The other non-city departure point from Ireland is at the northern end of the island. Larne, in County Antrim, has ferry links to Cairnryan and Troon, both in SW Scotland. But if you stay and explore County Antrim, there’s some fabulous stuff to see…
As is common in Ireland, County Antrim is named after its county town, Antrim, though the bigger city of Belfast sprawls into the south of the county. But most people don’t come to Antrim for the towns – there’s loads of beautiful and intriguing scenery.
The Antrim Mountains are formed from a large plateau of basalt rock which stretches across the county. On the eastern side, the nine valleys of the Glens of Antrim are the routes for rivers draining the high land. The area has AONB designation (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and is popular with tourists.
Where the highland meets the sea on the north coast is another spectacular feature, the World Heritage Site of Giant’s Causeway, which Joe was talking about last Friday.
And as well as it’s sea coast, County Antrim has a sizeable lake coast, since it forms the northern and eastern border of Lough Neagh. This is the largest lake, by area, in the British Isles.
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