One of the most impressive locations in Northern Ireland is Cushendun Caves in County Antrim. These caves are believed to have formed millions of years ago, making them one of the historical spots of Northern Ireland. They have risen to fame recently because of their appearance in the famous hit series Game of Thrones. This spot is a must-visit for history AND GoT fans and lovers.
Let’s find out more about these astounding caves!
Cushendun Caves are located in the southern part of Cushendun Beach in County Antrim. If you’re driving from Belfast, head towards Ballymena and then Cushendall. Cushendun village is only 10 minutes from there. Drive to the bridge of the village then head to the other side where Cushendun Hotel is on. Walk around the corner to the other side of Fisherman’s Cottage.
You can park your car in the Car Park. It is located near Cushendun public toilets and close to the beach. It is a 10-minute walk to the caves from there.
Exploring Cushendun Caves is totally free of charge and without a guide, or prior authorization.
Game of Thrones
These caves are where Sir Davos Seaworth and Lady Melisandre landed ashore in season 2. They are also where Lady Melisandre gave birth to the creepy baby creature (we all remember the horror!). These caves made their third appearance in season 8 during the famed between Jamie Lannister and Euron Greyjoy. There is an information board at the cave entrance which explains more about these iconic scenes and the filming that took place there.
About Cushendun Caves
It is thought that Cushendun Caves have formed over 400 million years ago! The numerous rocky cavities have been all naturally shaped by water and time. It is not a very spacious area around the caves, it can be mostly explored in 10-15 minutes. However, Game of Thrones made this spot gain popularity, so don’t be surprised if you go there and find a lot of people on a sunny day exploring the caves and the beach. So try to visit on a calm day.
What to do near the Cushendun Caves
One thing which is convenient about Cushendun Caves is that it is just minutes away from one of the best things to do in County Antrim. Let’s explore some of these here.
Cushendun Beach is a popular spot for those who visit Cushendun Caves or Cushendun Village to wind off for a bit and maybe grab a bite to eat. It is one of the most popular beaches to visit and it is just a one-hour drive from Belfast.
At the southern end of Cushendun Beach, the Glendun River connects to the sea. This beach is just the perfect place to relax and wind off. But just take into consideration that if the weather is nice, the beach is going to be crowded for sure.
There are two superb options if you want to grab a bite to eat before heading down to the beach. The first one is the lovely Mary McBride’s pub. Enjoy a pint of Guinness in this superb pub, along with some of the traditional Irish dishes, like seafood chowder. There are also varieties of chicken, duck, and steak dishes to indulge in. And don’t forget your dessert! And if you are a fan of Game of Thrones, you definitely have to check out this pub. You will find a Game of Thrones door that tells the story of season 6!
The other option is The Corner House which is right across the street from Mary McBride’s pub. Their coffee is just amazing and they are well-known for their delicious cakes and tasty breakfast. It is definitely a great spot for some brunch. But if you wish to have a heavy meal, they also have great options for that!
Once you’ve energized yourself and your stomach is full, let’s get to the beach-each! Head down to the sand and take a relaxed stroll along the water. On a clear day, you can even see clear and amazing views of Scotland’s coast.
If you’re looking for a nearby place to explore, then the little town of Cushendall is the right stop.
Cushendall is part of the mesmerizing Causeway Coastal Route. A serene drive along the northern coast of the county and through the nine Glens of Antrim may be just what you need to relax and wind off. There is also an endless number of things to do and visit in Cushendall.
The first thing on our list is Cushendall Beach. It is a small and cosy beach that is perfect for morning strolls and picnics.
Another thing to look forward to is the annual Heart of the Glens festival! It is a yearly festival that the town has held since 1990. The events and activities are definitely something to stay in Cushendall for.
In the south of Cushendall, you will find Gelnariff Forest Park. This is the perfect place to let yourself get lost amongst the greeny leaves. It’s just a 10-minute drive from Cushendall and a 20-minute drive from Cushendun.
Now for the best part about Cushendall, the Glens of Antrim! Cushendall is located right between the Nine Glens of Antrim. It is often considered the heart of the Glens! The outstanding natural beauty of the area will astonish you and definitely make you want to come back one more time.
Our next stop is Red Bay Castle. Along the Coast Road in the lovely Cushendall, there lie the ruins of Red Bay Castle. The first Red Bay Castle is believed to have been built in the 13th century. However, the present remains seem to be from a castle built in the 16th century by Sir James McDonnell.
A drive from Cushendun Caves to Torr Head may be just what you need. Torr Head is a rugged headland located between Ballycastle and Cushendun. Torr Head offers such scenic and breathtaking views that they might distract the driver, so be careful and forego these incredible views and focus on the narrow road!