To the north of Carnlough the shore-hugging Causeway Coastal Route veers to the west, where it reaches Red Bay. Glenariff, one of the nine “Glens of Antrim” and known as the “Queen of the Glens”, drops down to the sea here, and there is a small village by the same name. Glenariff Forest Park speads over 1,000 acres, with woodlands, lakes, waterfalls and recreational areas. Just beyond the neighbouring village of Waterfoot lie the ruins of Red Bay Castle, built in the 13th century by the Bissett family, self-styled Lords of the Glens of Antrim. The family’s descendents, the MacDonells of Antrim, rebuilt the castle in the 16th century, only for it to be burned to the ground in 1565 by Shane O’Neill of Tyrone. The MacDonnells rebuilt it again, but it fell into disrepair and after a further restoration was subsequently destroyed by Oliver Cromwell during his conquest of Ireland, hence the scant ruins on view today. So not much to see here now, but worth swinging by anyway for the wonderful views across to the Mull of Kintyre.
|Waterfoot, taken in 1990. Via Wikimedia Commons.|