Runkerry trail, near Giant's Causeway
44a Causeway Road, Bushmills, BT57 8SURoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Wouldn’t it be fantastic to enjoy the often-crowded Giant's Causeway in tranquillity even during main visitor hours? We can offer such a thing. Take a walk around Runkerry, located just next to the Causeway with views of the stones and on most days to Scotland and the Inishowen Peninsula in Ireland too. A cliff walk takes you along our land which has significant numbers of breeding skylark, stonechat, linnet and occasional chough. Parts of this walk also follow the route of the Bushmills Heritage Railway.
- Bus stop
Start: Causeway Hotel, grid ref: C944438
Start at the Causeway Hotel, where there's a path on the left side of the building leading towards the cliff path. Turn left and just follow the path around Runkerry Head. On your right side you will have fantastic views of the Causeway stones and the chimney tops. On a clear day you can also see right across to Scotland.
You probably know that the Irish giant Finn MacCool built the Causeway to fight his rival, Benandonner, in Scotland which is just 26 miles (41.8km) off the Irish coast. The island of Islay can be seen on most days and sometimes the air is so clear that even the Paps of Jura are visible.
Leaving the first headland behind you come to a little bay called Portcoon. Stay on the path and continue on the cliff path around the second headland.
Once the path goes downhill you can see the first signs of Runkerry House and Portballintrae. Look out for dolphins or porpoises; they do like swimming at Bushfoot Strand.
Once there were working salmon fisheries everywhere along the North Coast but that time is long gone. All that's left are deserted buildings and rusting fishing gear.
You will have reached a small wooden bridge now. Follow the path up the hill until you come to a railway.
Carefully cross the railway and turn left on to the tarmac path with the railway on your left side. This track will lead you to the small station of the Bushmills Heritage Railway.
From here you can see the Causeway Hotel again. Walk up the hill but be aware that you're on a road. Once past the pub and the new visitor centre, you're back where you started your walk.
Weir's Snout offers a great view over Runkerry and the walk you've just done.
End: Causeway Hotel, grid ref: C944438
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 2 miles (3.2km)
- Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- OS Map: OSNI Discover 4 (Coleraine); 5 (Ballycastle)
Gravel path, steep in places, wooden steps and tarmac road.
- How to get here:
By foot: The start of the walk is at the car park at the Causeway Hotel
By bike: The National Cycle Network 93 passes by the Causeway Hotel
By car: On the B146, 2 miles (3.2km) from Bushmills
By bus: Ulsterbus 252 and 256 from Belfast. Ulsterbus Causeway Rambler 402 from June to September
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