Places to Explore in or near Ballycastle
Bonamargie Friary is one of the finest ruins along the north coast. It was originally thatched and the ruins consist of a chapel, vaults, gatehouse, cloisters, living quarters and a graveyard. A Black Nun is said to haunt the friary.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope-Bridge is an iconic site. The island here served as an obstacle for migrating salmon, giving fishermen a chance to enjoy a rich haul. The first rope-bridge was constructed in 1755 after over one hundred years of fishing at Carrick-a-Rede and Larrybane. Skip the queues here and see this area from the water below on our Carrick-a-rede Sea Safari. You might even get to swim beneath this famous bridge.
Rathlin Island lies six miles across the Sea of Moyle from Ballycastle. It has long associations with both Scotland and Ireland and once lay at the heart of the ancient Dal Riada Kingdom. It is a rugged and picturesque island steeped in a rich history, vibrant mythology, maritime heritage and diverse wildlife. Explore Rathlin and its coastline on our Around the Sound Rathlin Experience or Bruce’s Cave Experience.
Fairhead is a rocky headland known for its wild and rugged beauty which is iconic of our Antrim coastline. It is a spectacular geological feature born out of volcanic activity some 60 million years ago, towering over the sea, and steeped in its own mythology of The Children of Lir. Consequently, it is no wonder it came to be used in the prodigious HBO series Game of Thrones.
Ballycastle Beach is a beautiful sandy beach perfect for a walk, swim or for beach-combers looking for shells or sea glass.
Pan’s Rock (the remains of an iron salt pan) is at the far end of the beach that juts out to the sea and is a popular location for fishing. This is easily accessible by a footbridge. Look out for the face carved in the rock.
The Devil’s Churn is just beyond Pan’s Rock. Steps have been carved into the stone to an underwater tunnel. The sea floods and empties the tunnel hypnotically making a thunderous eerie noise.
Torr Head lies just outside Ballycastle. Long winding roads lead to a breath-taking peninsula of panoramic views reaching as far as the Mull of Kintyre. Lush velvet green set atop volcanic limestone with the remains of a 6th century cashel. This place has a maritime history dating back to the transatlantic 1800’s and is where the passage of transatlantic ships was recorded and relayed back to Lloyds of London.
Murlough Bay is a wild hidden cove with magnificent views. Used in Game of Thrones scenes this is a truly instagramable location. There is a short walk from car park and the scenery speaks for itself, it is a hidden gem off the beaten track.