Situated at the east end of the Causeway Coast and to the north of the Glens of Antrim, Ballycastle offers easy access to outdoor delights. The seaside town is filled with old-fashioned pubs and shops, while a family-friendly beach and promenade runs along the shore. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Scotland from here.
Ballycastle is on the Causeway Coastal Route and is often visited as part of Northern Ireland day tours and multi-day tours departing from Belfast and Dublin. These tours typically include stops at other nearby sights, such as the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and Bushmills. Because of its proximity to Fair Head, Ballintoy, and other filming locations, Ballycastle is also a common stop-off on Game of Thrones tours.
Things to Know Before you Go
- Ballycastle is a must for scenery seekers, outdoors lovers, and Game of Thrones fans.
- Find plenty of cafés, pubs, and fish and chip shops in the village.
- For extra information on Ballycastle, stop by the Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre near the marina.
- Free maps and Wi-Fi are available at the visitor center.
How to Get There
Ballycastle is in County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland. From Belfast, drive along the M2 and A44. The journey will take about 70 minutes. Alternatively, follow the longer but more scenic Causeway Coastal Route along the Antrim Coast. Car-less travelers are best going as part of organized tours.
When to Get There
The best time to visit Ballycastle is in summer. During this time, the weather is better suited to outdoor activities, and you’ll find most operators and tourist-oriented businesses open. If you want to experience Ballycastle at its quietest, come in winter when only the resident population remains in place.
Ballycastle is the departure point for ferries to Rathlin Island, which sits just 6 miles (9.5 kilometers) offshore. Explore the Boathouse Visitor Centre to find out about life on the island and go trekking along the island’s trails. Hikers often encounter wildlife, such as resident seals and puffins, which are most commonly seen between April and July.