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16 October 2014

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Antrim Armagh Down Fermanagh Londonderry Tyrone
Portrush Causeway Coast Rathlin Glens of Antrim Slemish Mountain
Glens of Antrim ClipWatch Video Glens of Antrim map


Key Points

We follow the twists and turns of the Antrim coast road to reach our next destination, the Glens.

In a compact area - about 20 square miles or so - we're about to see a range of sights, including pretty coastal villages, a patchwork quilt of fields, and desolate plateaus.

There are nine glens altogether, and we start with the most southerly, Glenarm, which is also the most sparsely populated.

Crossing over the Garron Plateau, we can see the village of Carnlough with its picturesque harbour in the distance.

The plateau itself is the largest area of upland blanket bog in Northern Ireland, and it's the only place you'll find the flower known as the bog orchid.

Carnlough nestles at the foot of Glencoy, and has a beach of chalk pebbles. Neolithic artefacts have been excavated from it.

Glenariff is often referred to as the Queen of the Glens - it's also the largest. It was formed around 10,000 years ago and is a classic example of a U-shaped glacial valley.

Glenariff also has another unusual feature, known as "ladder farms". These run up the side of the valley and give each farming family an equal share of lowland pasture and steeper land which is used mainly for grazing sheep.

This area is known for its festivals, music and dancing, as well as traditional sports such as hurling. Until the last quarter of the 20th century, some people here spoke Irish as a first language.

Glenarm is the first of the nine Glens of Antrim.

The Garron Plateau is the largest area of intact upland blanket bog in Northern Ireland.

Glenariff was formed around 10,000 years ago and is a classic example of a U-shaped glacial valley.

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