Exploring The Cushendun Caves (And Game Of Thrones Link)

Cushendun Caves antrim
Photo left: JeniFoto. Photo right: Johannes Rigg (Shutterstock)

The Cushendun Caves are one of the more unique stops on the Causeway Coastal Route.

The caves near Cushendun Beach formed over hundreds of millions of years, and they shot to fame after appearing in the hit Game of Thrones series. 

And, the fact that their a stone’s throw from the pretty little village of Cushendun makes them a great post-food stop-off.

Below, you’ll find info on everything from where to park for the Caves of Cushendun to how to get to them.

Some quick need-to-knows before visiting the Cushendun Caves

cushendun caves
Photo by Nick Fox (Shutterstock)

Although a visit to the Caves of Cushendun is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

The Cushendun Caves are located on the southern end of Cushendun Beach in County Antrim. They’re a handy 20-minute drive from Glenariff Forest Park, a 10-minute drive from Cushendall and a 20-minute drive from Torr Head.

2. Parking

You can park in the car park which is right near the beach and then walk from there towards the southern end of the beach. There’s some public toilets here and it’s around a 10-minute walk down to the caves.

3. Game of Thrones link

So, what’s the big deal about the Cushendun Caves and the Game of Thrones? The caves formed the backdrop for the Stormlands and was the setting for a couple of important scenes from the series in season 2 and again in season 8. This explains why you’ll find plenty of GoT fans heading out to explore this spot.

About the Cushendun Caves

Caves of Cushendun
Photo by Johannes Rigg (Shutterstock)

The astounding thing about the Cushendun Caves is that they are thought to have formed over 400 million years. The incredible rock cavities in the cliffs on the coast have been naturally eroded over time by wind and water.

While the place is incredibly impressive to explore, it’s not an overly large area and most people only spend about 15-20 minutes to get around them. And it’s also completely free to visit, which makes it a nice stop on the Causeway Coastal Route. 

However, the Game of Thrones link has made the Caves of Cushendun incredibly popular. If you’re there on a sunny day, you can expect plenty of other people exploring the beach and caves as well.

While it’s best to visit on a calm day, the caves are accessible throughout the year although if the weather is a bit wild it might not be as enjoyable.  

Getting to the Cushendun Caves

Cushendun Caves game of thrones
Photo by JeniFoto (Shutterstock)

Cushendun is just an 82km drive north of Belfast. The most direct route is to head to Ballymena and then onto Cushendall. From there, it’s just another 10-minute drive further to Cushendun.

The caves are at the southern end of Cushendun Beach. It’s just a five-minute walk from the bridge over the Glendun River in the village (aim for the Glendun Hotel).

Once you cross this bridge, you have to skirt around the Fisherman’s Cottage on the coast and then keep walking past the apartments and through the two small stone buildings. From there, you’ll start to see the dramatic cave formations in the side of the cliffs.

The Cushendun Caves Game of Thrones link

 

The Cushendun Caves were one of several Game of Thrones filming locations in Northern Ireland – they were used for the backdrop of the Stormlands.

The caves were the setting for one of the most iconic scenes from season two of the series. It’s where Melisandre gave birth to the Shadow Assassin.

The caves were also used again in season eight and is where the famous battle between Jaime Lannister and Euron Greyjoy took place. You’ll find an information board at the caves entrance which explains a bit more about the scenes and filming that took place there.

Things to do near the Cushendun Caves

One of the beauties of the Caves of Cushendun is that they’re a short spin away from some of the best things to do in Antrim.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from the caves (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).

1. Cushendun Beach

parking at the beach
Photo by Nordic Moonlight (Shutterstock)

It’s quite easy to extend your walk along the Cushendun Beach from the caves. This sandy coastline stretches along the bay in front of Cushendun village. On a clear day, you can even look across to the southern coast of Scotland, just 15 miles away. 

2. Cushendall

what to see nearby
Photo by Ballygally View Images (Shutterstock)

Just south of the Cushendun Beach, the town of Cushendall is another nice little town on the Causeway Coastal Route. You’ll find a little beach here just 250 metres long backed by a nice grassy area, which is perfect for a picnic. The town also has some nice accommodation and places to eat, if you feel like a bit of a break from the scenic drive.

3. Torr Head

torr head scenic drive
Photo left: Shutterstock. right: Google Maps

Torr Head is a spectacular and rugged headland overlooking the coast of County Antrim. It’s also home to the remains of Altagore, an ancient fortress dating back to the 6th century. Located between Cushendun and Ballycastle, it’s a beautiful detour from the Causeway Coastal Route with views from the headland across to Scotland. 

4. Glenariff Forest Park

The Ess-Na-Laragh waterfall in Glenariff Forest Park in Northern Ireland.
Photo by Sara Winter on shutterstock.com

Just 18km south of Cushendun, the Glenariff Forest Park is the perfect place to explore one of the nine Antrim Glens. The over 1000-hectare park area has woodland, lakes, conservation areas and picnic spots for a nice day out in nature. 

FAQs about the Caves of Cushendun

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from how to find the Caves of Cushendun to what to do nearby.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

Is there parking near the Caves of Cushendun?

Yes! There’s parking around a 10-minute stroll away, just across from Cushendun Beach (there’s public toilets there, too!).

What is the Cushendun Caves Game of Thrones link?

The Caves of Cushendun formed the backdrop for the Stormlands and were the setting for a couple of important scenes from the series in season 2 and again in season 8.

Is it easy to find the Caves of Cushendun?

Yes, if you follow the route mentioned above, you can’t really go wrong. Just keep in mind that the parking can get busy on fine days.

Elisha is a freelance writer, content creator and blogger and her work can be read in Lonely Planet, Remote Lands and Matador Network. You’ll usually find her travelling in offbeat places or hiking wherever there are mountains; always with a camera in hand.

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