5 places to visit on the Causeway Coast
Guest blogger Mark Rodgers from Dalriada Kingdom Tours shares his top five places to visit on the Causeway Coast and gives us a brief insight into the fascinating ancestry of these historical locations
1) Glenarm Castle
This fabulous Castle is home of the current Lord Antrim, Alexander Randal Mark MacDonnell, who is the 14th Chieftain of the Antrim family and the 9th Lord Antrim. The Castle is an impressive building with baronial and gothic style influences. Situated on a majestic site with beautiful walled gardens and modern tearoom it is a must visit for tourists.
Locally Glenariff is affectionately known as the 'Queen of the 9 Glens' and easily justifies this title as it impresses visitors with beautiful walks and stunning waterfalls. Glenariff is steeped in folklore and superstitions which add to the mystery and appeal of this picturesque spot. A stop here lets you see what a Glen looks like and possibly affords you a glimpse of the red squirrels that exist in this area of outstanding natural beauty.
3) Bonamargie Friary
The ancient burial ground of the MacDonnell's holds the grave of the famous Chieftains from our past. Somhairle Buidhe rests here beneath the shadow of his former home Dunaneaney Castle. The first and second Earls Randall Aranach and Randall Og are buried here too. Add to that a history of Clan battles, famine graves and of course a famous ghost this little "Gem" is amongst my favourite sites.
4) The Giants Causeway
This iconic site will always be the 8th wonder of the world to the families that formed and shaped its history as much as the Causeway formed and shaped them. Until recently these folks were virtually unknown, a history lost, and a heritage long forgotten.
5) Dunluce Castle
This is the most significant historical site in County Antrim from here Antrim was created and the province of Ulster was born.Through marriage, bloody battles, political intrigue and the ability to survive the MacDonnell’s became the Lords of Antrim and settled here.
About Mark Rodgers
Mark is a "Seanachai" a traditional Irish storyteller and an "auld world guide”. He is the third generation of his family to guide on the iconic Giants Causeway site. For more than 170 years locals like Mark have guided on the Causeway. For more information on Mark and his famous guided tours please visit www.dalriadakingdomtours.co.uk