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The Glens of Antrim - part 1 of 1 2 3 4

by Colin Turtle Published 01/04/2014


After reading through this article I realise that it sounds very like some sort of tourist information brochure, but for that I am unapologetic. To be totally honest, this article is really just a brief overview, because it would be very easy to produce a full series of articles to cover various aspects of the area I am describing.

I am privileged to have been born and brought up near to the Glens of Antrim and within a stone's throw of the Antrim coastline. This is the area I call home and much of my inspiration comes within a half-hour drive of my birthplace.

So it should come as no surprise that I am just a little biased when I say that even though Northern Ireland has an abundance of natural scenery, nowhere is this more evident than in the Glens of Antrim and The Causeway Coast, and while I accept that there are many beautiful regions in this world, there can surely be no doubt that this area contains spectacular, beautiful and varied scenery that can compete with anywhere!

So this is my feeble attempt to capture some of the majesty of this wonderful part of the world and at the same time try to convey some of the atmosphere of the area.

The great thing is that it is all squeezed into a relatively small area.

You can choose between unspoiled moorland, valleys, beaches, sheer cliffs, wonderful seascapes, wooded glens, waterfalls and picturesque villages. There are plenty of ancient sites and hidden places, beautiful and rugged headlands, and wonderful views across to Scotland - North Antrim has it all.

Getting there is also very easy as it's only about an hour's drive from any of Northern Ireland's airports, and less from the Larne ferry from Scotland.

The biggest feature of the area is the huge moorland of the Antrim Plateau from which flows a series of mountain streams and rivers. These in turn have formed a series of nine glens with some incredibly evocative names.


Each glen is unique in its own right and, while some offer more photographic material than others, they are all beautiful and have unique 'personalities'. Each has a mix of rich history, breathtaking natural drama and beauty and not to mention the legends and folklore and tales of giants, fairies, etc.

The nine Glens of Antrim begin in the south with Glenarm and the village of the same name. Glenarm is just a short drive from the port of Larne. It is a beautiful little village, with the river, forest and the imposing Glenarm Castle. Further on we have Glencloy at the mouth of which is

Carnlough village with its lovely harbour.

Next we reach Glenariff. It is known as The Queen of the Glens and it meets the sea with the village of Waterfoot. Glenariff is beautiful and remembering back to my geography at school, it is a classic example of a U-shaped glacial valley.

The largest of the glens is Glenariff with its forest park and several wonderful waterfalls with evocative names such as Es-na-Crubb (The falling hooves).

Around the coast we have Red Bay and then a little further is Cushendall.

The old Antrim Coast Road passes Loughareema - known as 'the vanishing lake' which randomly drains of water and then fills up again. It is impossible to predict if it will be full or empty when you pass, but is equally beautiful.

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1st Published 01/04/2014
last update 18/07/2022 16:31:41

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Updated 18/07/2022 16:31:41 Last Modified: Monday, 18 July 2022