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Ballycastle City Guide

Ballycastle is a town in Northern Ireland, located in County Antrim, near to the northernmost tip of the country. Its proximity to the coast, and the fact that it is located on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty near the Antrim Coast and Glens, has led to it being an extremely popular destination for tourists.

From the shoreline at Ballycastle it is possible to see both the Mull of Kintyre and Rathlin Island, which are just 6 miles across the water. The ferry across to Rathlin Island runs regularly throughout the day, offering an experience you’ll want to take advantage of. Rathlin Island is just six miles long by one mile wide. It is home to no more than 70 people and offers visitors a genuine sense of peace and tranquillity. As well as the rugged landscape and unspoiled environment, the island has its own colony of wild seals and is home to an RSPB Seabird Centre. Once you’ve experienced the glories of nature you could pay a visit to the local pub, pick up some food in the restaurant or enjoy some award-winning fish and chips from a spot with stunning sea views.

The Beach in Ballycastle

Back on the mainland itself, Ballycastle is famed for three quarters of a mile of unspoiled beach – a mix of golden sand and a small amount of shingle, it runs from Ballycastle Marina at one end to Pans Rock at the other, and is just 5 minutes walk away from the town centre. With the unspoiled greenery of Ballycastle Golf Course running behind it for most of its length, and the waters of the Atlantic rolling and crashing up onto the sands, it’s the perfect spot for a romantic walk or a day of family beach fun.

Sea-Based Activity in Ballycastle

The presence of Ballycastle Marina, located just next to the Rathlin Island ferry port, brings together a wide range of activities taking advantage of the easy access to the sea. It’s up to you whether you opt to try your hand at diving, experience the exhilaration of a high speed ‘sea safari’ or enjoy the more tranquil pleasures of a leisurely fishing trip.

Walking Around Ballycastle

From the traditional seaside appeal of the town centre itself, to the stunning scenery which is literally right on the doorstep, staying in Ballycastle means you can walk in any direction and soon find yourself in the midst of some of the finest landscapes the island has to offer. A long walk for ambitious, seasoned walkers is the Moyle Way, which starts in the centre of Ballycastle and takes in the Five Glens of Antrim, the Breen Oakwood Nature Reserve and Glenariff Forest Park. The whole 26 miles may be too much for the casual walker or family group, but any individual section of the walk offers access to rich woodland, spectacular moorland scenery and the shores of rivers and loughs.

Booking Your Ballycastle Trip

Ballycastle certainly ticks the boxes: natural beauty, coastal landscapes, some of Ireland’s best walking routes, high adrenaline action activities and the traditional warmth of Irish hospitality. What more could you ask for?

Top Hotel Deals

See all 68 Hotels in Ballycastle
The Fullerton Arms

The Fullerton Arms

22-24 Main Street, Ballycastle
of 5, from 15 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ballintoy Church, Sheep Island, and Ballintoy Harbour. Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge and Carrick-a-Rede are also within 2 mi (3 km).

An Caislean

An Caislean

40 Quay Road, Ballycastle
of 5, from 74 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Rathlin Island Ferry, Bonamargy Friary, and Ballycastle Museum. Ballycastle Beach and Kinbane Castle are also within 3 mi (5 km).

The Marine Hotel

The Marine Hotel

1-3 North Street, Ballycastle
of 5, from 29 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Rathlin Island Ferry and Bonamargy Friary. Ballycastle Beach and Ballycastle Museum are also within 15 minutes.

Teach an Cheoil B&B

Teach an Cheoil B&B

14 Glenmakeeran Road, Ballycastle
of 5, from 19 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in a rural location, this bed & breakfast is within 6 mi (10 km) of Ballycastle Beach, Bonamargy Friary, and Fair Head. Rathlin Island Ferry and Ballycastle Museum are also within 6 mi (10 km).

Carnately Lodge

Carnately Lodge

51 Moyarget Rd, Ballycastle
of 5, from 27 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Glentaisie, this bed & breakfast is within 3 mi (5 km) of Ballycastle Museum, Rathlin Island Ferry, and Bonamargy Friary. Ballycastle Beach is 2.7 mi (4.3 km) away.

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