Ballycastle beach is almost 1.2 km long and runs from the marina at Ballycastle harbour to Pans Rock in the east. The beach is predominately sand with shingle and backs onto Ballycastle golf course.
This iconic archway of intertwining beech trees, known as The Dark Hedges, has become one of our most photographed tourist sites. It was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century to impress visitors approaching the entrance to their Georgian mansion. Today the site is perhaps best known as a filming location in HBO’s Game of Thrones® ; it doubled as The King’s Road in Season Two of the epic series.
A short drive from Ballycastle takes you to Carrick-a-Rede, and the famous rope bridge. 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 Giant's Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, this is the focal point of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 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.
Ballintoy Harbour can be discovered in the picturesque village of Ballintoy. Known as a ‘raised beach’, it is located alongside the B15 coast road, 10km west of Ballycastle. It has been used as a filming location in the Game of Thrones for exterior Pyke shots and as the Iron Islands.
Dunluce Castle was first built on the dramatic coastal cliffs of north County Antrim by the MacQuillan family around 1500, the earliest written record of the castle was in 1513. In the 17th century, Dunluce was the seat of the earls of County Antrim and saw the establishment of a small town in 1608. The dramatic history of Dunluce is matched by tales of a banshee and how the castle kitchens fell into the sea one stormy night in 1639. In Game of Thrones it comes back to life as Castle Greyjoy.
Located just 5km from Ballycastle, Kinbane Castle is a must see. While there is not a lot left of the Castle, it was after all built in 1547, the headland on which it sits is stunning. There is a narrow access road leading to a car park, then a lot of steps to the Castle.
The 74 berth Blue Flag marina is situated within the inner basin of Ballycastle Harbour and provides visiting vessels with sheltered pontoon berthing for vessels up to 20 metres.
Located at the seafront, this children’s playpark is a must see for younger visitors.
As you are doing your workout on the outdoor gym you can enjoy the views of Rathlin Island, Fairhead and on a clear day the Mull of Kintyre.
Dating back to the 17th century, the Auld Lammas Fair takes place on the last Monday and Tuesday in August each year. The fair marks the end of summer and the beginning of harvest. Local specialities, farm produce and craft items occupy more than 400 stalls so you can spend the day browsing. Street performers and an all round carnival tmosphere attract thousands of visitors annually. All the local bars join in, with music sessions and great food and drink on offer.