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Murlough Bay

To experience MURLOUGH BAY at it's best park your car in any of the car parks and walk and walk and walk. As you pass the disused Limekiln to the left of the road prepare to have your breath taken away by the unequalled views that pan out around you. As at the top of Fair Head to the Northwest, the panorama here is of spectacular views of the islands of Rathlin, Islay , Ailsa Craig and the Mull of Kintyre. Carrick-a-Rede and the Innishowen peninsula in Co Donegal are clear even on a not so fine day.

As you descend the road to the shore you will notice to the right, the Casement memorial. Placed here on a traditional prayer site, the memorial was erected by the cousin of Sir Roger Casement, the British traitor executed in 1916. From here, a trail leads to the Antrim Memorial and Benvan Base Camp that is occasionally used by volunteers working at the property. All these lands were once part of the Antrim estate so sitting the memorial here serves a fitting and lasting tribute. Legend recalls that the slopes around you were once the summer residence of he Kings of Dalriada. Now, during winter, the woods of Birch and Rowan trees provide food and shelter for the herd of FERAL goats who roam around freely.

From the small car park at the hairpin bend you can follow what is often called the 'Industrial Trail'. This route takes you to the old coalmines at the foot of the cliff where an adventurous and sure-footed explorer can find at least three entrances to the mines. Mining here was sporadic from the 1700's until the 1940's but nevertheless supported a small mining settlement that is evidenced by the ruins of some miner's cottages and of DRUMNAKILL church. Previously this church was known as the church of St Mologe who reputedly lies buried at the Western end. From here the route continues along the shoreline and back to the car park or you can choose to venture a little further Southward to examine the more or less intact remains of a limekiln. No matter which you choose, do take a moment to reflect and realise that as you stand here on the shoreline, you stand and walk on the foundation crust of the earth - formed over the once molten earth.

It is interesting to note that the limekilns here at MURLOUGH BAY would have processed the limestone quarried from above you. By burning it together with the coal mined nearby a residue was obtained which was generally used for fertiliser or in mortar and occasionally as limewash that may even have been used to paint the buildings at Cushendun.

Feel here a certain peace and tranquillity not readily available elsewhere and you cannot fail to understand why this 'heaven on earth' is visited endlessly by walkers, naturalists, painters and photographers, each seeking out a particular and peculiar character in this - natures wonderland.