Antrim Coast and Glens crowned ‘outstanding’

Glenarm Marina. Picture: Paul Faith.

THE Antrim Coast and Glens have been crowned Northern Ireland’s best Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in a new survey of ‘Which?’ readers.

Using the opinions and experiences of 8,400 Which? members, the area which runs from Larne to Ballycastle, secured an impressive overall score of 85 per cent, achieving full marks for its breathtaking scenery with rugged coastlines, fast-flowing rivers, dramatic headlands and open fields.

Readers were advised to make sure they stop in Ballygalley, Glenarm and Torr Head and to take in the natural beauty of the nine glacier-hewn valleys that make up the famous Glens.

Antrim Coast and Glens is the highest-ranked local entry in this year’s UK top 10 and finished third overall coming in just behind the Isles of Scilly and the Northumberland Coast.

Designated as an ANOB in 1988 under the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (NI) Order, Antrim Coast and Glens is home to Slemish Mountain, Braid Valley, and a spectacular coastal drive that stretches from Larne to Garron Point and on to Ballycastle taking in a number of delightful villages along the way.

Welcoming the accolade, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, said: “From rivers and mountains to sandy beaches and tranquil forests, Mid and East Antrim is bursting with natural beauty for all to enjoy and I am delighted to see it being so highly regarded in Which? magazine.

“There is no better way to escape and unwind than in the great outdoors, and we are fortunate to be surrounded by it here in Mid and East Antrim and I encourage everyone to come along and #RediscoverMEA and the many wonderful sights and experiences it has to offer.

“Of course it is the people who help make places special and my thanks are extended to everyone who helps make the Antrim Coast and Glens stand out. It is the collective pride and enthusiasm for the area that make the difference and creates a unique experience for visitors.”

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Mark Fielding, said: “We are justifiably proud of our Borough’s stunning coastline and countryside, and the areas deserves this endorsement for all they have to offer.

“For those of us who live here, we are fortunate to be surrounded by such incredible landscapes which clearly make such a positive impression on our visitors.

“We are fortunate that the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area is home to four Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty which helps to make us a stand-out destination.”

The full Which? article can be read here https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/10/the-best-rated-aonbs-beauty-spots-near-me/

 

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