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06th Apr 2022

Here’s why Mid and East Antrim deserves a spot on your staycation bucket list

Ann Cronin

From stunning coastal scenery to exciting history and culture, Mid and East Antrim has so much to offer as a staycation spot.

Planning ahead to the summer? When it comes to staycations, our little island has no shortage of stunning hidden gems for you to discover on your next getaway.

And if you’re looking to head up North on your next adventure, Mid & East Antrim ticks all the boxes for an action-packed trip, including stunning nature, historical monuments and loads of exciting adventure activities.

Lovin’s Cassie Stokes recently teamed up with the Mid & East Antrim Borough Council to see first-hand what this location has to offer for staycationers, and it’s safe to say she was impressed!

Check out what she got up to in the clip below…

In the meantime, here’s a closer look at what these Mid & East Antrim have to offer…

Whitehead & Islandmagee

Fancy a scenic stroll or coastal bike ride? You’re spoiled when it comes to stunning trails around Mid & East Antrim’s coastline, with the likes of Blackhead Coastal Path and The Gobbins Cliff Path on your door step. Both trails offer guided tours where you can learn all about the history behind these landscapes while enjoying the stunning coastal views.

Or better yet, why not explore this scenic spot by bike? Whitehead E-bike rental is perfect for exploring Whitehead town and its surrounding scenery, while getting active and spending time outdoors too.

Next up, a visit to Whitehead Railway Museum has something to offer for every age group. Learn more about the era of steam, view the museum’s stunning collection of authentic trains and take part in ‘Murder on the Whitehead Express’, a murder mystery dinner that’s sure to put your investigative skills to the test.

For whiskey lovers, a visit to the Londonderry Arms Hotel is an absolute must. Formerly owned by Winston Churchill and visited by the likes of Séamus Heaney and John Hewitt, Arkle Whiskey Bar has an unrivalled whiskey collection and this coastal pub creates the ultimate sampling experience for any liquor fans.

Finally, no trip here is complete without spending a day exploring rural Islandmagee. Jam-packed with coastal activities, Brown’s Bay Beach is a horseshoe shaped bay that’s perfect for swimmers or those who just wish to relax alongside the sea.

Or, if you want to make the most of this stunning coastline, why not try your hand at paddle boarding? Islandmagee SUP is an accredited paddle boarding school that run sessions in Brown’s Bay Beach and Whitehead, and it’s the ultimate way to see this area’s nature and wildlife from a whole new perspective.

Glenarm & Carnlough

If you want to explore 400 year’s of history, Glenarm Castle and Gardens in Mid & East Antrim should be the first spot on your bucket list. The ancestral home of the McDonnell family, there are so many different ways to explore the iconic structure and its grounds, including a guided tour, by road train or a leisurely stroll at your own pace.

And if you want to make the most of the region’s incredible natural surroundings, be sure to pay a visit to Glenarm Forest. Featuring a two mile woodland walk, this scenic haven is ideal for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life and taking in more of Glenarm’s stunning scenery.

During any visit to Glenarm, you should make time to join one of The Dalriada Legends storytelling events. The Dalriada Legends are a tribe of storytellers and musicians from The Glens, creating immersive events in the area all year round. Whether it’s an evening of whisky and song in the Londonderry Arms Hotel or a Christmas tale in Glenarm Forest, be sure to keep an eye on their calendar of events if you’re visiting the area.

Next up, if you want to take in some of East Antrim’s coastline, a boat trip from Carnlough Harbour is sure to tick all the boxes. Curiosity Boat Trips lets you get up close and personal with the harbour’s marine life, including dolphins, seabrids, seals and salmon, while fisherman Davy can tell you more about the harbour and the lives of local fishermen.

For thrill seekers, Carnlough Harbour also has a lot to offer. Carnlough Watersports Hub has loads of exhilarating ocean experiences including snorkelling and scuba diving lessons or kayak and paddle board rentals. And if you’re a complete beginner, their fully trained PADI instructors are on hand to help, making this experience fully accessible for everyone.

Plan your visit to Mid and East Antrim HERE.