The north coast of County Antrim, west of Ballycastle, is dominated, from a tourist perspective, by Northern Ireland’s most famous tourist attraction, the bizarre formation of basalt columns at the Giant’s Causeway. On the way, near the town of Ballintoy, there are several pleasant diversions, not least the precarious rope bridge to Carrick-a-rede Island. West of the Causeway, you can sample some whiskey at Bushmills and visit the imposing and well-preserved remains of Dunluce Castle, the stronghold of the local MacDonnell clan. The coastline west of Dunluce is another major holiday spot, with the resort of Portrush filled with tourists in July and August and students the rest of the year.
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- The Giant’s Causeway
The town of PORTRUSH, on the Ramore Peninsula, has everything you’d expect from a seaside resort, from sandy beaches backed by dunes, which run both east and west, to summer drama in the town hall and plenty of amusements for children. Many students from the University of Ulster at Coleraine live here and make it a considerably livelier place than you might expect, even out of season; the huge popularity of the local dance scene draws clubbers from all over the North and the town can have a distinctly raucous feel at weekends. The long, sandy beach towards Dunluce ends at the White Rocks, where the weather has carved the soft limestone cliffs into strange shapes, most famously the so-called “Cathedral Cave”, nearly 60m from end to end.