scoured Glens of Antrim and the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland if the weather is favourable.

We spend the next 2 nights in Ballycastle, a quaint picturesque village voted Northern Ireland’s best place to live in 2021.

Dinner tonight is on your own, lunch and breakfast is included

Hike: Takes approx 3-4hrs, Length 5.6miles, Elevation gain 1000ft, Route type Circular, walking on gravel trail, total driving time 2hrs.