Top Family Friendly Attractions in Antrim

Antrim is packed with historical gems and picturesque scenery. This fascinating county is a great holiday destination for a self catering holiday at any time of the year. Read our pick of top family friendly attractions dotted throughout this magical county. Get ready for an action packed self catering holiday in Northern Ireland – one you’ll never forget!

Causeway Coastal Route

Red Arch, Antrim, Northern Ireland © Tourism Ireland photographed by Stefan Schnebelt
Red Arch, Antrim, Northern Ireland © Tourism Ireland photographed by Stefan Schnebelt

Stretching from Belfast city to Derry the Causeway Coastal Route takes in some of Northern Ireland’s most impressive sights and must-see attractions. Along route you will encounter a quaint fishing village, sandy beaches, cascading cliffs, and outstanding scenery. No matter how you decide to navigate this route you won’t be disappointed. Be sure to take your time to take in the many viewing points along the way.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge Time-Lapse © Mark Flagler on behalf of Tourism Ireland

Linked to the mainland Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge spans over 20 metres and hangs 30 metres above the sea. Owned and maintained by the National Trust, the bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. The first known bridge to be built was constructed in 1755. The popular tourist attraction is located near Ballycastle in County Antrim.

Game of Thrones Trail

Game of Thrones Map

Experience the famous sights of the much-loved and followed television series Game of Thrones. Filmed at various locations across Europe, Many of the scenes were shot on studio sets in Belfast or at scenic sites across Northern Ireland. Visit the Haunted Forest, the scene of Winterfell or the Dark Hedges where Arya escaped along the Kings road.

Collect a Game of Thrones Passport and head off on a road trip of a lifetime. Along route find 10 beautifully carved pub doors, each one telling the story of an episode in Game of Thrones.

Antrim Castle Gardens and Clotworthy House

Antrim Town Courtesy of Tourism Northern Ireland
Antrim Town Courtesy of Tourism Northern Ireland

Located on the banks of the Six Mile Water River in County Antrim Northern Ireland. Antrim Castle was built between 1613 and 1662 but unfortunately, it was devastated by a fire in 1922 and finally demolished in the 1970s. Today the gardens are a wonderful tourist attraction encompassing 60 acres, a historical gem with a living museum containing over four centuries of culture and heritage.

Glenariff Forest Park

Glenariff Forest Park - Ess na Crub Waterfall © Tourism Ireland photographed by Stefan Schnebelt
Glenariff Forest Park – Ess-Na-Crub Waterfall © Tourism Ireland photographed by Stefan Schnebelt

Ess-Na-Crub Waterfall, pictured above is located in Glenariff Forest Park. Ess-Na-Crub means the fall of the hooves and was shaped during the Ice Age by giant glaciers.

Glenariff Forest Park provides visitors with an array of tranquil river walks and three spectacular waterfalls, including Ess-Na-Crub Waterfall. Follow the waymarked trails and meander through forest paths, up steps, and along boardwalks through Glenariff Forest Park, a wonderfully picturesque and peaceful nature reserve.

Rathlin Island

Rathlin West Lighthouse – Creator Mark Flagler

Rathlin Island is situated off the coast of County Antrim. The island is Northern Ireland’s northernmost point, measuring 6km wide and 4km long. It is the only inhabited offshore island off Northern Ireland.

A ferry service operates from Ballycastle a small seaside town in Antrim. The ferry crossing is six miles long, a quick and easy crossing across the Sea of Moyle.

Visit from April to June to see the famous Puffin, or visit the Boathouse Visitor Centre to learn about the local history. Cycle hire is available, enjoy many of the walks or take a bus trip around the island. On your next self catering holiday in Antrim take time to explore this peaceful and scenic island off the coast of Antrim.

Dunluce Castle

 Dunluce Castle © Tourism Ireland
Dunluce Castle © Tourism Ireland

Located along the Dunluce Road near Bushmills this castle was once the seat of the Clan McDonnell. Dunluce Castle is now a ruined medieval castle in Northern Ireland. Situated 8 minutes east of Portrush this dramatic site is accessible via a bridge that is connected to the mainland. Apparently, the castle kitchen fell into the sea one stormy night in 1639! An impressive sight on the coastline of County Antrim this ruined castle was first built by the MacQuillan family around 1500.

Bushmills Distillery

The Old Bushmills Distillery is the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery having received its licence to distil in 1608. In 1608 Sir Thomas Phillips was granted a licence to distil whiskey by James 1 of England, however, mentions of distilling traditions in the surrounding environs date back to 1276.
The Old Bushmills Distillery is the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery having received its licence to distill in 1608. In 1608 Sir Thomas Phillips was granted a licence to distill whiskey by James 1 of England, however, mentions of distilling traditions in the surrounding environs date back to 1276.

Visit the popular tourist attraction of Bushmills Distillery located in Bushmills town in County Antrim. Bushmills Distillery uses water drawn from Saint Columb’s Rill, which is a tributary of the River Bush. The distillery has been in operation since it was rebuilt after a fire in 1885 and is owned by Casa Cuervo of Mexico.

Glen of Antrim

Glens of Antrim - © Chris Hill Photographic 2008
Glens of Antrim – © Chris Hill Photographic 2008

The Glen of Antrim was formed over 55-60 million years ago by glaciers moving over Northern Ireland during the last ice age. Known as The Glens this region comprises nine glens, that radiate from the Antrim Plateau to the coast. A major tourist attraction, take the time to explore waymarked footpaths and epic scenery.

Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle, County Antrim © Tourism Ireland
Carrickfergus Castle, County Antrim © Tourism Ireland

Situated on the northern shore of Belfast Lough in Carrickfergus County Antrim. Carrickfergus Castle played an important military role until 1928 and remains one of the best-preserved medieval structures in Ireland. Visit the castle and learn about the history, see cannons from the 17th to the 19th centuries, the winch room, and chapel.

The Dark Hedges

The Dark Hedges, Antrim, Northern Ireland © Tourism Ireland
The Dark Hedges, Antrim, Northern Ireland © Tourism Ireland

What are The Dark Hedges? Located between Armoy and Stranocum, The Dark Hedges is an avenue of overhanging and spectacular beech trees along Bregagh Road. Planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House. This is one tourist attraction you do not want to miss on your next holiday in County Antrim.

Memories are made to last and County Antrim will not disappoint! From the comfort of our self-catering holiday homes in Antrim, you can easily visit our pick of top family-friendly attractions.

Trident Holiday Homes have a selection of self-catering holiday homes and self-catering boats available to rent across the North & North East of Ireland.

Eilís M – Editor of the Trident blog

  • Favourite escape: Exploring the Beara Peninsula and trail running in the Wicklow Mountains
  • Top tip: Pack a big smile and an open mind.

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