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Antrim is a town in Northern Ireland located in a spectacular spot on the banks of the Six Mile Water River and little more than a stone’s throw away from the shores of Lough Neagh, the largest lake in the UK. There has been a settlement on this spot for over 1,500 years, a fact which gives Antrim a rich sense of history.
As can be gathered from this description, Antrim is surrounded by the splendour of the Irish countryside, but the fact that it is only 18 miles from the capital city of Belfast, and boasts strong road and rail links, allows it to offer the best of Ireland both rural and urban.
The busiest airport in Ireland, Belfast International, is only five miles away from the centre of Antrim by car, whilst the other major airport of the province, George Best Belfast City Airport, is just 22 miles distant. Passengers landing at both can be in the richly historical centre of Antrim itself in less than 30 minutes.
Once in Antrim, you’ll be able to select from a range of accommodation, including lodges, bed and breakfasts, inns and country clubs. Many of the best hotels are located on the outskirts of the town itself, which means that they combine being within easy reach of the centre with access to road links such as the A6, A26 and M2, via which it is possible to travel to the capital city of Belfast or on to explore the landscape and villages of wider County Antrim.
The centre of Antrim itself is packed with sites of historical and architectural interest, and is small enough to be explored comfortably on foot. Stay in a five star hotel in the centre of Antrim and you can take a stroll around landmarks such as the 1840 coach house Clotworthy House, the 17th century water gardens of Antrim Castle and the historical Market Square, which forms the focal point of the city. The Old Courthouse is located in Market Square and is the site of a visitor information centre from which you can collect printed heritage trails pointing out these and many other notable attractions.
Once you’ve enjoyed the luxury and comfort of your five star hotel room you can set out to explore the rich shopping choice on offer along the quaint 18th century streets of Antrim town centre. The area along the High Street offers a mix of independent traders and household names, while there are two major shopping centres in the town, Castle Mall, on Market Square and Junction One on Ballymena Road. Castle Mall is packed with high street names and places to eat and drink, while Junction One is an outlet mall, offering top brand names at bargain prices.
Although your five star hotel will doubtless offer gourmet food to match the surroundings, the centre of Antrim has more than its fair share of places to eat and drink. From pizza houses to Chinese restaurants, you can choose between national chains and local independent eateries offering traditional Irish food. Combine this with pubs offering a traditionally warm Irish welcome and the comfort of a five star hotel room at the end of the night, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for an enjoyable stay in Ireland.