You’ve probably never heard of Glenarm. The town is tucked away between its more well-known neighbors along the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland. Glenarm doesn’t get much press or mention in tour guides, and it definitely shows. The town has one cafe (with very sporadic hours), a small market, three pubs, and no restaurants. It’s far from what I would call a tourist friendly spot. Everyone there is a local, and many families have lived there for generations.
My stepmother used to spend every summer visiting family in Glenarm and recently inherited a house there. This was my second visit to Glenarm, and the first since the house was fully (and beautifully) renovated.
There was some buzz around town about Prince Charles taking an interest in restoring and reviving the town. This could mean that not too long from now, it will become a place that has a draw for tourists. Part of me doesn’t want that to happen, because it’s one of the few places I’ve visited that wasn’t, in itself, a tourist attraction. Not only are tourists not expected here, they also aren’t terribly welcome.
As I mentioned before, Glenarm is along the Antrim Coast, meaning it has a beautiful beach and views of the coastline.
If the beach wasn’t enough, there’s also a nice little forest on the edge of town.
The Glenarm Castle doesn’t seem to be open to visitors. You can have tea on the grounds and visit the gardens, but I haven’t figured out a way to (legally) explore the castle itself. This is a view from the forest.
The only disadvantage of visiting a city like Glenarm is feeling like an outsider, but I think it’s worth it to be able to see a place that hasn’t become just another attraction.