CUSHENDALL, which lies at the head of three of the nine Glens, is a delightfully understated village, its charming colour-washed buildings grouped together on a spectacular shore. The red-sandstone tower at the central crossroads was built in 1817 by one Francis Turnley, an official of the East India Company, as “a place of confinement for idlers and rioters”, and, though there’s little else to see here, the village makes a fine base for exploring the local countryside and catching a traditional-music session. If at all possible, time your visit to coincide with the Heart of the Glens festival (wwww.glensfestival.com) in the middle of August, one of the area’s oldest events, replete with traditional music, sporting events and much merriment, culminating in a huge street ceilidh on the Sunday.

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