County Antrim is located on the northeast coast of Ireland, separated from Scotland by the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
- Of the 32 counties that comprise the Emerald Isle, Antrim ranks ninth in size and second (to County Dublin) in population
- The County Antrim landscape varies
- In Belfast City, the Botanic Gardens contain indoor and outdoor areas that showcase all sorts of plant life.
- Queen's University campus features historical architecture, artistic and cultural exhibits and libraries
- The Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast, well preserved in a charming, late 19th century style, serves food and drink to residents and tourists alike in the authentic atmosphere of an old-fashioned pub.
- Outside Belfast City, a visit to the village of Bushmills provides the chance to see and sample the famous Irish whiskey as it is being made.
- Ballycastle offers charming seaside accommodations in close proximity to the Rope Bridge of Carrick-a-Rede
- The village also proudly hosts On Lannas Fari in the month of August
- County Antrim is also home to Ireland's most popular attraction -- the Giant's Causeway, a magical series of seaside columns steeped in legend and mystery
History of Antrim
- The first inhabitants of County Antrim were probably Celtic, but settlers from Denmark and Scotland soon joined them.
- It is widely believed that the Hill of Slemish in County Antrim was the place where St. Patrick spent seven years of his youth as a slave before he escaped and returned to England
- Some sites in Antrim became famous during the turbulent period of Irish history referred to as the Troubles -- most notably, the Belfast Wall Murals
- The murals are poignant expressions of the hopes, dreams and emotions of the Protestant and Catholic residents of Antrim County
- They focus on topics from historic images from the Book of Kells (housed in Trinity College) to memorials dedicated to heroes and freedom fighters of both Irish and non-Irish descent
Popular Surnames from Antrim
Popular surnames associated with County Antrim include:
- Mac Gee
- Mac Dougal
Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. Image: Alan Bruce.