New craft trail tourism experience uncovers ‘hidden gems’ on the Causeway Coast and Glens
Wed, March 09, 2022
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has today, Wednesday 9th March 2022, launched a new way to explore the stunning scenery of the region - through the eyes of the creative craftspeople and artists who draw their inspiration from the landscape.
The new Causeway Craft Trail is a fascinating immersive tourism experience that allows visitors to take in some of the hidden gems of the Causeway Coastal Route by visiting artists and craftspeople in the places that inspire them and observing them at work.
The visitor experience has been funded by Tourism NI and as part of the launch participants will have the opportunity to ‘meet the makers’ at a series of planned open workshop events.
The Craft Trail begins in the north-west of the region, steering visitors from studios nestled in the rural farmscapes of Aghadowey to the endless beaches of Downhill, via workshops with views out to the Isle of Jura and up close to world-famous attractions such as Giant’s Causeway and the idyllic Ballintoy Harbour.
An Open Studio Weekend takes place on March 19th and 20th when twelve makers and collectives will throw open their doors to demonstrate their craft and share their creative development with you. There’ll also be an opportunity to purchase their artisan products which make an ideal gift or a treat for yourself.
The skilled artisans who you will meet along the trail include potters working their wheel in renovated barns, boat makers building canoes in a workshop high above Castlerock, traditional basket-makers incorporating driftwood and pebbles in their work, as well as Northern Ireland’s only artisanal glassblowing studio.
Places to visit will include intimate galleries where visitors can lose themselves in contemplation of the artworks, and social enterprises where they can explore the work of scores of creative designer-makers who work in the Causeway Coast and Glens
Visitors will be able to enjoy a homemade traybake in a welcoming café, while watching a potter creating just the same tableware that you’re using. They will be able to observe working studios where craftspeople will share ancient techniques and the fascinating background stories associated with their arts.
Launching the new Causeway Craft Trail, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Councillor Richard Holmes said: “The Causeway Craft Trail offers a tremendous platform for local artists and craftspeople to create a meaningful and immersive experience by welcoming visitors into their studio to observe them at work and learn about the history of their craft and business.
“The experience offers visitors a unique way to explore a region that is world-renowned for its magical landscapes, with the added opportunity of meeting the artists and craftspeople and learn how they interpret their inspirational surroundings to create beautiful and authentic piece made and sold onsite.
“The new Causeway Craft Trail has brought together a collective of talented and accomplished artists and craftspeople whose enthusiasm for the region is rivalled only by their sheer brilliance at their profession, and they will undoubtedly deliver an authentic experience that will enhance our tourism offering aimed at attracting visitors to explore the trail.”
Ciaran Doherty, Head of Regions at Tourism NI added: “As part of our Market Led Covid Recovery Fund we are delighted to have been able to support the development of this engaging Causeway Craft Trail which provides another great reason to visit the Causeway Coast and Glens and Northern Ireland this spring and beyond.”