Larne is one of the most important ports in Ireland, almost enough to rival the biggest port of Belfast. The port itself is enormously historical, dating back to the middle ages, and is today one of the best served ports for ferries to Northern Ireland. However, redevelopments in the past century mean that it is now one of the most important waterways for both passenger and industrial traffic. Not only is it a busy port, it’s also a fantastic tourist destination, and a fabulous base for exploring the beautiful scenery in the surrounding areas.
The Borough of Larne is now keyed up to tourists coming over on the ferry from Troon, particularly those bringing cars who explore the rest of the county. There is plenty of accommodation in the area, ranging from cheap self catering places to top end hotels. For day to day activities you’ll find plenty to whet your appetite. Activities in Larne tend to revolve around the great outdoors, so pack the car with your bike, your golf clubs, and your fishing equipment, as you’ll have plenty of chances to use all three during your stay.
A great way to spend a day is to drive around exploring the local villages in the borough, photographing the picturesque houses and bungalows. If you’re keen on history, Larne is an archaeological hub. Digs have revealed that the area was once visited by Romans who were blown off course in their galley, and Norsemen who came and settled here.
Take a trip to the Tower house near Olderfleet. These are the remains of a once spectacular building which was once home to an abundance of Scottish Knights. Another interesting historical site is that of the Druids Alter, a tomb in Islandmagee. There are also a number of stones scattered around different points in the borough, particularly near Garron Point.
Take an afternoon exploring Glenarm Castle and its stunning walled garden. It used to be the home of the Earls of Antrim, and the building itself dates back to the eighteenth century. There is also a lovely tea house on the premises.
If you want to travel onward from Larne, it’s very easy to reach a number of destinations from here. And the drive there will be spectacular. On your way you will go through the Black Arch, an incredible piece of industrial architecture which dates back to the early eighteen hundreds, and was constructed by William Bald. Once you’ve passed through it, you’ll see the incredible change of scenery. It’s almost like travelling into another world. Only a few miles on from the Black Arch is Carnfunnock County Park, a great place to explore and stretch your legs.
There are nine glens along the coast road for you to explore, and it is considered by many to be one of the best drives to take. The County Antrim Causeway Coastal Route is world famous. County Antrim is famous for mystical, mythical scenery, dotted with magnificent mountains and stunning houses and castles, all of which are complimented by the rugged coastline. Take your time exploring the glens and find yourself in Belfast within an hour.