Categories: Travel GuideThings To Do

Welcome to our coastal haven in Mid & East Antrim, where the soothing symphony of crashing waves and the salty breeze create an idyllic retreat for those seeking tranquility by the water's edge. Nestled along the stunning Causeway Coastal Route, this region beckons with its unique blend of rugged landscapes, historic charm, and maritime allure.

In this blog, we embark on a journey through the enchanting coastal retreats that Mid & East Antrim has to offer. From the picturesque villages lining the shores to the hidden gems tucked away in the cliffs, we'll explore the unforgettable experiences awaiting those who venture to this captivating corner of the world.

Discover the untamed beauty of unspoiled beaches, where the rolling waves meet golden sands, inviting you to unwind and savor the simple pleasures of life. Immerse yourself in the maritime history that echoes through quaint harbors and explore the fascinating tales that have shaped the character of this coastal haven.

Join us as we delve into the local culture, indulge in delectable seafood, and uncover the secrets of charming coastal communities. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, Mid & East Antrim's coastal retreats promise a rejuvenating experience that will draw you back again and again...

Quiet Escapes in Carrickfergus: A Historical Haven

Carrickfergus, nestled along the rugged coastline of County Antrim in Northern Ireland, is a town steeped in history and natural beauty. With its rich heritage, stunning seafront Castle, idylic marina, and warm hospitality, Carrickfergus beckons visitors from all corners of the globe

Unique Accommodation

Nestled along the Causeway Coastal Route, Carrickfergus stands proud with its rich history and stunning coastal views. Choose from charming bed-and-breakfasts or boutique inns, such as the historic Dobbins Inn, where every corner tells a tale of the town's storied past.


Embrace your artistic side by exploring the local craft scene. Carrickfergus boasts an array of craft shops and galleries where you can immerse yourself in the creativity of local artisans. Don't miss the Carrickfergus Castle, a medieval marvel that offers breathtaking views of Belfast Lough.

Whitehead: Tranquility by the Sea

Whitehead is a postcard-perfect town, a relic from a bygone era. The late Victorians and early Edwardians flocked to this charming seaside resort and more than a century later it still retains all its quirk, colour, and charm. Islandmagee is just a short drive away from Whitehead offering rural tranquillity and plenty of Vitamin Sea.

Unique Accommodation 

For a unique stay, consider the quirky Blackhead Lighthouse, offering panoramic views of the Irish Sea. This charming accommodation combines history and comfort, providing an unparalleled experience.


Explore the quaint streets adorned with Victorian architecture. Take a leisurely stroll along Whitehead Promenade, breathe in the crisp sea air, and visit the Whitehead Railway Museum to delve into the region's industrial heritage. 

Carnlough: A Coastal Retreat with Artistic Flair

This quaint harbour is home to local fishing boats and a handful of delightful coffee shops and eateries (like Twilight Coffee) making it the perfect place to take a break on you Causeway Coastal Route adventure and bask in the slower pace of life.

Unique Accommodation

Immerse yourself in the local charm at the Londonderry Arms Hotel, an elegant 17th-century coaching inn. The warm hospitality and classic ambiance make it a perfect base for your coastal adventure.


The scenic Carnlough Harbour is a perfect spot for a tranquil walk, offering stunning views of the glimmering sea. Eagle-eyed Game of Thrones fans may even recognise the harbour as it played a key role in the HBO series. or why not embark on a sightseeing boat trip from here, taking in some of the causeway Coastal Route's stunning views. 

Glenarm: Where Nature Meets Luxury

Step back in time to a coastal village which is home to a fairy-tale castle and walled garden that is a haven for botanists, foodies and Instagrammers. Meander through the ancient canopy of Glenarm Forest – breathe in the aroma of wild garlic in spring or go red-squirrel spotting. Glenarm Castle is one of few country estates that remains privately owned but open to the public. It is steeped in a wealth of history, culture and heritage.

Unique Accommodation

Indulge in luxury at Glenarm Castle's Estate's Barbican Gatelodge. Surrounded by lush gardens and the majestic Glenarm Forest, this accommodation provides a truly unique retreat. It's like staying in your own mini castle!


Unleash your creativity at "Carved at The Castle", a stonemasonry workshop where you can try your hand at crafting your unique piece. Take a stroll through Glenarm Forest Park, a serene escape offering a chance to reconnect with nature.

Causeway Coastal Route: One of The World's Great Road Journeys

Throughout your journey, the Causeway Coastal Route weaves together these coastal towns, offering stunning vistas of rugged cliffs and crashing waves. January and February provide a quieter atmosphere, allowing you to appreciate the raw beauty of the coastline without the hustle and bustle of peak season.

A Winter Retreat with Real Value for Money

This time of year is not only ideal for those seeking a peaceful getaway but also presents excellent value for money. Enjoy mid-week breaks, taking advantage of lower accommodation rates and fewer crowds at popular attractions. Click here to view current offers in Mid & East Antrim.

 For those in search of a unique and tranquil winter escape, Mid & East Antrim beckons with open arms. Explore the rich history, indulge in artistic experiences, and revel in the natural beauty that graces these coastal towns. Embrace the magic of the winter season along the Causeway Coastal Route, where each twist and turn reveals a new facet of Ireland's breathtaking landscapes. Your coastal retreat awaits!

Carrickfergus Castle
Castle / Fort
A woman and child having a pretend sword fight in the room at the top of the castle keep with the sun beaming through the window behind.

Get ready to step back in time at Carrickfergus Castle, an incredible Norman castle nestled in the charming seaside town of Carrickfergus, County Antrim, right on the shores of Belfast Lough. This place isn't just old—it's legendary!

Whitehead Railway Museum
Visitor Centres & Museums
A family of four standing on the platform talking to the driver of a blue steam train

The new Whitehead Railway Museum will take visitors on a journey through time, see our large stock fully restored heritage Irish railway steam and diesel locomotives, vintage carriages coupled with state of the art interactive touch displays.

Carnlough Harbour
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
Aerial view of Carnlough Harbour with shops and homes in the background and boats in the harbour

Carnlough's sheltered historic harbour, with small fishing boats, is the focal point of this picturesque village, located on the Causeway Coastal Route. It's a well known Game of Thrones® film location, recognisable as the Free City of Braavos Canal.

Glenarm Castle & Garden
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
Aerial view of Glenarm Castle & Gardens with the ocean beyond.

Crowned "Historic Houses 2023 Garden of the Year", Glenarm Castle and its walled gardens are a true national treasure. One of Ireland's oldest estates, and home to the Earls of Antrim, Glenarm Castle offers incredible garden walks, with stunning planting displays year round. Don't miss the annual tulip festival which takes place every May.


Romantic in appearance and setting, and approached by a bridge over the Glenarm river, the Barbican comprises a three storey block with a roof terrace, with a picnic bench which affords significant views over the surrounding countryside.

Carved at the Castle Experience
Craft Workshops and courses
Group are welcomed by Sam at the Carved at the Castle experience in Glenarm.

Learn an ancient craft and experience first-hand what it's like to work with a material that’s millions of years old.