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Ballycastle, County Antrim

Hiroshima, Japan
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Ballycastle, County Antrim

Hello, we're thinking about a trip to Ballycastle, but we want to make sure it'd be worth it. I'm posting it on the 'ireland' forum because I can't find one for ballycastle or antrim. If anyone can link me to another forum to post in, I'd be so grateful.

We really want to stay in or around Ballycastle, because that's where my ancestors are from, and I would really like to see where they lived. I have a few questions about the area:

1. Where in county Antrim should we stay? There would be three of us- myself and my 2 daughters. We want a relaxing stay, with a lot to do for about 3 or 4 days. We're perfectly comfortable with renting a car to explore a little, but we don't want to spend too much time driving around.

2. For that area, do you have any specific recommendations for hotels? Our budget would be about $150 per night, or about 95 pounds per night.

3. What is there to around the area? Like I said, we can rent a car no problem.

Thank you all so much!

Edited: 28 March 2012, 09:51
Ireland
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1. Re: Ballycastle, County Antrim

Hello there,

You will find the information required in Northern Ireland Forums, and County Antrim forums.

It's a lovely part of the world, Giants Causeway, Carraig-a-rede Rope Bridge, Antrim Coast, Belfast City, all near Ballycastle.

Ponaire on the Northern Ireland forums is the expert contributor, and will give you lots if info.

Hope this helps. B

North Coast, N...
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2. Re: Ballycastle, County Antrim

thanks bikies-tour! Yes, please look under the Northern Ireland forum under the United Kingdom forums.

But, I pop up on the Ireland forum too so will give you some information here.

In my opinion, if Ballycastle is where your ancestors are from, then that is where you should stay! It's in a good position close to the Glens of Antrim and the famous Giant's Causeway/north coast area. It has a beach (not the best to be honest in the area but still ok for walks etc), a very famous fish and chip shop (Morton's) at the harbour and has a Mauds ice cream parlour where you should try the poor bear ice cream.

Definitely, definitely hire a car. You will need it in this area. The best time is between Easter and end of September as Ballycastle really would be very quiet in the winter but during the spring/summer months it is a great area (especially if you get glorious weather like we are having now) and popular with tourists - so yes, lots to keep you busy for 3 or 4 days and some great myths and history (Children of Lir, the story of the Giant's Causeway, the tragedy at Dunluce Castle etc). The best activities will be outdoors but there are good facilities for indoor activities especially for younger children.

To enable me to give you some ideas of what to visit, can you let me know:

- your daughters' ages

- when your ancestors (roughly) left the area

Also, do you plan to include Belfast in your trip?

A few links to get you started:

http://www.moyle-council.org/tourism/

http://www.causewaycoastandglens.com/

http://www.northcoastni.com/

For help with accommodation, ths is the northern ireland tourist board website but also have a look at reviews on TA for B&Bs etc

www.discovernorthernireland.com/accomfinder/

Hope that helps get you started:)

Once I know your daughters ages and any specific interests, we can try and give more detailed suggestions.

Edited: 28 March 2012, 13:53
Cavan
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3. Re: Ballycastle, County Antrim

Don't forget Rathlin Island, just a stones throw from Ballycastle and well worth visiting.

North Coast, N...
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4. Re: Ballycastle, County Antrim

Absolutely - best time of year for Rathlin is April to early July to see the birds - the puffins tend to leave by mid July. It can be fun to hire bikes and go round the island that way - but the puffin bus is also good (for us less energetic souls). I like the seals on the island as well. In spring and summer months, especially at weekends, probably advisable to book the ferry as it can get booked up.

MA
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5. Re: Ballycastle, County Antrim

Any suggestions for a private driver/guide in the general area of Ballycastle/Ballintoy? My ancestors are from there too.

North Coast, N...
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6. Re: Ballycastle, County Antrim

causewaycoastandglens.com/Tours-and-Tour-Gui…

The above link might help as there are a couple of links for guides but I personally don't know any of them to be able to comment.

Ballycastle and Ballyintoy both fall within Moyle District Council so it might be worth contacting the tourist office there:

http://www.moyle-council.org/tourism/

From memory that downloadable "Heart of the Glens" brochure is an excellent read although covers the Glens rather than Ballintoy...

MA
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7. Re: Ballycastle, County Antrim

Thanks very much, Ponaire. This is very helpful information. Wish I could leave tomorrow--what a beautiful part of the world!

Huntsville, Alabama
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8. Re: Ballycastle, County Antrim

We stayed at the Whitepark House for our trip in September and loved it. Wonderful old house that has been updated and is lovely, though I am not sure if it fits in your budget. Bob is a wonderful host and gives great suggestions for the area. I would recommend to check it out. Also, if going to Bushmills for dinner, try dining at the Tartine at the Distillers Arms. It was so amazing (both food and great service) the first night we went that we went back for dinner a second time in our 3 night stay in the area!

Edited: 27 April 2012, 19:35
MA
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9. Re: Ballycastle, County Antrim

The Whitepark House looked very nice and it is within my budget. But I won't have a car--don't want to drive on the other side of the road so I have to line up a driver/guide before anything.

Huntsville, Alabama
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10. Re: Ballycastle, County Antrim

You may want to email Bob at WPH, he hooked us up with Sam the taxi man who took us into Bushmillls and back for the two dinners at Tartine. He may have suggestions for other options for you as well! Maybe you could take the train to Coleraine and then get a cab or bus to Bushmills/WPH....

Oh and Bob's brown bread at breakfast was wonderful, as were his potato cakes/farls (but he wouldn't give us the recipe for the bread)!