Cushendun - an unspoilt village in the Glens of Antrim

A view of boats docked in Cushendun harbour

One of the jewels of the Glens of Antrim, the conservation village of Cushendun has been protected by the National Trust since 1954.

Cushendun (from Irish "Cois Abhann Duinne", meaning "beside the River Dun") is a small coastal village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

It sits off the A2 coast road between Cushendall and Ballycastle. It has a sheltered harbour and lies at the mouth of the River Dun and Glendun, one of the nine Glens of Antrim. The Mull of Kintyre in Scotland is only about 15 miles away across the North Channel and can be seen easily on clear days.

The village was designed by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912 at the request of Ronald John McNeill, Baron Cushendun.

The picturesque Cornish appearance was deliberate, in an effort to please Maud, the Baron’s Penzance-born wife.

After Maud’s death in 1925, Ellis designed a row of quaint, whitewashed cottages in her memory, called Maud’s Cottages.

Baron Cushendun also commissioned neo-Georgian Glenmona House in eighteenth century architectural style.

Baron Cushendun is buried in the Church of Ireland graveyard near his nationalist cousin Ada (or Ide) McNeill, who died in 1959.

Since 1954 most of the village and the parkland around Glenmona to the north has been cared for by the National Trust.

Cushendun's picturesque coastal setting in the heart of the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, together with its unique architectural inheritance, resulted in designation as a Conservation area in 1980.

Centuries before this genteel village was built, Cushendun was a safe landing place and harbour for the frequent travellers between Ireland and Scotland. Rival Irish clans often landed on the beach near Carra Castle. Built in the fourteenth century over a Mesolithic flint site, the ruins of the castle remain today.

Close to the ruins lie several Bronze Age standing stones.