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Andrew Jackson Centre
The Andrew Jackson Centre is named after Andrew Jackson, 7th president of the USA and hero of the Battle of New Orleans, whose parents emigrated from Carrickfergus in 1765. The centre is a thatched cottage resembling the Jackson home, and is based close to the original residential site. It houses displays related to the life and career of Andrew Jackson as well as the extensive and long standing connections between Northern Ireland and America.
Location: Boneybefore, near Carrickfergus
Arthur Ancestral Home
The Arthur Ancestral Home is associated with the family of Chester Alan Arthur, 21st President of the USA. His father emigrated to America from Dreen in 1815. The cottage has been restored as a 18th century farmhouse with open flax-straw thatched roof, open hearth fire, clay floor and open dresser - these are some of the cottage features to reflect living conditions of the period in Ulster.
Carrickfergus Castle is a large castle built by the Norman John de Courcy who overthrew the kings ruling the north of Ireland thus establishing his prominent rule in the region. It was constructed in 1180 to guard the approach to Belfast Lough. The history of the castle and its role in defence of this region of Ulster is provided through exhibits and audio-visual facilities within the castle.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Carrick-a-Rede bridge is a swinging rope bridge spanning an 800 feet wide chasm connecting the main land to the Carrick-a-Rede island which is used by fishermen. The bridge crossing is quite thrilling and not for the faint hearted! It is open between the months of April and September.
Location: near Ballintoy, Antrim Coast
Donegore Motte is a pre-Anglo-Norman fort situated on Donegore Hill. From excavations carried out at the site there is strong evidence to suggest that this was a burial mound built around 3000 BC - the "Motte" was believed to have been a Passage Grave. Around 1798, it was an important meeting place for the United Irishmen getting ready for the Battle of Antrim. The picturesque St. John's Church is located close by and has lately been restored. The hill top provides stunning views of the six Ulster counties of Northern Ireland.
Dunluce Castle was built by Richard de Burgh, the Earl of Ulster. In 1584 it fell to the famous battle hardy MacDonnell clan who ruled this north eastern corner of Ireland in the 16th century. In 1588 the MacDonnells used their helping of the treasures from the Spanish Armada ship the Girona, wrecked off the Giant's Causeway, to refurbish the castle. However, in 1639, during a violent storm, part of the castle fell into the sea after which it was abandoned by the MacDonnells. It has a breathtaking location perched on a cliff top along the spectacular county Antrim coast.
Giant's Causeway is a World Heritage site. Here the visitor can witness a spectacular sight of about 40,000 six sided basalt column, estimated to be about 55 million years old, which were formed by cooling lava. The site stretches for 2 miles along the county Antrim coast where there are scenic walks that take you past splendid amphitheaters and fine rock formations. The visitors' centre provides audio-visual shows and interactive exhibitions which explains in detail the formation of the causeway attributed to the giant Finn MacCool (mythology) and also the actual geology involved.
Glenariff Forest Park
Glenariff Forest Park, situated in the famous Glens of Antrim, provides spectacular scenery and walking paths which includes waterfalls and mountain gorges. This Ulster park is a national nature reserve.
Irish Linen Centre And Lisburn Museum
The Irish Linen Centre, part of the Lisburn Museum, is located inside Lisburn's former market house where brown linen was sold. It traces the history of the linen industry through exhibitions and audio-visual shows and there are also live demonstrations of the old linen weaving process using hand looms. Lisburn Museum provides historical details of the Lagan Valley and the potato famine.
Location: Lisburn City
Murlough Bay is a lovely bay situated in a secluded part of the county Antrim Coast. It is reached by a steep, winding road and offers superb views of Fair Head, Rathlin island and on a clear day Scotland as well.
Location: near Ballycastle
Old Bushmills Distillery
Old Bushmills Distillery is the oldest licensed distillery in the world where the renowned Bushmills whiskey has been distilled legally since 1608 when King James 1 granted its license. A guided tour of the distillery is provided where the secrets of whiskey production is revealed and the visitor also allowed to sample the distilled product.
Rathlin Island is situated six miles off the county Antrim coast. There are spectacular cliff top walkways, caves and much wild nature to view. It has one of Europe's most important bird sanctuary where there are kittiwakes, razorbills, puffins and guillemots. The island is inhabited by about 100 residents.
Location: off Ballycastle
Shane's Castle was the family seat of the O'Neills of Clandeboy. It overlooks Lough Neagh and is reputed to be one of the most beautiful estates in Ulster and Ireland. Majority of the castle was destroyed in the fire of 1816. However, the castle still possesses a prominent profile and its grounds are rich with wildlife which includes a nature reserve, herds of deer and rare breeds of cattle.
Location: Antrim City
St. Patrick was sixteen when he was captured by Irish pirates, brought to Ireland and sold as a slave to the Irish Chieftain Miliucc. He tended Miliucc's sheep on Slemish mountain and during his period of slavery here he underwent a profound spiritual change. He describes himself, in woodland or on mountainside, rising before dawn and going to pray in hail, rain or snow.
Location: near Ballymena
TACT Wildlife Centre
The Talnotry Avian Care Trust (TACT) is a voluntarily run animal welfare centre. Here Swans, Ducks, Geese, Gannets, Cormorants and Gulls wander safely around the grounds of a 200 year old walled garden. Other residents include Kestrels, Sparrowhawks, Peregrines, Owls, Foxes and Hedgehogs as well as Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Cockatiels and Pigeons. The centre is open to visitors by arrangement and visitors can get close to all different species of birds and mammals that are difficult to see in the wild and may even be lucky enough to see the birds of prey being flown.
Contact Tel: (028) 9442 2900
The Ballance House
The Balance House is the birthplace of the New Zealand Prime Minister John Ballance. He was born during 1839 in this, now restored, farmhouse and emigrated to New Zealand where he held the Prime Minister's office during 1891-1893; he is recognized to be the architect of the welfare state. There are exhibitions, audio-visual shows and a library providing different types of information such as the impact Irish immigrants had on New Zealand, pioneer life and Maori culture.
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