High quality guiding a key driver in tourism success in the Glens

Back row: Patrick Casement, R�ama� Mathers, Eamonn Robbin, Judith Boyle (course tutor), Cllr Joan Baird, Kevin McGowan, Sean Traynor
Front row: Mary O Driscoll, Colette McCafferty (course tutor), Fiona Jones, Mayor Maura Hickey, Caroline Redmond and Andrew McAlister.
Back row: Patrick Casement, R�ama� Mathers, Eamonn Robbin, Judith Boyle (course tutor), Cllr Joan Baird, Kevin McGowan, Sean Traynor Front row: Mary O Driscoll, Colette McCafferty (course tutor), Fiona Jones, Mayor Maura Hickey, Caroline Redmond and Andrew McAlister.

The Glens of Antrim is one of the most iconic landscapes in the whole of Ireland.

The main road that runs through it is part of The Causeway Coastal Route and internationally recognised as one of the most stunning road trips in the world. However, one of the real jewels of the Glens of Antrim is its heritage.

Its history, mythology, traditional sport, music, wildlife, seascape and landscape blend together here to make a rich heritage. This place is literally heaving with story and fascinating knowledge that cannot be fully transmitted, except from the mouth of the people.

It was for this reason that the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust through The Heart of The Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme, supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund have provided training for 12 local people to become fully recognised tour guides.

Réamaí Mathers, manager of the Scheme, said: “The Glens of Antrim and its people have a rich and varied heritage. That is why it is important to have trained local people to tell the story of The Glens to its increasing number of visitors.

“While websites, leaflets and interpretation signs have a role to play, we know from research and through common sense that visitors want to hear the stories of this place from what we call ‘The horse’s mouth’.

“In this case the horse’s mouth was a group of 12 people who love The Glens and north Coast and were keen to share their knowledge with the public.

In spring of this year all 12, including myself, went through a three month training programme which has equipped them with skills to research, plan and present local tours.

Already many of these guides are working in the region and bringing the area alive for a wide range of visitors in way to enhance their experience and another reason to come and stay in The Glens of Antrim.”

A celebration and presentation event of the successes of our new tour guides was held at the Corrymeela Centre on Tuesday August 30 in which The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council congratulated the successful tour guides.

Each of the guides received their OCN level 2 in Tour Guiding as well as World Host certificates in Customer Care, Ambassadorship, Working with Customers with Disabilities and Service Across Cultures.

Further courses in tour guiding for The Glens will be held in early 2017.

For further information contact Laura@lps.ccght.org