This is a fabulous private group tour to the Giants Causeway which is perfect for any group type looking something a little different, offering much more than just a guided and sightseeing tour of the major iconic attractions on the Causeway Coastal Route.
This quality tour, which has won an Irish Tourism Award in 2014, is run by Sheans Horse Riding and Heritage Centre and combines sightseeing with excellent cultural and experiential tourism.
A visit to Sheans Heritage Centre just off the Causeway Coast provides the information to bring alive and enhance the rest of your tour along one of the great road journeys of the world, giving you background to the castles, monuments and glens of this rugged and magnificent coastline.
Please note, your tour can be tailored by prior arrangement at time of booking. Leaving Belfast at 9.00am and heading north your first stop is at Sheans Horse Riding and Heritage Centre, where after tea and scones you will be taken back to the 16th century to meet the Great Mc Donnell chieftain, Sorley Boy McDonnell whose descendants still own Dunluce Castle and live in Glenarm Castle to this day.
At Sheans, discover the importance of Sorley Boy’s Castles and monuments strategically located along the Coastal Route, their strong connections with Scotland. View Sorley Boy’s epic battle site, hear the story of a “True To Life” Game of Thrones Battle, enjoy panoramic views over five counties, take part in the traditional craft of turf cutting and of course meet the horses.
A ten minute drive then takes you to the amazing Dark Hedges, made famous by the Game of Thrones series, spectacular in any weather and a definite photo opportunity.
The dramatic Dunluce Castle perched precariously on the clifftop at the edge of the Mc Donnell territory is our next stop. Enjoy hearing some of its strange history and legends and get photographed in front of this majestic ruin.
The visit to the North Coast has to include the fascinating Giant’s Causeway where you can clamber over the hexagonal stones and be photographed at this famous World Heritage Site. Look out towards Spanish point where the Spanish Armada ship the Girona, laden with gold and treasure floundered during Sorley Boy’s reign in 1583.
En route now for Ballycastle, we pass the ancient remains of another Mc Donnell fortress at Dunseverick and pause at Port an Neaney viewing point above the village of Ballintoy, looking down onto the famous Carrick a Rede rope bridge. Then past Kenbane Castle look off shore to what was also Mc Donnell territory Rathlin Island and towards the power base of the Mc Donnells – the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland.
Sorley Boy’s home at Duneaney Castle near to the town of Ballycastle is where he lived with his wife Mary and eight children, close to the Francisan Bonamargey Abbey where he is now buried In the Mc Donnell family Vault.
As you drive along the beautiful coast road you pass Cushendun and Red Bay Castles before arriving in the quaint village of Glenarm. Glenarm Castle is the ancestral home of the Mc Donnells and currently occupied by the present Mc Donnell family and their children.
Here you have a guided tour of the village and see the famous Barbican Gate dating back to the 17th century.
We follow the coast road through Mc Donnell territory passing the Hastings Group Ballygally Castle Hotel where there is installed a replica of an original fireplace taken from Dunluce Castle.
We pass the Norman Olderfleet Castle at the Shipping port of Larne and on to the historic garrison town of Carrickfergus for a photo shoot of the fully preserved Carrickfergus Castle which was the English stronghold in North East Ulster.
After a short drive of around ten miles we are back in Belfast.
This tour rates as uniquely memorable, informative and interesting with its blend of site seeing, cultural and experiential tourism.
It tells the story through the eyes of the great cheiftan Sorley Boy McDonnell, which ensures your group can fully engage in a deeply personal adventure.
It will also give a little insight into turbulent times in Irish history and reflects on why Ireland was always of interest to the great European powers.
Tour rate does not include lunch.
We have years of experience in guiding tourists through the beautiful parts of Ireland in our coaches. Every tour is led by a fully qualified and passionate guide, who will ensure that you are enriched and engaged. To book simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 028 9031 0101.