THINGS TO DO WHEN NOT PLAYING GOLF
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Take the exhilarating rope bridge to Carrick-a-Rede island and enjoy a truly cliff top experience. This 30-metre deep and 20-metre wide chasm is traversed by a rope bridge traditionally erected by salmon fishermen. Visitors bold enough to cross to the rocky island are rewarded with fantastic views. The area is exceptional in is natural beauty. Underneath large caves once served as home to boat builders and a safe resting place from winter storms.
THE GIANTS CAUSEWAY
For centuries countless visitors have marvelled at the majesty and mystery of the Giants Causeway. At the heart of one of Europe’s most magnificent coastlines its unique rock formations have, for millions of years, stood as a natural rampart against the unbridled ferocity of Atlantic storms. The rugged symmetry of the columns never fails to intrigue and inspire our visitors. To stroll on the Giants Causeway is to voyage back in time. Your imagination will travel along stepping stones that lead to either the creative turbulence of a bygone volcanic age or into the mists and legends of the past. This is the jewel in the crown of the fabulous North coast of Antrim. A site of World Heritage and therefore ranked alongside Mount Everest and the Giant Redwoods of California for it’s importance to humankind. Volcanic activity helped Finn Mc Cool forge this wonder of the World some 60 Million years ago..
Dunluce Castle is sited dramatically close to the edge of a headland, along the North Antrim coast. Surrounded by jaw dropping coastal scenery, this medieval castle stands where an early Irish fort was once built and where its history can be traced back to early Christians and Vikings. A village that once surrounded the castle was destroyed by fire during 1641, but some archaeological remnants of walls remain. Also nearby are the ancient church ruins of St. Cuthbert’s, and the site was witness to the sinking of the colony ship the Exmouth, bound for Quebec, which broke up on rocks off Islay with 240 deaths in 1857.
Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast and Antrim Glens
Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast and Antrim Glens are an area of unsurpassed beauty, a unique fusion of tangible heritage and magnificent scenery. An area whose breathtaking and rugged coastline merges into the romantic landscape of its deep silent glens and lush forest parks. The wonders don’t stop there as the region has been made famous by the Causeway Coastal Route which is seen as ‘one of the world’s great road journeys‘ and one of the most outstanding scenic car touring drives in the world featuring the Giant’s Causeway. It’s a voyage not to be rushed and provides a journey of exploration, where imagination meets reality and where every village and town, castle and rocky shore is waiting to be discovered.
Mussenden Temple’s spectacular cliff top views
Mussenden Temple is located in the beautiful surroundings of Downhill Demesne near Castlerock in County Londonderry. It perches dramatically on a 120 ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic Ocean on the north-western coast of Northern Ireland, offering spectacular views westwards over Downhill Strand towards Magilligan Point and County Donegal and to the east Castlerock beach towards Portstewart, Portrush and Fair Head.
Kinsale, in County Cork Ireland
…take one spectacular location,
season liberally with Norman, Spanish and English influence,
add one major battle and let it simmer for 400 years.
The result – Ireland’s fine food capital.”
Kinsale can easily claim its place amongst Ireland’s most historic locations for this has been a centre of population, commerce, trade and fishing far beyond memory and record. Kinsale town nestles between the hills and the shoreline, a maze of narrow streets, never far from the water and little changed in many hundreds of years. Amongst buildings of later periods are those of another age with historical links to the French, Spanish, British and Americans.
Situated on the West Cork Coast outside Cork City, the quaint fishing port of Kinsale has long been associated with the finest seafood and gourmet cuisine and has been at the heart of Ireland’s culinary circles for decades. Each year in October, the town holds the world famous Kinsale Food Festival, celebrating the very best of what the town’s numerous local restaurateurs, who make up Kinsale’s Good Food Circle, can offer. Seafood is more than just a specialty in Kinsale, it’s a way of life, and at the Kinsale Food Festival visitors can sample the fruits of the local catch, as well as produce sourced from local Irish farmers, all served with the continental flair of modern Irish cuisine. Along with the mouth watering delights offered during the Kinsale Food Festival, this culinary capital also boasts beautiful scenery and some fascinating sights. Perched overlooking the harbour is Charles Fortdating from the 17th century, evoking memories of the Battle of Kinsale, a pivotal event in Irish history. While the food festival is undoubtedly the best time to visit Kinsale, a trip to this picturesque village is a must for any vacation to Ireland and you should definitely book a table.
Old Bushmills Whiskey Distillery
At the top of the village of Bushmills, you will find the famous ‘Old Bushmills Whiskey Distillery’. Old Bushmills Distillery is the oldest whiskey distillery in Ireland. Some would say it’s the ‘World’s Oldest Licensed Whiskey Distillery’.
The Victorian architecture of the Distillery dates from 1885 when it was rebuilt due to a fire. It has been legally producing Irish Malt Whisky since 1608 when King James 1st granted the original license. The process of illegal distillation in the village goes back even further than 1608.Local folklore tells of whiskey being made illegally in the 1400′s. There is mention of Uisce Beatha – (meaning “water of life” in Irish, or whiskey as we know it today).Bushmills has been making the finest Irish Malt Whiskey here for almost four hundred years. During its existence the Old Bushmills Distillery has changed ownership many times. In 1972 it became part of the Irish Distillers Group who themselves were taken over by Pernod Ricard. The distillery is now owned by Diageo.
Who-ever owns it, Black Bush is hard to beat, especially served hot with a hint of clove and a teaspoon of honey. Excellent if you have a cold or flu on a freezing winter’s night.
The Harbour Bar
The Harbour Bar is located on the quayside at the harbour, its public bar is one of the oldest in Portrush and its upstairs lounge has a Moroccan theme and has live music regularly. A fantastic place to sink a pint of the black stuff and talk about the ones you missed.
“The Harbour Bar, Portrush – a proper old-school place, and the oldest bar in Ireland. After a couple of Guinness “appetisers”, I head next door to the Ramore Wine Bar for some great food. I’m fond of a proper rump steak with a bit of pepper sauce on the side. What more could you ask for?”
Graeme McDowell, 06 Apr 2011.