One of the top scenic drives in Great Britain, this 130-mile (212-kilometer) route winds along the craggy coast of Northern Ireland. Stretching from Belfast all the way to Derry, the Causeway Coastal Route leads to castles, cliff walks, beaches, waterfalls, Game of Thrones filming locations, and other scenic locales.
While the Causeway Coastal Route can be covered in a matter of hours, most visitors take several days to properly explore it, stopping at various sites en route. Key parts of the route are often included as part of organized sightseeing day trips from Belfast. These may include the UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, the Dark Hedges in Ballymoney, Dunluce Castle, Ballintoy Harbour, and Downhill Strand.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Causeway Coastal Route is a must-do for scenery seekers, Game of Thrones fans, and history buffs.
- Beach lovers and surfers may want to stop at one of the many swimming and surfing strands along the route.
- Several scenic side roads leading inland branch off from the main route.
- Most of the main road has two lanes, though some of the minor side roads have single-lane sections.
How to Get There
The best way to explore the Causeway Coastal Route is during a self-guided road trip or by organized tour. From Belfast, follow the A2 road north along the coast. Travelers departing from Derry should take the A2 toward Limavady.
When to Get There
The Causeway Coastal Route is drivable year-round, with road closures extremely rare. As many of the attractions are outside, however, you may want to go in summer when the weather is typically warmer and daylight lasts for up to 18 hours.
Highlights of the Causeway Coastal Route
In addition to the Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, this driving route also leads to some lesser-known but no less spectacular attractions. See the Norman-era Carrickfergus Castle, follow cliff-face walkways on the rugged Antrim Coast at the Gobbins, walk amid the scenic Glens of Antrim, and sample whiskey at the Old Bushmills Distillery.