Join us on a long weekend in the wild beauty of the Ulster coast...
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty LevelsMultiple walk options available See itinerary below
for more details
At the very top of Northern Ireland. We’ll head out on several walks to explore the cliffs and beaches, the inland hills, and of course the geological wonder of the Giant’s Causeway, the 8th natural wonder of the world. With many natural features here used as landscapes in Game of Thrones, we’ll be in another world indeed, with our own hostel to escape back to in the evenings.
The whole trip is fully guided and hosted, so you can concentrate on letting the landscape capture your imagination while we prepare the food, navigate you along the paths, and help you understand this fascinating part of the UK. As well as heading out on walks, we’ll also be visiting famous local landmarks – perhaps the epic castles that dot the coast, or the local Bushmills distillery!
In a nutshell:
- 3 days of moderate guided walks exploring the coastline of Ulster, home to the Giant’s Causeway.
- See the local sights and explore local crafts – it’s not just about walking!
- Relax in our comfy hostel, right on the coast and a stone’s throw from the beach.
- Eat out in some great local pubs, and have lunch and breakfast provided.
- Forget about driving and navigating for a few days – we’ll do the hard work!
- Experience the beautiful countryside of Northern Ireland, home to many Game of Thrones sites and plenty of much older myths and legends.
About the location
The stunning coastline of Northern Ireland is a region of dramatic cliffs and bays, sandy beaches, and of course the natural wonder of the Giant’s Causeway. Though it has always been a destination for lovers of wild scenery, it has recently gained greater prominence as the landscape for Game of Thrones. The coastal path gives access to the shoreline in most places, and there are many paths inland to explore the hills and forests. Besides the natural scenery, the towns and villages are peaceful and welcoming, and there are many ancient ruins to explore.
You’ll aim to arrive in Belfast for midday on day 1, where we’ll pick you up and begin the drive north to our hostel. We’ll stop off for a brief wander round one of the famous sights from Game of Thrones, perhaps the brooding Dark Hedges near Ballymoney (The Kingsroad), the coast at Murlough Bay (Slavers’ Bay), or maybe a walk into the Cushendun Caves (The Stormlands). Or perhaps something completely different – the choice is ours and we’re flexible as to what the group wants on the day. We could even take in a slightly longer walk around the Glens of Antrim, a famous beauty spot on the east coast.
At some point on this journey we’ll have a briefing about the next few days and what the arrangements are.
After checking into our hostel in the afternoon, we’ll head out to eat in the evening at a great local pub, where you’ll start to get a feeling for the warm local hospitality. Then the evening is yours to relax or have a few drinks!
Days 2 & 3
After a sit down breakfast at 8am, we’ll all make our own packed lunches with the fresh ingredients provided and head out on the day’s walk. There are quite a few options so we can decide more about each walk the day before, but possible options include:
Late afternoon onwards
After each walk we’ll head back to the hostel to allow you time for a shower and relaxing cup of tea before we head out for dinner. We’ll try and head to a different location each night (unless we find one place everyone really loves!) to sample the best local food.
After dinner we’ll take you back to the hostel and then the evening is yours. We’ll include a short briefing at each evening meal about the plans for the next day, including weather updates and walk confirmation.
On the final day, we’ll have another 8am breakfast and then pack up to leave the hostel.
There will be another short walk on this day; on previous occasions we’ve braves the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and then wandered down to the beautiful Ballintoy Harbour (where the cafe has an unparalleled selection of cake).
Then it’s time to take you to the airport or ferry terminal and say goodbye! We will aim to return you to the airport for around 5pm.
Who will be looking after you...
We’ll be staying in a hostel in the town of Bushmills, home to the world’s oldest whisky distillery. We’re within walking distance of the Giant’s Causeway, and a stone’s throw from several excellent pubs and restaurants.
For this weekend we provide the following meals: Breakfasts and a packed lunch for each day walk. Unlike other trips for this trip we will be eating out each night and the evening meal is not included. You are also welcome to make use of the hostels self catering kitchen if you would rather eat in the hostel.
As well as meals, we also provide a variety of complimentary soft drinks and beverages – tea & coffee which includes herbal, fruit and decaffeinated options and fruit squashes.
We do not supply alcohol but you are welcome to bring your own.
This is offered on a single sex shared room basis. All bedding and towels are provided and the venue has free Wi-FI, although please note there is no mobile phone signal.
What our members have to say...
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience from beginning to end. The host Kendra was very welcoming upon arrival at the youth hostel, all walkers and climbers were friendly and we got on great as a group. The home cooked food was amazing and the idea of 'kitchen angels' worked really well. The rock climbing instructor and his son were brilliant and helped us all, providing constant guidance and encouragement.Penny GraingerMember Since 2016
I have been joining Large Outdoors on their outdoor adventures for many years now. I wasn’t always an active person and as a self-confessed city dweller I never thought I would appreciate so much of what is on offer when you leave the suburbs behind you. Large Outdoors has not only made me appreciate what natural beauty is on our door step, it has also given me the confidence to challenge myself and see things differently.Shad EverettMember since 2009
I love the concept of the Large Outdoors weekends and I like to have at least one or two booked for the future, to have something to look forward to. A weekend trip finds me visiting some fabulous parts of the country: Northumberland, Dorset, Brecon Beacons, Lake District, North York Moors... hills, mountains, moors and coast - all well covered by the amazing choice of locations to pick from, with decent (or lovely!) accommodation, great food and qualified walk leaders. They're also very good value.Sue LangfordMember since 2008
I have attended Large Outdoors weekends for the last two years , achieving many challenges in the British countryside. Every weekend has been very well organised, in beautiful locations, wonderful walks, nutritious food with lovely people.
I have learned new skills and gained confidence in the outdoors from the mountain leaders. I thoroughly enjoy every weekend and always look forward to the next.Elizabeth BrooksMember Since 2014
Since my first Large Outdoors weekend I have rediscovered my love for the countryside, met so many great people and had a whole lot of fun. I've sailed around the Inner Hebrides on a luxurious yacht, climbed the 3 national peaks Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafel Pike, danced my socks off at the Halloween and New Year celebrations and fallen in love with the beautiful Isle of Skye. Every trip has been amazing fun and I have met so many lovely people and made friends for life. Cheers Large Outdoors!Karen RobertsMember Since 2012