Glenaan Cottage is the complete getaway. Ideal for writers, artists, walkers and adventurers.
This beautifully restored whitewashed farmhouse, built high in the Glens early in the last century, offers breathtaking views to the village of Cushendall and across the rolling hills to Scotland and the Mull of Kintyre. The quaint interior is finished to an excellent standard. Outside the cottage there is a large open area with small patio. Traditional Irish country life at its best!
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The Antrim Coast and Glens was only designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1988, but its magnificent natural splendours have been touching the souls of those who travel here since time immemorial.
Glenaan, also known as the Fuchsia Glen, lies between Glenballyeamon and Glendun and runs into Glencorp on the outskirts of Cushendall.
Ossian's Grave is Glenaan's most famous site, steeped in history and traditionally thought to be the burial place of legendary warrior-poet, Ossian, son of Fionn McCumhall (Finn MacCool). This megalithic court cairn sits on a hillside in the townland of Lubitavish, 10 minutes' walk from our cottage. It also caught the imagination of poet John Hewitt who was himself commemorated with a stone cairn in 1989 in the same field.
Nearby in Cushendall village is considered by locals to be the 'Capital of the Glens' and has a rich history that reaches back through the centuries.
The Curfew Tower in the centre of the village was built in 1817 as a prison by former landlord of the town, Francis Turnley. Previously the village had passed through several owners, including the renowned clan chief Sorley Boy McDonnell, the Hollow Sword Blade Company of London and later a Dr. Richardson, who had even changed its name to Newtown Glens.
The Glens of Antrim Historical Society at The Old Schoolhouse in Cushendall is a treasure trove of information for those curious to know more about the area, with an excellent website and numerous publications to help you unravel the Glens' mysteries.
There's plenty to do and see all year round in Cushendall with a hotel, restaurants, cafes and a number of lively pubs where you can hear live traditional music.
Why not head outdoors for nine holes at Cushendall Golf Club or take to the waters of Red Bay with Cushendall Sailing & Boating Club? You might even be lucky enough to witness the world's fastest field sport, hurling, in action at the local Ruairí Óg GAA Club.
The Heart of the Glens festival takes place annually over nine days in August, packing the streets with parades, concerts and a plethora of events celebrating the Glens' rich heritage. There's even a fun run that traverses the slopes of nearby Lurig Mountain.
A short walk from the village will take you to Cushendall Beach where you can take in the spectacular views across the Sea of Moyle to the Mull of Kintyre on the Scottish coast which is just over 20 miles away.
Continue further north by foot on the cliff path to arrive at the ruins of Layde Church and Graveyard which dates back to 1306, although the site itself may have been in use since Neolithic times.
The small village of Cushendun lies five miles north of Cushendall. It has a sheltered harbour and lies at the mouth of the River Dun and Glendun. It grew up round the terminus of the Cushendun to Dunaverty ferry which ran almost daily between the coast of Kintyre and North Antrim up until about 1840.
Ronald McNeill, who later became Lord Cushendun improved the village greatly by acquiring the services of the celebrated Welsh Architect, Clough Williams-Ellis, who designed the iconic bridge and two groups of houses in the village, known locally as the 'Maud Cottages', built to mimic the Cornish homeland of McNeill's wife.
The National Trust are the present owners of the village and much of its surrounding land, including a beautiful sandy beach. Game of Thrones fans might enjoy exploring Cushendun's Red Caves, which were featured in the show.
Further north again, Torr Head juts out from the rugged coastline, accessible by a narrow, winding, rollercoaster of a road that is well worth navigating to take in the unparalleled views of Scotland at its closest point to Ireland.
As the coast turns westward Murlough Bay delivers more incredible vistas, with an idyllic seasonally sandy beach that is one of the best kept secrets of the Glens. Higher up the slopes you'll find a monument to Irish patriot and poet, Sir Roger Casement.
Excellent walking routes connect Murlough to Fair Head, whose cliff face rises 600ft above sea level, offering some incredible rock climbing and panoramic views to Scotland, Rathlin Island, Ballycastle, Kinbane Head and beyond. There are several small lakes atop the headland, one of which contains a manmade Iron Age island or crannog.
The direct road from Cushendall to Ballycastle is a popular cycling route that will take you over the impressive Glendun Viaduct, through Ballypatrick Forest and past Loughaveema, the vanishing lake, with its dramatically fluctuating water levels and haunted bridge.
Located at the foot of Knocklayde Mountain and Glentaise, the most northerly of the nine Glens of Antrim, Ballycastle is a thriving market town by the sea with a glorious mile long golden strand. Rathlin Island can be accessed via regular ferry crossing from the harbour.
The town plays host the Ireland's oldest fair, the Lammas Fair, every year on the last Monday and Tuesday of August as thousands pack the streets from far and wide.
Ballycastle Tennis, Golf and Bowling clubs feature prominently along the seafront along with a great selection of pubs, cafes and restaurants that follow the main route through the town.
Beyond Ballycastle, the Causeway Coast unfurls to reveal its many treasures that include Kinbane Castle, Whitepark Bay, Ballintoy Harbour, Dunluce Castle, Bushmills Distillery and the Giant's Causeway World Heritage Site.
Heading south from Cushendall past Red Bay Castle will take you to Waterfoot, a small village at the mouth of Glenariff – the Queen of the Glens. Each July Waterfoot hosts the annual Féis na nGleann, a festival celebrating the Irish language, traditions, songs, music, games and past-times.
The jewel in Glenariff's crown is the Glenariff Forest Park with its truly magnificent waterfalls and trails that cater to everyone from the casual walker to the most spirited adventurer. The park is open to the public year-round and offers many outdoor activities including walking, horse riding and touring. It has picnic and barbeque areas as well as a tea house.
Glenariff also marks the end (or beginning) of the Moyle Way , a challenging 26 mile, two-day walk that explores the northern-most Glens of Antrim. Following a mixture of forest tracks and remote upland moor, the route includes a visit to the slopes of Trostan, Antrim's highest summit at 550m.
Further south on the Coast Road at Garron Point is the White Lady or Cloghastucan, a natural limestone sculpture resembling a Victorian lady. It stands proudly guarding the entrance to St Killian's College (formerly St MacNissi's).
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