The Sunday Times has previously named Ballycastle as the best place to live in Northern Ireland, and one of the best in the UK. Just a short visit to Ballycastle will let you see how appropriate this accolade is. From the stunning setting on the Antrim coastline, to the fabulous pubs, restaurants and coffee shops, and not forgetting the friendliness of the locals.
Ballycastle lies within the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and there is no doubt this area contains some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland.
Just a short drive from our self-catering Causeway Coast Apartments in Ballycastle will take you to several locations used in the popular HBO series Game of Thrones, including the Dark Hedges, Dunluce Castle and Ballintoy Harbour. Within a 30 minute drive you can visit the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the Giants Causeway, which is a World Heritage Site. Driving east from Ballycastle you can also explore the famous Glens of Antrim, do you have time to visit all 9 Glens?
Our holiday apartments are the perfect base for exploring this amazing part of Ireland. Check our calendar for availability and best nightly rates.
Rathlin Island is Northern Ireland’s only inhabited offshore island and home to a spectacular array of wildlife located five miles north of Ballycastle on the North Antrim Coast. With the re-opening of the RSPB Seabird Centre and first time access to the Rathlin West Lighthouse, it’s an unique visitor experience not to be missed.
Rathlin’s beguiling coastal landscapes adorned with stunning natural assets are popular to visitors looking to escape life on the mainland. You’ll have no choice but to succumb to the islands’ charms. Explore the rugged terrain of the island a dramatic patchwork of idyllic green fields, towering sea-cliffs and sensational sea-views. The island appeal is very diverse and opportunities exist to get up nice and close to nature with wildlife in abundance.
Known for its rich history and traditional culture, as well as its stunning landscapes, seascapes and diverse wildlife these qualities have made it an inspirational retreat for visitors from all walks of life who can enjoy the peace and tranquility of island-life.
You can now take a tour of the only ‘upside down’ lighthouse in Ireland. Visitors can now access this legendary icon. Whether you are interested in wildlife, curious about engineering or maritime heritage, or simply want to experience life on an island, Rathlin West Lighthouse is the place for you. Enjoy the spectacular vistas as you walk, cycle or bus it up from the ferry terminal. Rathlin West Light is a lighthouse and one of the largest seabird colonies in the UK and part of the trail.
Every year thousands of migrating seabirds return to breed here. The sights, sounds and even the smell of so many seabirds at such close quarters is an experience you’ll never forget and the RSPB NI team will be on hand to help you identify the
unique birdlife. It’s also home to one of the most extensive ranges of sea life in Europe, with birds, dolphins and seals visiting the island.
You can book boat tickets to visit Rathlin at the Ballycastle Harbour.
The Dark Hedges
Leave Ballycastle heading for Ballymena After about 5 miles, at Armoy village follow the signs. Please use the recommended car park and walk to the Dark Hedges as cars should not drive along the roadway.
Car park charges apply.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Of course, Carrick-a-Rede also boasts an exhilarating rope bridge experience. Traditionally fishermen erected the bridge to Carrick-a-Rede island over a 23m-deep and 20m-wide chasm to check their salmon nets. Today visitors are drawn here simply to take the rope bridge challenge!
The rope bridge originally consisted of a single rope handrail which has been replaced by a two-hand railed bridge by the National Trust. Once you reach Carrick Island, the reward is seeing the diverse birdlife and an uninterrupted view across to Rathlin Island and Scotland. There is only one way off the island – back across the swinging bridge! Don’t look down!
Admission charges apply.
The Giant’s Causeway
Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, this is the focal point of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries. It harbors a wealth of local and natural history.
Sea birds can be seen off the coast around the Causeway, with species such as fulmar, petrel and razorbill being frequently observed alongside rare and unusual plant species on the cliffs and nearby rock formations.
The Giant’s Causeway is also steeped in myth and legend. Some say it was carved from the coast by the mighty giant, Finn McCool who left behind an ancient home full of folklore. Look out for clues of his existence – including The Giant’s Boot and Wishing Chair.
There are four stunning trails at the Giant’s Causeway suited to every ability, from a pram friendly jaunt to a challenging coastal hike and in addition, a new accessible cliff top walk for families and people with disabilities. The area is suitable for picnics, cliff and country walks, and dogs are welcome on leads (guide dogs only within the Visitor Centre).
Ballintoy Harbour can be discovered in the picturesque village of Ballintoy. Known as a ‘raised beach’, it is located alongside the B15 coast road, 17 miles north-east of Coleraine and five miles west of Ballycastle.
The small fishing harbour can be found at the end of a small narrow steep road down Knocksaughey Hill, which passes by the entrance to Larrybane and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The village itself, which is just one kilometre from the harbour, has a charming array of small shops, two churches, including the quaint white Ballintoy Parish Church on the hill above the harbour, as well as tourist accommodation, restaurants, commercial and social facilities.
For those looking to capture a true sense of Irish rural life, it is an ideal stop over whilst touring the coastal route.
It has been used as a filming location in HBO’s epic series Game of Thrones. This stunning harbour location has been used for exterior Pyke shots and as the Iron Islands.
This picturesque coastal nook is where Theon Greyjoy arrives back in the Iron Islands and where he later admires his ship, the Sea Bitch. This is also where he first meets his sister Yara.
Admisson charges apply if you want to get inside the remains of the castle, but you can walk around it for free.