Larne is a port town in Northern Ireland, located approx 35 km (22 mi) to the north from Belfast (the country's capital). The town has a population of around 20,000 and is a major port (one of the busiest on the Irish Sea) serving Ro-Ro ferries (passenger and cargo).
The seaport is on the western side of a narrow inlet linking Larne Lough to the Irish Sea, and approx 40 km (25 ml) from mainland Scotland (across North Channel). Regularly scheduled daily crossings (by P&O Ferries) link Larne to Cairnryan (Scotland). Travel time is around 2 hours.
As cruise port, Larne operates with last-minute berthing. In 2018, the port was visited by only one ship - Hebridean Princess. In 2019 were scheduled for docking Astor (CMV) and Hebridean Princess. The port has plans to improve its quay length to attract larger vessels. Port's over 40 acres (160,000 m2) storage area serves mainly project and bulk cargoes.
Larne-Belfast is connected via road A8 and Belfast–Larne railway. The scenic coastal road A2 runs along Antrim coast, passing through Glens of Antrim. Road A36 links to Ballymena.
Town's economy is dependent on Ballylumford power station (country's main, providing half of its electricity), Caterpillar Ltd (diesel and gas generators manufacturer), InspecVision (equipment), Terumobct (intravenous drip solutions and blood products manufacturer), LEDCOM (and business park), B9 Energy (renewable energy developer), Wind NI (wind power developer), shopping tourism (Main Street, Dunluce Street, Laharna Retail Park, supermarkets near Larne harbour, Larne Market Yard).
Among Larne's main tourist attractions are:
- Chaine Memorial Tower, Carnfunnock Country Park, Town Park, lighthouse (at Sandy Bay), Leisure Centre, Chaine Park (views over North Channel), Curran Park (kids playground, bowling, camping), Dixon Park (bandstand), Smiley Park (downtown), Carnfunnock Park (5 km to the north, camping, caravanning, maze of Northern Ireland, kids playground, mini-golf, putting green, mini-railway, treasure trails), Larne Leisure Centre (large indoor pool, spa, sauna, fitness, theatre)
- Larne Museum and Arts Centre (in Carnegie Centre/downtown)
- Olderfleet Castle ruins (13th-century, near Chaine Memorial Tower)
- Cairndhu Golf Course (18-hole), Larne Golf Course
- beaches - Sandy Bay, Drains Bay, Ballygally (8 km north from downtown), Browns Bay (caravanning), Glenarm (16 km north from downtown), Carnlough (20 km north from downtown), Magheramorne (marina; mountain biking course, diving centre)
- Larne Lough (protected bird area and Ramsar wetland site)
- numerous churches (the oldest - St Cedma's - is from the mid-14th century)
Larne cruise terminal
Ferries and cruise ships in Larne dock at dedicated berths in Larne Harbour.
Ferries from Larne serve both foot and car passengers. Day trip passengers are served by a car park at the harbour (GBP 6 per day). Pets on the ship are allowed only with car passengers.
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