Life & Culture
Mid and East Antrim’s excellent quality of life makes our Borough a popular place to live, work and visit. When it’s time to take a break, we have an array of experiences to choose from. Welcoming towns and villages, a spectacular coastal route, beautiful waterfalls in scenic forests, an 18th century walled garden, ancient castles, spectacular mountains, rolling valleys, towering cliffs, quaint harbours and unspoilt countryside. It’s no wonder HBO chose us for so many Game of Thrones® scenes. To truly appreciate a place and know its people, you have to taste the culture, the quality and variety available within Mid and East Antrim puts us in Ireland’s Top Ten Foodie Destinations of 2018.
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Ballygally Castle Hotel
Ballygally Castle is positioned at the start of the scenic Antrim Coast, near the foot of the famous nine Glens of Antrim, and offers glorious views over Ballygally Bay and towards Scotland.
Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort
Northern Ireland’s premier luxury Resort and Spa, situated 30 minutes from Belfast, is the perfect location to relax and get away from it all.
Ballymena Peoples Park
The 45-acre urban park is well used and loved by regular, local users and visitors from further afield. The provision of a senior and junior play area makes it a well-liked, well-used facility with families and young people.
Carnfunnock Country Park
The walled garden with its unique sundials and wooden sculptures is open all year round along with a maritime themed outdoor adventure playground, golf driving range, way-marked walks, orienteering course, geocaching, public toilets and picnic sites. Original estate features also remain including the ice house and lime kilns.
Ecos Centre Nature Park
Ecos Nature Park lies within the flood plain of the River Braid and is an oasis of wildlife close to the heart of Ballymena town centre. Eight kilometres of mostly flat footpath gently leads visitors around 220 acres of parkland that includes maturing woodland, peaceful lake and ponds, wet grasslands and meadows.
Larne Museum & Arts Centre
Built in 1905, this historic building opened its doors to the public in 1906 following financial assistance from the American millionaire and philanthropist Mr Andrew Carnegie. In 2005, to commemorate its centenary year, the building was restored and renovated, retaining many of its original features.
Museum and Arts Centre at The Braid
The Mid-Antrim Museum boasts two large state of the art exhibition galleries.
The Heritage Hub at Carnlough Town Hall
Opened in 2018, this unique industrial heritage display features stories of the limestone quarrying in Carnlough, iron mining in Glenravel and other industries of the Glens of Antrim in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Carnlough Harbour is one of the must see stop offs along the Causeway Coastal route for Game of Thrones® fans. Fans will recognise the stony staircase leading down to the sea, filmed as part of the Free City of Braavos Canal, where Arya Stark crawled up from the waters after being stabbed by the Waif. (Season 6)
Besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French, the castle played an important military role until 1928 and remains one of the best preserved medieval structures in Ireland.
Chaine Memorial Tower
The Tower is an accurate replica of an Irish Round Tower and stands 27m high and 7.5m wide at its base. After a request from Mariners the tower was converted into a lighthouse by the Commissioners of Irish Lights in March 1899.
Garron Point is one of the outstanding headlands on the Antrim coast, located in The Glens of Antrim. It provides a scenic and distinctive backdrop for Red Bay and forms part of The Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Glenarm Castle is steeped in a wealth of history, culture and heritage and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually from all over the world.
A short stroll from the car park leads you through trees to a viewing bridge, where you can see one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Northern Ireland, tucked into a small lush glen.
Located on top of Knockagh Hill, above the village of Greenisland, Knockagh Monument is a War Memorial initially erected in remembrance of the men from County Antrim who had died in the First World War (1914-1918).
Portglenone Forest continues a history of mature woodland cover since ancient times, which protects the woodland flora and fauna.
Slemish Mountain, the legendary first known Irish home of Saint Patrick, is located in Co. Antrim. According to legend, following his capture and being brought as a slave to Ireland, Patrick worked as a shepherd at Slemish Mountain for about six years, aged 16 – 22, for a man named Milchu (or Miluic).