Ulster 
N. Ireland by Region Co. Antrim

Giants Causeway

Countryside

Ruins

Harbour
Map of Antrim
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The Towns

  
Antrim
  Ballycastle
  Ballymena
  Belfast
  Carrickfergus
  Larne
  Lisburn
  Newtownabbey
 


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County Antrim is one of Northern Ireland's most desirable and picturesque destinations. The Causeway Coast and the Glens of Antrim are both areas of unsurpassed beauty, a unique blend of heritage and magnificent scenery. Covering an area of just over 1,000 square miles, Antrim is home to some of Ireland's best loved myth and legend.

The Giant's Causeway in the north of Antrim is a World Heritage Site, an extraordinary mass of basalt columns tightly packed together, some 37,000 in total, leading into the sea. Legend tells that the giant, Finn MacCool, laid the Causeway to provide a path across the water to the Isles of the Hebrides for his Scottish love. Today, an award winning Visitor Centre is the gateway to the Causeway.

Derived from the Irish ' Beal Feiriste', the River Farset, Antrim is home to several important historical buildings and monuments. The ruin of Dunluce Castle is perched on a dramatic cliff top and was the main fort of the Irish MacDonnells, chiefs of Antrim. The county towns of Antrim and Carrickfergus both boast of early Christian sites, imposing castles and magnificent churches.

Visitors to County Antrim can enjoy superb outdoor activities set in an idyllic landscape. To the south-west of Antrim is Lough Neagh with a series of crystal clear waterways - providing excellent coarse and game fishing. The stunning north coastline offers great surfing and golden sandy beaches. For the boating enthusiast, County Antrim has many natural harbours and loughs with sailing centres and deep sea angling facilities.

The Antrim hinterland is haven for hill walkers and lovers of beautiful countryside. The Glens of Antrim provide a breathtaking backdrop for world class golf courses, including the renowned Royal Portrush Golf Club, host to the British Open. One of Ireland's oldest whiskey Distilleries can be found at Bushmills, the Old Bushmills Distillery, offering a guided tour and welcome samples of single grain malt whiskies.

Towns in County Antrim

The City of Belfast bridges the border of Antrim and Down. Other principal townships are Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Carrickfergus, Larne, Lisburn and Newtownabbey. The population of County Antrim is estimated at 563,000.

Business Information

Six local authorities administer County Antrim: Antrim City and Borough Council, Ballymoney Borough Council, Ballymena Borough Council, Carrickfergus Borough Council, Larne Borough Council and Newtownabbey Borough Council. Each Council body has its own Economic Development Department to assist and promote commerce and tourism in their respective areas. Heavy engineering is the principal industry in Antrim with the manufacturing of components for diesel engines for the construction industry and Caterpillar. Tourism plays an important role in the County with the landmark attractions of the Causeway Coast and the Glens of Antrim. Belfast International Airport is located in Antrim, with a distribution centre, warehousing, imports and exports on site. Agriculture traditionally is dairy and beef in the North of the County with some food processing plants. The services sector is growing with provision of banking, insurance, back office call centres and IT for urban Antrim.

Helpful contact details for business enquiries
Belfast City Council
Tel: (44) 01232 320202
Antrim City and Borough Council Tel: (44) 01849 463113
Ballymoney Borough Council Tel: (44) 012656 62280
Ballymena Borough Council Tel: (44) 01266 660300
Carrickfergus Borough Council Tel: (44) 01960 351604
Larne Borough Council Tel: (44) 01574 272313
Newtownabbey Borough Council Tel: (44) 01960 352681
Antrim Business Centre Tel: (44) 01849 465156
Sources of finance applicable to business start up, development and acquisition, and related agencies, are as follows

Dept. of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
www.nics.gov.uk

Tel: (44) 01232 529900

Industrial Development Board
www.idbni.co.uk

Tel: (44) 01232 233233

LEDU Head Office
www.ledu-ni.gov.uk
 
Tel: (44) 01232 491031

Bank of Ireland Head Office NI

 Tel: (44) 01232 246901
Ulster Bank Business Banking  Tel: (44) 01232 897777
Northern Bank Business Programme Tel: (44) 01232 245277
Northern Bank Business Programme Tel: (44) 01232 245277
 
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment supports economic development in Northern Ireland. On their website at www.nics.gov.uk is a multitude of helpful information and links where and how to find business development assistance. The subsidiary body of the Industrial Development Board is responsible for inward investment into Northern Ireland and funding assistance for indigenous manufacturing and tradable services businesses with over 50 employees. LEDU, The Small Business Agency, assists local businesses with up to 50 employees. They have regional offices across the North. Local Enterprise Agencies support and work with the LEDU programmes. A list of local agencies is available from the LEDU Head Office.
 
Travel (see also town guides)

Antrim has a good network of roads across the County. Ulsterbus run several services along the coastline and connecting the main urban areas in Antrim. NI Railways operate trains from Belfast to the port of Larne and inland through the town of Antrim and up to Coleraine and Derry. Belfast International Airport provides daily flights to Europe and the US. Larne in Antrim and Belfast Port have ferry services to the UK.

Airports
Belfast City Airport
www.belfastcityairport.com
Tel: (44) 01232 457745

Belfast International Airport
www.bial.co.uk
Tel: (44) 01849 422888

Ferry  
Stena Line
www.stenaline.com
Tel: (44) 01232 747747


P&O European
www.poef.com


Tel: (44) 01574 872147

Norse Irish Ferries
www.norse.irish.ferries.co.uk
Tel: (44) 01232 779090
   
Train  
NI Railways
www.translink.co.uk
Tel: (44) 01232 899411
 
Bus  
Ulsterbus
www.translink.co.uk
Tel: (44) 01232 333000
 
Tourism, Leisure and Accommodation
Please see town guides
 
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