Antrim Coast Road

Antrim Coast Road, one of Ireland's most scenic drives

Located in the Northern Ireland's coast, the Antrim Coast Road, part of the larger A2 Road, is one of Ireland's most scenic drives, running along 40 kilometres of gorgeous coast. The road follows the coast with the sea on the side and for the most part towering cliffs on the other.

This asphalted road starts in the municipality of Larne and ends near the Red Arch. The road was constructed between 1832 and 1842 by civil engineer William Bald. Instead of building the road inland, Bald had the vision of building the road at the foot of the cliffs. This avoided the road having steep gradients as it ran along the valleys. The workers blasted parts of the cliffs, and the fallen debris then formed the base for the coast road. It was a great engineering achievement for its day and made a great difference to the people of the Glens. Before the road was built, they sailed their goods across the sea to markets in Scotland, because the sea crossing was easier than travel by land. It’s one of the most famous road trips in the world. A large section of the road is winding trough the countryside, following the scenic coastline. Some parts are even built between large 100m high cliffs and the sea. Mainly a single lane in each direction, the road follows most of the coastline of Northern Ireland. It is connected in several places to other major roads. 

This road is very exciting. It’s regarded as one of the great tourist routes of the world. This part of the road has seen a dramatic increase in traffic in recent years (in particular during warmer weather). It runs along the coast for about 25 miles (40 kilometres), from the Black Arch near Larne to the Red Arch near Cushendall, passing through the villages of Ballygalley, Glenarm, Carnlough and Waterfoot. Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians should pay due care and attention as there are currently no cycle lanes and footpaths are infrequent. The surface of the road is asphalted.


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