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Situated in the north eastern corner of Ireland, County Antrim is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland, Belfast is its chief city and the famous Giant's Causeway forms part of its stunning coastline.
At its far north-eastern tip of Torr Head, Antrim is just 12 miles from the coast of Scotland, while to the south the county is bordered by Belfast Lough and Lough Neagh, the largest lake in Ireland, while to the west is Co. Derry .
The traditional county town is Antrim on the banks of Lough Neagh, though more recently Ballymena was made administration centre of the county, while Belfast serves as the chief city of Northern Ireland. Belfast is the largest city in the province and is Ireland's only industrialised city. Today Belfast is a vibrant urban centre, reinventing itself from the Troubles of the past.
Antrim's stunning coastline is the county's most scenic asset, particularly the coastal valleys of the Glens of Antrim, between Glenarm and Ballycastle. From these glens rise the Antrim Mountains at the top of which is a great moor land plateau that slopes towards the River Bann Valley.
Along the northern coast is the Giant's Causeway, a strange collection of hexagonal shaped rock formations created some six million years ago by basaltic lava flows - or by a mythical giant named Finn MacCool. Off the northern coast is Rathlin Island, where Robert the Bruce, hid in a cave and plotted his fight for Scottish Independence from England in the Middle Ages. Rathlin Island is reached from the colourful port of Ballycastle, which holds one of Ireland's oldest festivals, the Oul Lammas Fair, with music, horse-trading and plenty of fun. Also in Antrim is the world's oldest licensed whiskey distillery at Bushmills.
Among Antrim's famous names are actor Liam Neeson from Ballymeena, writer C.S. Lewis, Manchester United football legend George Best, musician Van Morrison and Irish President Mary McAleese, all from Belfast. A number of U.S. Presidents have roots in Antrim including Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson and Theodore Roosevelt.