Antrim Coast and Glens AONB is an area of Northern Ireland, covering 724.8 km2 (279.8 sq mi) of land including Rathlin Island, the Glens of Antrim and the coastal area between Larne and Ballycastle. It was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1988 for its beautiful and varied scenery.
It is an area of contrasts, including the only inhabited offshore island in Northern Ireland, dramatic headlands, gentle bays and valleys, farmland and the open expanse of the moors. The area also has a long settlement history and many important archaeological sites are found here, along with listed buildings, conservation areas, and historic monuments.
There’s a vast array of wildlife to match the varied habitats this area contains. For example, the boggy moors provide habitats for ground nesting birds such as the red grouse and hen harrier; it is also home to the carnivorous butterwort plant. Along the coast, whales, dolphins and seals swim; and over 250,000 breeding seabirds visit annually, including razorbills, kittiwakes and puffins. Buzzards and salmon thrive in the glens.
The Causeway Coastal Route is a 193.1 km (120 mi) way-marked road trail which runs through the region taking the best of the natural, cultural and historical attractions. Walks range in length and difficulty, from coastal paths to hill tracks, mountain trails to canal towpaths. A section of the Ulster Way, which runs right round Northern Ireland, passes through the area.
Other activities include angling, cycling, horse riding and golf; as well as surfing, diving and coasteering (exploring the coast by climbing, swimming, scrambling and caving).