Belfast – Antrim – Coleraine – Portrush or DerryBelfast – Antrim – Coleraine – Portrush or Derry
A captivating journey of city life, coastal charm and culture aplenty throughout. This is a trip that in not long over 2 hours gives a fabulous glimpse into the contrasts and variety of Northern Ireland – it’s one not to be missed!
14 places to visitView journey Attractions
2 hours 12 minutes
Great Victoria Street Train StationHow to get here
Coleraine has a connection to the ancient Irish legend of Naoise and Deirdre. According to local lore, the tragic tale unfolded in the nearby countryside of Ballycastle, which is said to be the setting where this epic love story took place, adding a touch of romance to the town's history.
As the train departs from Belfast, the journey to Antrim commences amidst a charming blend of urban and rural landscapes. The cityscape gradually gives way to lush green meadows and gently rolling hills, painting a picture of tranquil countryside. Quaint villages and historic landmarks appear along the way, evoking a sense of nostalgia and a connection to the region’s past.
As the train continues its voyage beyond Coleraine, the scenery becomes even more enchanting. The train briefly touches the River Bann then hugs the coastline, providing breathtaking views of the shimmering waters of the Irish Sea, whilst penetrating the lovely villages of Castlerock and Downhill. Cliffs rise majestically from the shores, their rugged formations adding drama and character to the coastal panorama. Seagulls soar gracefully overhead, catching the sea breeze with every elegant swoop.
Approaching Derry (also known as Londonderry) the train traverses the River Roe briefly then straddles the Foyle River and with views beyond of the city’s iconic Peace Bridge, gracefully spanning the waterway and connecting both sides of the city. The train finally pulls into Derry’s station, a short connecting shuttle bus or pleasant walk over the Foyle to the vibrant and bustling streets of this historic city.
Throughout the entire journey, customers are treated to a captivating symphony of nature’s beauty and human history. From the pastoral landscapes of Antrim to the coastal allure of Castlerock and the historic charm of Derry, the train ride offers an unforgettable experience, immersing customers in the captivating sights and sounds of Northern Ireland.
For those who maybe fancy taking in Portrush, then the line splits at Coleraine and there are direct trains to/from Belfast. The journey between Portrush and Coleraine is a fleeting, yet unforgettable vantage point of the beauty of Northern Ireland’s coastal treasures.
As the train snakes along this section of the route, green fields give way to a captivating coastal panorama unfolding outside the window as the line loops round on the approach to Portrush. The emerald-green fields meet the shimmering expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, creating a breathtaking contrast. The rhythmic crashing of waves against rugged cliffs adds a symphony of nature’s sound. Seagulls dance in the sea breeze, and the distant cries of seabirds fill the air. Small fishing boats dot the water, adding a touch of authenticity to the picturesque scene.
A Fab Day Out!
There’s so much to see and do on this fabulous route. Starting in Belfast, explore the vibrant city’s attractions, including the Titanic Belfast museum, historic City Hall, and the lively St. George’s Market.
It’s worthwhile stopping off at Antrim and visit Antrim Castle Gardens and enjoy a leisurely walk along the shores of Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake in the UK.
Further along this great route is Ballymena, which is known as the “City of Seven Towers,” and presents a blend of historical sites and contemporary shopping experiences. Explore the iconic Ballymena Town Hall and enjoy the bustling town centre.
Continuing the journey, you’ll pass through Cullybackey, a charming village where customers can enjoy the quaint charm of the Ballymena Road, lined with picturesque cottages and greenery. Explore the splendid Arthur Cottage, once home to the renowned hymn writer, and discover its history. Embrace the beauty of nature with leisurely walks along the nearby River Maine, or enjoy a relaxing picnic in the scenic surroundings. Experience the warmth of local hospitality at charming pubs and eateries, making Cullybackey a delightful destination for a peaceful and memorable getaway.
Then, onto Coleraine, a bustling market town, which offers a mix of history and natural beauty. Explore the Coleraine Museum, take a stroll along the scenic Riverside Park, or visit the nearby Mussenden Temple perched atop a cliff.
Towards the end of the journey, consider alighting at Castlerock, which is a truly charming coastal village. Enjoy the beautiful Castlerock Beach and explore the iconic Mussenden Temple perched dramatically on the cliff edge.
Finally, the train comes to a stand in the vibrant city of Derry, also known as Londonderry. It’s a city rich in history and culture, offering a variety of things to do and places to see. Walk along the ancient city walls, dating back to the 17th century, and soak in breathtaking views of the city. Explore the captivating Guildhall with its impressive architecture and exhibitions. Immerse yourself in the city’s troubled past with a visit to the Museum of Free Derry, shedding light on the civil rights movement. Take a leisurely stroll across the Peace Bridge, symbolizing unity. Enjoy traditional music in cozy pubs, and savour the friendly atmosphere and vibrant arts scene that make this a truly unforgettable destination.
For those choosing to go to Portrush, it’s certainly well worth a visit and is a popular seaside resort town known for its stunning beaches, vibrant promenade, and the famous Dunluce Castle. Don’t miss the chance to visit the scenic White Rocks beach and explore the adventurous activities available, such as surfing and paddleboarding.