“The Glens of Antrim is our home. It is a unique place, a pace apart and every Glen is filled with mystery, mystique, mythology and so much more. It could be said that the very stone on which we stand is ingrained with history.”
We owe a great deal to our passionate tour guides who tell the story of Northern Ireland to our visitors so you know you are in good hands when your tour guide is passionate and has a wealth of information to share.
Kevin McGowan is the owner of Nine Glens Walking Tours Ireland – a business which thrives on telling people the story of the famous Glens of Antrim and unlocks our unique heritage.
Kevin’s fully guided walking tours take our visitors through some of Ireland’s most scenic trails, walking people through our history and routes which are lined with uninterrupted breathtaking views.
Every stone and every trickle of river is steeped in history, mythology, song and poetry. If you want to soak up local history and culture, listen to mythical tales about the North Antrim Coast and the Glens of Antrim, Nine Glens Walking Tours will take you on a tour like no other and you will leave with a great story to share.
There are a number of tours you can choose from with Nine Glens Walking Tours – Fair Head, Ballycastle, Bonamargy Friary, the Ballycastle Maritime Connection, Story of Murlough and The Rathlin Experience.
The Fair Head Tour will take you on a walk through nearly 2000 years of recorded history. Situated on the promontory of Fairhead is some of the best-preserved crannogs and forts in Ireland and you will hear about how an ancient sea faring Kingdom traded and lived in this area for centuries.
The tour of Ballycastle itself takes our visitors through this beautiful seaside town which was founded in the 1700s by Colonel Hugh Boyd. What many don’t know is that at one point Ballycastle was at the forefront of the industrial revolution, and indeed was expected to be bigger than Belfast at one point. The tour guides will discuss this along with local personalities and events that have happened throughout the centuries which have shaped the town to its current position.
Another very popular tour is a tour of Bonamargy Friary – one of the oldest building on the North Coast. It’s a Franciscan monastery founded in the late 1400s, it has witnessed wars, famine, massacres and rebellion. Your tour guides will discuss the impact that a Scottish clan had at coming to the forefront of Irish political life for centuries. This is the burial ground for some of the First earls of Antrim. Within these grounds is commonwealth war graves, pauper’s graves and the grave of the Black nun – a story that still intrigues local children and parents alike today.
Equally fascinating is the Ballycastle Maritime Connection Tour. Ballycastle is the seaside town and is the only port to Rathlin Island, the only inhabited island of Northern Ireland, which has long had a rich maritime history and connection. Visitors will learn about the ancient harbour of port Brittas, the rich tapestry of names which have left their impression on this fascinating harbour area. Nine Glens Walking Tour guides will also discuss the tales of Irish mythology surrounding Deirdre and the Sorrows, or the well-known children of Lir, who were banished to the sea of Moyle for three hundred years.
The Story of Murlough is a tour which explores a rich heritage which stretches back thousands of years. This is considered by many as one of the most picturesque bays in Ireland. On a clear day you can see Rathlin, the Mull of Kintyre and the western isles of Scotland. Discover a landscape once described as a ‘momentary glimpse of Eden’, one deep in the heart of the local community, and lately a filming location for the Game of Thrones.
And of course there’s the Rathlin Experience – an island which is home to one of the largest bird sanctuaries in Northern Ireland. There are so many tales of myths and legends. This day long tour offers all visitors with a fantastic insight into those myths and legends.
Kevin describes the Glens of Antrim as a ‘unique and mythical’ place and says people from the glens can be rightly described as a ‘micro culture’ within Ireland. It’s a place where people have their own ways, own beliefs and have plenty of their own stories to share which leave a lasting impression with visitors.
Nine Glens Walking Tours is a Live It Experience It member.
Live It Experience It’ is a group of tourism businesses working together to promote our region through water, air and land based activities, food and drink and great places to stay. If you would like to become a member business in our ‘Live It Experience It’ cluster please submit your information through our online form – Sign Up Here. Pitch your business and meet like minded tourism businesses who you could cluster with. #liveitexperienceit
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