Glenoe Waterfall: A Natural Wonder of Northern Ireland

Glenoe Waterfall

Updated On: April 18, 2024 by   Maha YassinMaha Yassin

Imagine a hidden haven in the emerald embrace of the Glens of Antrim, where a cascading waterfall whispers secrets to the ancient trees. This isn’t a scene from a fairytale but the captivating reality of Glenoe Waterfall, a gem waiting to be found by adventurous souls like you.

Just a walk from the charming village of Glenoe, this 30-foot wonder plunges into a crystal-clear pool, its mist painting rainbows in the air. Nestled under the watchful gaze of the National Trust, Glenoe is more than just a waterfall; it’s an escape, a playground, a canvas for nature’s artistry.

So, pack your sense of wonder, take your walking shoes out of the closet, and prepare to be captivated by the magic of Glenoe Waterfall.

Glenoe Waterfall: The Story of the Cascading Waters

Glenoe Waterfall isn’t just a stunning natural wonder in the heart of Northern Ireland’s Glens of Antrim; it’s where nature intertwines with a rich and evocative history. From ancient settlements to turbulent times, the whispers of the past echo through the rushing water and mossy glens, adding another layer of fascination to this enchanting spot.

So, before we get to what you can see and do while visiting the waterfalls, let’s dive into its rich history.

Early Echoes in the Glens

Archaeological evidence suggests human activity in the Glenoe area dating back to Neolithic times. Imagine, as you stand beside the waterfall, picturing early settlers dwelling in stone huts beside the gurgling river, their lives dictated by the rhythm of nature. Later, Celtic tribes carved out their mark on the landscape, leaving burial mounds and earthworks that speak of their beliefs and customs.

Medieval Melodies and Turbulent Tales

Glenoe Waterfall
Glens of Antrim

Fast forward to the medieval era, and the Glens of Antrim echoed with the chiming of church bells from Glenoe Old Church, still standing proudly near the waterfall. This charming 13th-century structure, with its weathered stones and ornate windows, bears witness to centuries of baptisms, weddings, and prayers whispered amidst the rustling leaves. But the region wasn’t always peaceful. The turbulence of the 17th century saw Glenoe caught amid religious conflicts, leaving stories of battles and resilience behind.

Whispers of Rebellion and the Birth of National Trust Guardianship

The towering ruins of Kilwaughter Castle, just a short distance from the waterfall, are a stark reminder of these turbulent times. Built in the 16th century by the notorious Grey family, the castle witnessed acts of rebellion and intrigue. Imagine the clash of swords and the shouts of defiance echoing through the ancient walls.

Thankfully, times of peace eventually returned to Glenoe. In the early 20th century, the National Trust recognised the area’s natural beauty and historical significance, acquiring Glenoe Waterfall and the surrounding Glen. This act of preservation ensured that future generations could experience the magic of this place, protecting its ancient whispers and ensuring the cascading waters continue to serenade visitors for years to come.

Visiting Glenoe Waterfall Today

Today, Glenoe Waterfall welcomes visitors to explore its enchanting blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue. Imagine strolling along the gentle paths, breathing in the fresh air, and feeling the waterfall’s spray on your face. Stand on the viewing bridge and be mesmerised by the cascading water, or delve deeper into the glen, discovering hidden nooks and mossy rocks that seem untouched by time.

Beyond the waterfall, the Glens of Antrim offer a tapestry of historical treasures waiting to be unearthed. Visit Glenoe Old Church and feel the weight of centuries within its ancient walls, or explore the ruins of Kilwaughter Castle and imagine the stories they hold.

Glenoe Waterfall: A Gem in the Glens of Antrim

Nestled amidst the verdant embrace of the Glens of Antrim, Northern Ireland, lies a spellbinding gem: Glenoe Waterfall. This 30-foot wonder isn’t just a cascading spectacle; it’s a tapestry of natural beauty, offering a haven for adventurers, nature lovers, and photographers alike. Glenoe beckons you to lose yourself in its enchanting atmosphere and explore its endless charms.

Immerse Yourself in the Waterfall’s Majesty

Your journey begins with a gentle stroll from the car park, a short path winding through a verdant forest alongside the Glenoe River. Breathe in the crisp air, listen to the symphony of birdsong, and let the anticipation build as you approach Glenoe Waterfall. Sunlight peeks through the canopy, dappling the path with a magical play of light and shadow.

As you emerge from the trees, a spectacular sight awaits. A sturdy viewing bridge stands sentinel, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the cascading Glenoe Waterfall. Feel the mist kiss your face and hear the thunderous roar as the water plunges into a tranquil pool below. Capture the scene in photographs, frame the cascading beauty with vibrant greenery, or simply stand in awe of nature’s raw power.

For the adventurous souls, a network of steps and paths snakes down the moss-covered glen walls, inviting you to delve deeper into the Glenoe Waterfall’s majesty. Feel the spray on your skin, listen to the water’s roar up close, and discover hidden nooks perfect for quiet contemplation. Imagine tiny moss-covered rocks as stepping stones, leading you closer to the cascading torrent.

Glenoe Waterfall
Glenoe Waterfall

Picnics and Photography Delights

Spread a blanket on the lush grass near the waterfall and savour a delightful picnic surrounded by natural beauty. Towering trees provide dappled shade, and sturdy benches offer a comfortable respite. Imagine the smell of fresh bread and sweet berries mingling with the scent of pine needles and fresh air.

Glenoe Waterfall’s diverse landscapes and captivating waterfall are magnets for photographers. Capture the cascading water in all its glory, frame the scene with vibrant ferns and moss-covered rocks, or experiment with different angles and perspectives. Imagine capturing the rainbow arcing across the mist, a fleeting moment of ethereal beauty.

