Located in the stunning Glens of Antrim, Cushendall is a picturesque village that offers visitors a unique taste of traditional Irish culture and breathtaking natural beauty. With a rich history, numerous top attractions, and a range of exciting outdoor adventures, it’s no wonder that Cushendall has become a must-visit destination for anyone exploring this stunning part of the country.
A Brief History of Cushendall
Before exploring the top attractions and things to do in Cushendall, it’s worth taking a moment to dive into the village’s rich history. Cushendall has a long and fascinating past, with evidence of human settlements dating back over 5000 years.
Early Settlements and Origins
The earliest human settlements in Cushendall were likely established by Stone Age farmers and hunters, who took advantage of the fertile land and abundant wildlife in the area. These early settlers would have lived in simple dwellings made of wood and thatch, and would have relied on hunting, fishing, and farming to survive.
Later, during the Bronze and Iron Ages, the village was occupied by the Celts, who left behind a range of fascinating artifacts and structures. Some of the most notable examples of Celtic influence in Cushendall include the standing stones at Loughareema, which date back to around 2000 BC, and the impressive fortifications at Tievebulliagh, which were built around 500 BC.
The Impact of the Irish Famine
In the 19th century, Cushendall was hit hard by the Irish Famine, which devastated the local population and led to widespread poverty and hardship. Many families were forced to leave the village in search of work and food, and those who remained struggled to survive.
Despite these challenges, the village persevered, and today, it is a thriving community that draws visitors from all over the world. In the years following the famine, Cushendall saw a wave of new development and growth, as businesses and industries began to take root in the area.
Cushendall’s Growth and Development
One of the most significant developments in Cushendall’s history was the construction of the Cushendall to Ballymena railway line in 1875. This new transportation link helped to open up the village to the wider world, and allowed for the easy transport of goods and people between Cushendall and other parts of Northern Ireland.
Over the years, Cushendall continued to grow and develop, with a range of new attractions, businesses, and cultural events helping to establish the village as one of the top destinations in Northern Ireland. Today, visitors can explore a range of fascinating historical sites, stunning natural landmarks, and exciting outdoor adventures in and around the village.
Whether you’re interested in exploring the rich history of Cushendall, or simply looking to enjoy the natural beauty of the area, there’s something for everyone in this charming Northern Irish village.
Top Attractions in Cushendall
One of the biggest draws of Cushendall is the wide range of top attractions located within the village and the surrounding area. From historic ruins to stunning natural landmarks, there’s truly something for everyone here.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Cushendall is the Curfew Tower, a historic structure that was once used as a jail and a lookout point during times of political unrest. Today, the tower is used as an art space, with exhibitions and cultural events held regularly for visitors to enjoy.
Layde Church Ruins
Another fascinating historical site in Cushendall is the Layde Church Ruins, which date back to the 13th century. Visitors can explore the atmospheric ruins, which include a stunning stone tower, ancient tombs, and beautiful Celtic carvings.
Red Bay Castle
For those interested in exploring local history, the ruins of Red Bay Castle are a must-visit attraction. This imposing structure dates back to the 14th century and was used as a stronghold by the ruling McNeill clan.
Of course, no visit to Cushendall would be complete without spending some time relaxing on the village’s beautiful beach. With soft golden sand and crystal-clear waters, this is the perfect spot to soak up some sun and take in the stunning natural beauty of the Glens of Antrim.
Outdoor Activities and Adventures
In addition to exploring the rich history and culture of Cushendall, visitors can also take advantage of a range of exciting outdoor activities and adventures in the area.
Hiking in the Glens of Antrim
For those who love hiking and exploring the great outdoors, the Glens of Antrim offer no shortage of stunning trails and scenic vistas. From challenging mountain hikes to leisurely walks along the coast, there’s something here for every fitness level and interest.
Exploring the Antrim Coast
The Antrim Coast is another must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with miles of rugged coastline, stunning cliffs, and breathtaking natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in kayaking, cycling, or simply exploring the local flora and fauna, this is a truly magical place to visit.
Golfing at Cushendall Golf Club
If you’re a fan of golf, then you won’t want to miss the opportunity to play a round at Cushendall Golf Club. This challenging course offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, as well as a range of facilities for players of all levels.
Fishing in the River Dall
Finally, for those who love fishing, the River Dall is a prime destination for trout and salmon. With crystal-clear waters and stunning natural scenery, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing day on the water.
Local Cuisine and Dining Options
After a long day of exploring the natural beauty and fascinating history of Cushendall, you’re sure to have worked up an appetite. Fortunately, the village offers a range of excellent dining options and local cuisine to choose from.
Traditional Irish Pubs
For those interested in experiencing the authentic local culture, a visit to one of Cushendall’s traditional Irish pubs is a must. These welcoming establishments offer a range of delicious pub fare and local brews, as well as live music and an unbeatable atmosphere.
Another highlight of the local cuisine in Cushendall is the fresh seafood on offer. From succulent crab to juicy scallops, visitors can sample a range of delicious local delicacies at the village’s top seafood restaurants.
Cozy Cafes and Tea Rooms
Finally, for those who prefer a lighter meal or a quick snack, the village’s cozy cafes and tea rooms offer a range of delicious baked goods, sandwiches, and beverages. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic Irish breakfast or a hearty bowl of soup, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your cravings here.
As you can see, there’s truly something for everyone in the charming village of Cushendall. From its rich history and fascinating cultural attractions to its stunning natural beauty and exciting outdoor adventures, this is a destination that should not be missed. So why not book your trip today and see for yourself what makes this picturesque Irish village so special?