The Causeway Hotel is located in a breathtaking location next to the Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site on the north Antrim coast of Northern Ireland. This historic hotel dating from 1836 was the first accommodation provided for travellers to stay close to the famous stones. Remaining in private ownership until 2001 it is now owned by the National Trust.
Arrival and check-in:
The hotel is full of old world charm which was apparent as we stepped inside its warm and cosy elegant entrance hall. The reception desk lies to one side comprising a large desk surrounded by two comfortable Irish tweed armchairs. We received a warm welcome from the receptionist and as the hotel lacks a lift the staff insisted on carrying our luggage up to our room although we could have easily managed ourselves.
All 28 rooms are located on the first floor ether in the original building or the more recently added wing connected by means of a corridor. Our spacious room came equipped with both a double and single bed, two armchairs, a coffee table, dressing table/ work area and ample hanging space. It was good to note that the hospitality tray was well stocked with a selection of flavoured teas, coffee and biscuits for us to help ourselves to.
Moving into the en-suite bathroom there was a full size bath with shower over, scented toiletries and a pile of large, thick towels.
Dinner is served in the hotel’s elegant dining room resplendent with large bay windows and chandeliers. After ordering drinks we studied the menu and were spoilt for choice about what to have.
After much deliberation we settled on starters of goat’s cheese and beetroot tartlet and a warm brie salad. For main’s neither of us could resist the traditional British favourite of fish and chips which were a tasty treat after a day of hiking.
Room rates are inclusive of breakfast and after helping ourselves to fruit, yoghurt and pastries from the beautifully laid out circular breakfast table a cheerful waitress brought freshly cooked breakfasts to our table. I liked the fact that toasters were positioned on dressers so we could prepare our own toast as and when we were ready. Often toast arrives too early and is then cold and unappetising by the time we are ready to eat it.
The hotel boasts a large bar/lounge with plenty of cosy alcoves that serves light bites and hearty meals throughout the day and is also open to non-residents as a popular alternative to dining in the nearby visitor centre. As well as being a lovely hotel the fact that it is located next to the Giant’s Causeway is a huge bonus in its favour. Guests can leave their cars there without charge for the entire day after checking out as well as gaining free access to the adjacent visitor centre.
The real benefit for guests is that you are able to walk down the path to view the causeway early in the morning before coach loads of tourists arrive and to be able to enjoy this extraordinary natural phenomenon in peace and quiet.
Due to the age of the building there is only a stair lift up to the bedrooms with limited access for wheelchair users but as evidenced on our arrival, luggage is taken up to the rooms for all guests by the courteous staff.
Out and About:
Giant’s Causeway: The causeway lies at the foot of the basalt cliffs and is made up of some 40,000 huge black hexagonal columns sticking out of the sea. The dramatic sight has inspired legends of giants striding over the sea to Scotland but geological studies show that this striking landscape was caused by volcanic activity some 50-60 million years ago.
As well as being the perfect base to explore the Giant’s Causeway, there are many other places of interest and activities that can be enjoyed nearby. Here are my suggestions:
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge – this famous bridge near Ballintoy links the mainland to a small island. The bridge spans 20 metres and stands 30 metres above the rocks. It was originally built for salmon fishermen in 1755 and is now owned by the National Trust. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Magheracross Viewpoint – a scenic viewing platform extending out to the edge of the cliffs providing views of Whiterock Beach and the beautiful ruins of the medieval Dunluce Castle perched on the edge of a basalt outcrop. Free parking and picnic area.
Ballintoy Harbour – this charming small fishing harbour is located down a narrow steep road overlooked by a quaint white church high on the hill top. The harbour has been used as a filming location for Game of Thrones and attracts fans of the popular TV series to the region. The small village itself is just 1 km from the harbour, boasting an array of small shops and a village pub.
Ballycastle – an attractive small seaside town with a pretty harbour. Walk along the beach which stretches almost a mile for fine views of Rathlin Island lying just offshore. The attractive seafront features curved landscaped gardens stretching from the marina in the east, towards the pier in the west.
Kintra Boat Tours – enjoy an 80 minute boat trip from Ballycastle harbour sailing along the coast with views to Rathlin Island, viewing the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the sheer cliffs from the perspective of the water. You might even be lucky to spot dolphins playing around the boat as we did which was an unexpected treat on our trip. Kintra Boat Tours
Old Bushmills Distillery – located just a few minutes drive from the hotel. This is the oldest distillery in Ireland producing its world famous Irish whiskey. Tours were suspended at the time of our visit so it’s best to check the website for re-opening updates. Old Bushmills Distillery
Staying at the Causeway Hotel was the perfect way for us to experience the natural landscape. Not only that, it’s a well run historic hotel with committed staff ensuring that guests enjoy a relaxing stay. Dining in the elegant restaurant felt like a special occasion and with a reasonably priced menu coupled with fine cuisine the hotel hit the right note.
Details: The Causeway Hotel 40 Causeway Road, Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills, BT57 8S
During our stay at The Causeway Hotel we were guests of Causeway Coast and Glens and The Causeway Hotel and as always all views and opinions are entirely my own.
If you have enjoyed reading this post you may also like: