UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE - The Causeway Coastal Route and The Giant's Causeway
The Giant's Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, resulted from a volcanic eruption some 60 million years ago. The formation of the Giant's Causeway was due to intense volcanic activity. Lava welling up through fissures in the chalk bed formed a "lava plateau". Three periods of volcanic activity gave rise to the Lower, Middle and Upper Basalts, and it's the Middle Basalt rock which forms the famous amphitheatres of hexagonal columns in the Causeway.
The Giant’s Causeway is steeped in myth and legend. Some say it was carved from the coast by the mighty giant, Finn McCool who left behind an ancient home full of folklore. Look out for clues of the existence of the mighty giant, Finn McCool – including Giant’s Boot, The Wishing Chair, The Camel, Giant’s Granny and The Organ. On a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of Finn’s Scottish opponent, Benandonner’s homeland of Scotland..
The area is suitable for picnics, cliff and country walks with access for visitors with disability and dogs are welcome on leads.
The New Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre blends into the landscape, with walls of glass, basalt columns and a state of the art interior design is truly innovative, the building boasts a number of exhibition areas and a grass roof affording 360 degree views of the Causeway coastline, ensuring a unique visitor experience and perspective on the Giant’s Causeway.
THE DARK HEDGES ROW OF TREES
This beautiful avenue of beech trees was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century. It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to their home, Gracehill House. which is now a golf club. Two centuries later, the trees remain a magnificent sight and have become known as the Dark Hedges.
The Dark Hedges is a unique stretch of the Bregagh Road near Armoy, in Ireland, that looks like something from a Tim Burton movie. Over the past 300 years or so, the Beech trees guarding either side of the lane have reached up and across to each other, becoming heavily intertwined to create a natural arched tunnel where shadow and light plays through entwined branches. It is one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland and a popular attraction for tourists from across the world. It has been painted by hundreds of visiting artists and is a favourite location for wedding photographs.
Legend tells that a supernatural ‘Grey Lady’ haunts the thin ribbon of road that winds beneath the ancient beech trees. She silently glides along the roadside and vanishes as she passes the last beech tree.
THE DARK HEDGES IS ONE OF THE MOST VISITED ATTRACTIONS IN N.I. FOLLOWING ITS APPEARANCE IN THE GAME OF THRONES.
IT IS WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF CHARLIE'S HIDEAWAY.
HEDGES HOTEL & RESTAURANT
The Hedges Restaurant on the Ballinlea Road, in Stranocum, offers a new and original dining experience. A business in its infancy, a young and dynamic team is responsible for creating a dining experience to remember. Using a great deal of locally sourced produce they are dedicated to offering the style and quality of food that people now demand. A comprehensive selection of wines and beverages compliment the menu and offering a new and positive dining experience
GRACEHILL GOLF CLUB
The Gracehill Golf Course is considered to be one of the top parkland courses in Ulster, if not all Ireland. Nestling in beautiful mature parkland close to Charlie's it offers golfers a unique challenge whereby every aspect of their game will be de rigueur.
Some of the greens are strategically placed near to water hazards while other holes are played through mature woodland or over heathland making it one of the few courses in Ireland to offer such variety.
Golfers who wish to enjoy a challenging round in very rural surroundings will find Gracehill the ideal choice. In fact Open Champion 2011 Darren Clarke has played Gracehill on a number of occasions and enjoyed the variety of golfing challenges which Gracehill offers. His particular favourite hole was the 13th Knockmore, with trees and laurels defining the entire length of the hole accuracy off the tee is essential, needless to say Knockmore can be a card maker or breaker!
Bushmills Irish Whiskey is made at Ireland’s oldest working distillery in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The brand portfolio includes five award-winning whiskeys: Bushmills, Black Bush, Bushmills 10 year Malt, 16 year Malt and 21 year Malt. Distilling whisky has a well-established history in the Bushmills area since as far back as 1276 - the original license to distil whiskey was granted to the area in 1608.
Though not officially verified, The Bushmills Distillery is believed to be the oldest licensed distillery in the world. Bushmills have produced a varied range of whiskeys over the years with the distillery even appearing on banknotes printed by the Bank of Ireland. You can visit the distillery itself in the town of Bushmills on Antrim’s Northern coast. The distillery provides a 45 -60 minute tour and watch the wiskey making take place as we unlock the secrets of 400 years of distilling at the home of Irish whiskey.
Not only is the distillery the oldest in the world, it is also among the most critically acclaimed with its premium Black Bush blend winning double gold in both 2007 and 2010 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
If you’re a whiskey fan, you’ll definitely enjoy seeing the process behind these famed tipples.
CARRICK-a-REDE ROPE BRIDGE
A short coastal footpath leads to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. On the way, there are wonderful vantage points to stop and take in the natural beauty with Fulmars, Kittywakes, Guillemots and Razorbills breeding on the islands close to the rope bridge.
Of course, Carrick-a-Rede also boasts an exhilarating rope bridge experience. Traditionally fishermen erected the bridge to Carrick-a-Rede island over a 23metre-deep and 20metre-wide chasm to check their salmon nets. Today visitors are drawn here simply to take the rope bridge challenge! The rope bridge originally consisted of a single rope hand rail which has been replaced by a two hand railed bridge by the National Trust.
Once you reach Carrick Island, the reward is seeing the diverse birdlife and an uninterrupted view across to Rathlin Island and Scotland. There is only one way off the island - back across the swinging bridge! Don't look down!
Please find below a small selection of the places of interest within easy reach of Charlie's.We hope their very brief descriptions will entice you to explore them and find others of interest to you.