Belfast & Northern Ireland

Whiskey on the rocks

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If you're coming to NI for a weekend or longer, you simply can't leave without visiting the spectacular North Coast, a mere 100km north of Belfast.

The standout must-sees are the Giant's Causeway and Old Bushmills Whiskey Distillery.

Get there by car: From Belfast take the M2 to Carrickfergus, passing the superbly preserved Norman Castle, then on to Larne for the start of the spectacular 122km Antrim Coast Road. En route, stop at the picturesque villages of Cushendall and Ballintoy and enjoy views all the way to Scotland.

Get there by bus: Contact Translink for timetable details, prices and special daytrip promotions (tel. 9066 6630, www.translink.co.uk) or the incredibly scenic Antrim Coaster bus that winds its way through the county's stunning landscape and quaint towns and villages.

Get there by train: Trains from Belfast-Portrush are fairly frequent and connect with buses to the Giant's Causeway, taking longer than a direct bus. The best scenery, however, is the route from Portrush-Derry (tel. 9066 6630, www.translink.co.uk).

Giant's Causeway & Bushmills Railway: A very cute narrow-gauge steam railway the operates daily Aug and weekends Sept-Oct between the Giant's Causeway and Bushmills. For more details tel. 2073 2844, www.freewebs.com/giantscausewayrailway.

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