Tuesday 20 August 2019

Get the most from the coast while you're there

Open briefs

The Giant's Causeway
The Giant's Causeway
Bushmills Distillery
Ballintoy Harbour
Dunluce Castle
The Harbour Bar

Yes there's the golf but the tourist industry is keen to sell the whole Northern Ireland experience to the thousands who have made the trip north for the Open.

Here are the top-5 thing to do on the Causeway Coast this week.

1. The Giants Causeway

Sometimes described as the 8th Wonder of the World, it's just 15 minutes from Portrush and it has its own Visitor's Centre run by the National Trust. It's an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. Of course, every schoolchild nows it was built by Fionn mac Cumhaill after he was challenged to cross the North Channel to fight the Scottish giant Benandonner.

2. Visit the Bushmills Distillery

The world's oldest distillery (1608) where they make 'Bushmills', 'Black Bush' and 'Bushmills Malt'. The key to it all is the water source, St Columb's Rill, which runs through the distillery grounds before it joins the River Bush. According to the experts, "the stream flows over peat and basalt, but peatiness is not a characteristic of the result, a light and elegantly rounded dram with an elusive character that sets itself apart from the Scotch Lowland style."

3. Visit Ballintoy

Now iconic thanks to Game of Thrones, the harbour captures the beauty, heritage and uniqueness of the Causeway Coast. With rugged coastal walks, an ancient cave and Roark's Kitchen cafe, it's got a little bit of everything.

4. Drink in the Harbour Bar

Darren Clarke might not make it there this week but it's the Dungannon man's favourite Portrush watering hole. One the best spots for a pint, there's also the upstairs Gin Bar offering a huge selection of premium gins and spirits.

5. Causeway Coast Tour

Avoid the tourist crowds, and make a beeline for Giant's Causeway with stops at the Old Bushmills Distillery, Dunluce Castle and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

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