Beyond the Glenoe Waterfall’s Embrace

Away from the cascading water, there are plenty of places for you to visit. Some of our favourites are the parks where you can have a nice relaxing picnic with your family or friends while enjoying the scenery. The parks also offer great adventures and activities for more active visitors.

Glenariff Forest Park

The nearby Glenariff Forest Park beckons those seeking extended adventures with its enchanting woodlands, walking trails, and waterfalls. Imagine hidden glens shrouded in mist, ancient trees whispering secrets in the wind, and cascading waterfalls carving through the verdant landscape.

Carnfunnock Country Park

Pack your swimsuit and head to Carnfunnock Country Park for a splash in the lake, a thrilling zip line ride through the trees, or a leisurely game of mini golf. This family-friendly park entertains all ages. Imagine the exhilaration of soaring through the air on the zip line, the refreshing coolness of the lake against your skin, and the laughter echoing through the park.

10 Enchanting Attractions Near Glenoe Waterfall

Glenoe Waterfall may captivate your heart with its cascading majesty, but its magic extends far beyond the pool at its base. The Glens of Antrim, where this hidden gem resides, offer a tapestry of diverse attractions, ready to weave an unforgettable adventure for every kind of traveller.

Here are some of the best attractions near Glenoe Waterfall that you simply must visit:

Glenoe Old Church

Nestled near the waterfall, this charming 13th-century church is a testament to the region’s rich past. Imagine stepping inside its weathered walls, feeling the weight of centuries within its ancient stones, and picturing the lives of those who worshipped here for generations. The intricate details of the windows and the weathered headstones in the churchyard whisper stories of times gone by.

Kilwaughter Castle

Perched on a cliff overlooking the dramatic coastline, the ruins of Kilwaughter Castle speak of an era of turbulence and intrigue. Built in the 16th century by the notorious Grey family, the castle witnessed battles and acts of rebellion. Imagine exploring the crumbling towers and imagining the clash of swords and the shouts of defiance that once echoed through these walls.

Whitehead Railway Museum

Take a step back at the Whitehead Railway Museum, where vintage locomotives and carriages tell the story of Northern Ireland’s railway heritage. Imagine exploring the exhibits, peering into the engines, and learning about the journeys they once undertook. You might even have the chance to hop aboard a heritage train for a nostalgic ride through the countryside.

Brown’s Bay

If the sound of the waves calls to your soul, head to Brown’s Bay, a picturesque beach just a short distance from Glenoe. Imagine sinking your toes into the golden sand, feeling the refreshing sea breeze on your face, and soaking in the panoramic views of the coastline. This charming beach is perfect for a stroll, building sandcastles with your family, or enjoying a picnic in the sunshine.

Cushendun Caves

Explore the depths of the earth at Cushendun Caves, a network of natural caverns carved by the sea over millennia. Marvel at the vibrant rock formations, listen to the drip-drip-drip of water and imagine these caves’ secrets.

Fair Head

Hike to the dramatic cliffs of Fair Head, where rugged beauty meets panoramic views. Imagine the wind moving through your hair as you gaze across the ocean, spotting puffins nesting on the rocky slopes. This challenging trek rewards breathtaking vistas and a sense of accomplishment.

Dunluce Castle

Perch on the rugged cliffs and stand in awe of Dunluce Castle, a historic marvel clinging to the sea’s edge. Imagine the whispers of pirates and smugglers echoing through the crumbling towers, and picture the dramatic backdrop of the crashing waves against the ancient stone.

Carrickfergus Castle

Journey back in time to Carrickfergus Castle, one of the best-preserved Norman castles in Ireland. Imagine knights in shining armour and damsels in distress as you explore the dungeons, towers, and grand halls. This historic site offers guided tours, reenactments, and interactive exhibits for a truly immersive experience.

The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Step into a living history book at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Imagine strolling through recreated streets of a bygone era, seeing traditional crafts at work, and marvelling at vintage vehicles from yesteryear. This museum offers a vibrant glimpse into Northern Ireland’s rich past and cultural heritage.


If you crave watery adventures, Waterworld in Ballymena is the perfect destination. Imagine conquering thrilling waterslides, relaxing in wave pools, and enjoying all sorts of aquatic fun. This water park offers something for everyone, from toddlers to teens and adults, promising a day of laughter and splashes.

This list merely scratches the surface of the countless attractions waiting to be discovered near Glenoe Waterfall. Whether you seek historical tales, adventurous thrills, or peaceful communion with nature, the Glens of Antrim have something for every kind of explorer. Let Glenoe be your starting point, and embark on a journey to create memories that will last a lifetime!


Is Glenoe Waterfall easy to reach?

Absolutely! It’s a short and easy walk from the car park, around 15 minutes, even suitable for families with young children. Paths are well-maintained, though some stairs require a bit of legwork.

Can I reach Glenoe Waterfall by public transport?

While buses run through Glenoe village, the walk to the waterfall isn’t covered. Consider private transport or a taxi from Larne for smoother accessibility.

Are there any facilities near the waterfall?

Toilets are available near the car park, but no shops or cafes are beside the falls. Pack enough water and snacks for your visit.

When is the best time to see Glenoe Waterfall?

While it’s breathtaking year-round, the waterfall appears especially majestic after rainfall when the water volume increases. Autumn foliage adds a vibrant touch, while spring brings wildflowers to life.

Is Glenoe Waterfall free to visit?

Glenoe Waterfall is owned and managed by the National Trust and is free for everyone to enjoy. Consider making a donation or becoming a member to support their conservation efforts.

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