The spectacular Causeway Coastal Route has been named the Best Summer UK Road Trip destination for 2022.
The epic stretch, which takes in the entire east coast of Mid and East Antrim, topped the list of 25 locations compiled by global car comparison site EnjoyTravel.com and international travel brand Big 7 Travel.
The Summer Road Trip Bucket List states: “This route, which begins in Belfast, offers plenty of potential pit stops along the way too.
“First, there’s Carrickfergus Castle, one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Ireland.
“Then, there’s The Gobbins – an adrenalin-fuelled cliff path set high above County Antrim’s Islandmagee. There’s legend-rich Ballygally and picture-perfect Cushendun to squeeze in before the finale too.”
Back in 2018, the route was named Lonely Planet’s Top Destination for visitors.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams, said: “The Causeway Coastal Route is rightly regarded as providing one of the most stunning drives anywhere in the world.
“I’m delighted this has been recognised again and that our borough is being showcased and promoted as a must-visit destination this summer.
“Pre-Covid, our tourism industry here and right across Northern Ireland was on a steep upward growth trajectory and the sector was booming.
“We are home to a string of television and film shows, such as Game of Thrones and more recently The Northman, with camera crews lining up to capitalise on the rugged, natural beauty of our area, and screen it to audiences of millions of people worldwide.
“As a Council, we are determined to support the tourism industry to get back to where we were – and then push further forward.
“The tourism potential we have throughout Mid and East Antrim, and the complete package of scenery, attractions and hospitality we have to offer visitors is second to none.”
Council’s dedicated tourism strategy, Shaped By Sea and Stone, focuses on a range of global markets, targeting those areas where there is the potential to increase visitor numbers and revenue.
These include the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain, North America and Europe and is delivered through increased international marketing raising the awareness of the world-class products available in the area.
A destination website has been developed, social media campaigns rolled out and the visitor guide has been given a fresh new look.
The Council is also working with local government, Tourism Northern Ireland, Tourism Ireland and industry leaders to further promote the area.
Significant further funding is also planned in The Gobbins through the Belfast Region City Deal, with the revitalisation of the historic town of Carrickfergus also part of a projected £60million investment in Mid and East Antrim.
To explore Mid and East Antrim’s tourism gems and find out more about the Council’s current 14 Weeks of Summer campaign, visit: shapedbyseaandstone.com