United Kingdom may have travel restrictions in place, including self-quarantine, due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

BallymenaUnited Kingdom

Ballymena is a pretty, historic town in Northern Ireland, just a 30-minute drive from Belfast. 

The town has much to offer visitors. There is a beautiful waterfall walkway that is often described as a mini-Switzerland and a twelfth century castle to explore. You can also admire the Georgian architecture, stroll along the banks of the River Braid or visit a local workshop that makes sporting hurls.

St. Patrick is said to have tended cows on the rocky slopes of Slemish Mountain that overlook Ballymena and the site now attracts large numbers of pilgrims, especially every St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th.

Ballymena is ideal for exploring on foot as everything is within easy walking distance. Local craft shops, historic buildings, decorative gardens, landscaped ruins and riverside walks all make Ballymena a delight to visit.

Ballymena is one of the best shopping towns in Northern Ireland with a mix of high street names and independent retailers. Local craft shops sell everything from contemporary gold and silver jewellery to bespoke painted gifts and teddy bears.

Ballymena makes the most of its local farms’ fresh vegetables, fish and meat and these are used to exquisite effect in its restaurants and cafes. If the weather is warm, relaxing in a mulberry garden with a drink or enjoying a meal by the riverside is hard to beat.

Every bend in the river opens out a lovely view of Ballymena, but, for the most photogenic scenes, you should take a short drive out to wander through Glenariff Forest Park, which is home to some spectacular waterfalls.

Another short drive on the A42 will allow you to follow in the footsteps of St. Patrick as you climb the rocky slopes of Slemish Mountain. From here you can enjoy the stunning views across the countryside.

The beautiful countryside around Ballymena is perfect for outdoor pursuits, such as horse riding, cycling, fishing and walking. The town’s two marinas attract yachtsmen from all over the world and golf fans are spoilt for choice by the number of great quality courses nearby. The traditional Gaelic sport of hurling continues to attract large numbers of spectators and Ballymena is a perfect place for you to enjoy this ancient fast-paced sport from.

Ballymena is located in one of the most beautiful areas of Northern Ireland. It perches on the coastal route that leads up to the Giant’s Causeway and inland there are forests, rivers and unspoilt countryside surrounding the town.

Top hotels in Ballymena

Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort
Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort
4 out of 5
136 Fenaghy Road, Ballymena, Northern Ireland
The price is £230 per night from 10 Feb to 11 Feb

Situated on the riverfront, this spa hotel is 12.4 mi (20 km) from The Junction Shopping Complex and within 25 miles (40 km) of Glenariff Forest Park and Glenarm ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (207 reviews)
50th celebration

"What a superb place. Staff absolutely super, they cant do enough for you. Excellent."…"

Reviewed on 17 Oct 2020

Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort
Adair Arms Hotel
Adair Arms Hotel
3 out of 5
1-7 Ballymoney Road, Ballymena, Northern Ireland
Get Rates

Situated in the suburbs, this hotel is 10.4 mi (16.7 km) from The Junction Shopping Complex and within 20 miles (32 km) of Glenariff Forest Park and Glenarm ...

4.3/5Excellent! (71 reviews)
Proper hotel !

"This place ticks all the boxes. Good location with plenty of parking. Great staff, nice rooms, good restaurant. I would highly recommend staying here, even if you have to travel to Antrim, Coleraine or Belfast for work. They are all easy to get to from here."…"

Reviewed on 10 Jul 2020

Adair Arms Hotel
Tullyglass House Hotel
Tullyglass House Hotel
3 out of 5
Galgorm Road, Ballymena, Northern Ireland
Get Rates

Situated in Ballymena, this golf hotel is 10.3 mi (16.6 km) from Slemish Mountain, and within 25 mi (40 km) of Glenariff Forest Park and The Dark Hedges. Ballycastle ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (140 reviews)
All Good!

"Great service, good food and drink and good measures to manage and protect customers in these Covid times."…"

Reviewed on 17 Oct 2020

Tullyglass House Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Holiday Rentals in Ballymena

Neds Brae House
Neds Brae House
3.5 out of 5
19 Dromorne Road, Ballymena, Northern Ireland

Situated near the beach, this holiday home is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Glenarm Castle and within 12 miles (20 km) of Carnfunnock Country Park and Slemish Mountain. ...

Neds Brae House
Beachview Cottage
Beachview Cottage
3.5 out of 5
185B Torr Rd, Ballymena, Northern Ireland

Situated in Ballymena, this holiday home is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Cushendun Beach, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Torr Head and Red Bay Castle. Glenariff Forest Park ...

Beachview Cottage
Country Stay on a Working Dairy Farm
Country Stay on a Working Dairy Farm
3 out of 5
114 Glenhugh Road, Ballymena, Northern Ireland

Situated in Ballymena, this cabin is 14.9 mi (23.9 km) from The Junction Shopping Complex and within 25 miles (40 km) of Glenariff Forest Park and The Dark Hedges. ...

Country Stay on a Working Dairy Farm
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Ballymena

Top things to do in Ballymena

Cities near Ballymena