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106km (66 miles) from Larne to Portstewart on the coastal A2; Larne: 40km (25 miles) from Belfast

The most extraordinary stretch of countryside in Northern Ireland, the evocatively named Glens of Antrim are really nine green valleys stretching north and west from Belfast, and curving around toward Donegal. The names of the glens are all based on local legends, and although the meanings are largely lost to the ages, the popular translations are: Glenarm (glen of the army), Glencloy (glen of the hedges), Glenariff (ploughman's glen), Glenballyeamon (Edwardstown glen), Glenaan (glen of the rush lights), Glencorp (glen of the slaughter), Glendun (brown glen), Glenshesk (sedgy glen), and Glentaisie (Taisie's glen).

Many modern residents of this region are descendants of the ancient Irish and the Hebridean Scots, so this is one of the strongholds in Northern Ireland of the Gaelic tongue. To this day, the glen people are known to be great storytellers.

The area's attractions are formidable, and include the awe-inspiring Giant's Causeway, the picturesque Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, and Old Bushmills Distillery. For bird-watchers, the coastal moors and cliffs and the offshore nature reserve on Rathlin Island are prime destinations. Each August, the seaside town of Ballycastle plays host to one of Ireland's oldest traditional gatherings, the Oul' Lammas Fair.