Antrim is a town in County Antrim in Northern Ireland. It is rich in history, having been populated for over 1,500 years, and is located on the banks of the stunning Lough Neagh, the largest lake in the United Kingdom. The narrow 18th century streets of the town itself combine with the warmth of the welcome from the locals and the surrounding scenery to create an intoxicating impression.
The fact that the bright lights and cosmopolitan attractions of city centre Belfast lie just 18 miles to the east is another reason why Antrim draws visitors from all around the world, encouraged by the ease of access to the town from both Belfast International Airport and George Best Belfast City Airport.
Accommodation in Antrim
The diversity offered by Antrim is reflected in the range of accommodation on offer. Backpackers keen on sampling the natural attractions will be able to track down basic but comfortable hostels while families on holiday can choose from a number of traditional guesthouses. Business people seeking to exploit the opportunities available in Belfast will welcome the presence of hotels on the outskirts of Antrim close to the road links into the capital, such as the A6 and the M2, while those after a taste of luxury should book a room in a rustic lodge in the heart of the countryside.
Attractions Around Antrim
While Antrim is a beautiful town to explore in its own right, and the ease of access to Belfast has already been noted, it shouldn’t be forgotten that a room in a hotel here will make an excellent base from which to explore the attractions to be found in the rest of County Antrim. There are rolling green fields, rich forests and crystal clear waterways in all directions, and if you head far enough north from Antrim you’ll find yourself exploring coastal beauty spots such as Ballycastle Beach.
Reaching Ballycastle from Antrim
The route from Antrim itself to Ballycastle is fairly straightforward. Take a combination of the A26 and M2 north out of Antrim before joining the A44 Drones Road, which leads directly to the seaside resort of Ballycastle itself. Traffic allowing, the journey should take only an hour.
Ballycastle is a seaside town situated on the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, along the Causeway Coast scenic driving route. On a clear day the Mull of Kintyre and Rathlin Island can be seen from Ballycastle, and while the town has many historical buildings and other attractions, by far the biggest draw is the unspoiled stretch of Ballycastle Beach.
The beach itself is a clean, uncrowded sweep, three-quarters of a mile in length and made up of mostly sand with some shingle. There is a marina and pier at one end of the beach and Pans Rock at the other, and, although the water is clean and tempting, it should be noted that there is no lifeguard provision.
The beach is bordered by Ballycastle Golf Course and lies just five minutes outside the town centre. Although largely unspoiled and undeveloped, it does have toilets and car parking, and the heart of its appeal lies in the chance to experience an untamed and unspoiled stretch of the Antrim coast.