Historic county of Northern Ireland, occupying the northeastern corner of Northern Ireland, with a coastal eastern boundary; area 2,830 sq km/1,092 sq mi. The principal towns and cities are Belfast, Larne (port), Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Lisburn, and Carrickfergus. The county borders Lough Neagh, and is separated from Scotland by the North Channel, which is only 21 km/13 mi wide at Torr Head, the narrowest point. The Antrim Mountains (highest point 554 m/1,817 ft) run parallel to the coastline. The main rivers are the Bann and the Lagan, and there are peat bogs. Administrative responsibility for the county is held by the councils of Belfast, Larne, Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Lisburn, Moyle, Carrickfergus, and Newtownabbey.
The coast road that stretches from Larne to the west past the Giant's Causeway to the resort of Portrush follows 97 km/60 mi of beautiful coastline. The first 45 km/28 mi were blasted out from the chalky cliffs in 1834. Other notable natural features include the Glens of Antrim (an area of outstanding natural beauty, dominated by a high plateau cut by deep glens which sweep eastward to the sea), and Kebble National Nature Reserve, on Rathlin Island, off the coast near Ballycastle.
Bushmills Distillery, in the village of Bushmills, has the oldest-known licence for distilling whiskey. There are a number of early fortifications, castles (including the 12th-century Carrickfergus Castle and ruins of the 16th-century Dunluce Castle), and medieval ecclesiastical remains in the county. The village of Cushendun, modelled on a Cornish village, was built by Clough Williams-Ellis (who also created Portmeirion in Wales) in the early 20th century. The traditional Ould Lammas Fair at Ballycastle takes place in August. The city of Belfast has a long history as an industrial centre, holding at one time the largest linen industry in the world, the largest rope works, and the largest shipbuilding company.
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