Things to do in Ballycastle

11 Things to Do in Ballycastle Northern Ireland

Last Updated: October 4, 2023By

Ballycastle, Northern Ireland offers a wide range of exciting activities and attractions for visitors to explore. From stunning coastlines to historic castles, this charming town has something for everyone. So, whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or just looking for a beautiful place to relax, Ballycastle should be at the top of your travel list.

Key Takeaways:

  • Enjoy a delicious breakfast or a cup of coffee from Our Dolly’s cafe.
  • Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Ballycastle Beach.
  • Visit Kinbane Castle and Dunagregor Iron Age fort for breathtaking views.
  • Marvel at the cliffs and panoramic views of Fair Head.
  • Explore the rich history and beautiful landscapes of Rathlin Island.

1. Breakfast and Coffee at Our Dolly’s Cafe

Fuel up for your day of exploration by grabbing a delicious breakfast or a takeaway coffee from the charming Our Dolly’s cafe in Ballycastle. This local gem is known for its cozy atmosphere and friendly staff, providing the perfect start to your adventures in Ballycastle Northern Ireland.

Indulge in a mouthwatering full Irish breakfast, complete with crispy bacon, savory sausages, free-range eggs, grilled tomatoes, and fluffy soda bread. If you prefer something lighter, their selection of freshly baked pastries, granola bowls, and fruit smoothies are sure to satisfy your cravings.

As you sip on your steaming cup of coffee, take a moment to soak in the charming ambiance of Our Dolly’s cafe. Adorned with vintage decor and cozy seating, it’s the ideal spot to relax and plan your day’s itinerary. Whether you’re a caffeine connoisseur or a breakfast enthusiast, this quaint cafe is a must-visit during your Ballycastle adventures.

2. Stroll Along Ballycastle Beach

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Ballycastle by taking a relaxing stroll along its picturesque beach. With its golden sands and crystal-clear waters, Ballycastle Beach offers the perfect setting for a peaceful walk or a fun day out with family and friends.

As you wander along the shoreline, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of the North Coast. The rugged cliffs, dramatic rock formations, and sweeping vistas create a stunning backdrop that is sure to leave you in awe. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of this enchanting place.

Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll, a refreshing dip in the sea, or simply soaking up the sun, Ballycastle Beach has something for everyone. Take a moment to relax, breathe in the fresh sea air, and let the soothing sounds of the waves wash away your worries. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

So, next time you find yourself in Ballycastle, make sure to carve out some time to explore the natural wonders of Ballycastle Beach. You won’t be disappointed by its beauty and tranquility.

3. Kinbane Castle and Dunagregor Fort

Step back in time and visit the fascinating Kinbane Castle, where you can also enjoy panoramic views of Rathlin Island and Dunagregor Iron Age fort. This medieval ruin perched on a picturesque cliff offers a glimpse into Ireland’s rich history. As you explore the castle’s remains, imagine the lives of the people who once called it home.

The views from Kinbane Castle are simply breathtaking. From the top of the cliff, you can marvel at the rugged beauty of Rathlin Island, known for its diverse wildlife and charming lighthouses. Don’t forget to take in the sight of Dunagregor Iron Age fort, an ancient hilltop settlement that adds to the historical allure of the area.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply appreciate stunning landscapes, a visit to Kinbane Castle and Dunagregor Fort is a must-do when exploring Ballycastle. Lose yourself in the stories of the past and soak in the beauty of the present as you admire the captivating views that surround you.

4. Cliffs and Views at Fair Head

Get ready to be amazed by the stunning cliffs and breathtaking vistas at Fair Head, offering panoramic views of Ballycastle, Rathlin Island, and beyond. This iconic landmark is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. As you stand on the edge of the cliffs, you’ll be captivated by the sheer beauty of the rugged coastline and the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stretching out before you.

Take a leisurely walk along the cliff-top paths, and be rewarded with unparalleled views that will leave you in awe. The dramatic scenery is truly a sight to behold and is often compared to the stunning landscapes featured in the hit TV series Game of Thrones. From the towering cliffs to the crashing waves below, Fair Head is a photographer’s dream.

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, why not try rock climbing or abseiling down the sheer cliffs? It’s an exhilarating experience that allows you to appreciate the rugged beauty of the landscape up close. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a beginner, there are options for all skill levels.

Discover the Beauty of Fair Head:

  • Marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views of Ballycastle, Rathlin Island, and the Scottish mainland.
  • Enjoy a leisurely walk along the cliff-top paths, taking in the stunning scenery.
  • Experience the thrill of rock climbing or abseiling down the cliffs.
  • Capture stunning photographs of the dramatic landscapes.

With its outstanding natural beauty and jaw-dropping views, Fair Head is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Ballycastle, Northern Ireland. So grab your camera, put on your hiking boots, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure amidst the breathtaking cliffs and vistas of Fair Head.

5. Discover Rathlin Island

Embark on a memorable adventure by taking a ferry trip from Ballycastle to Rathlin Island, where you can discover its fascinating history and soak in the stunning scenery. This picturesque island is home to charming villages, beautiful landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage that will captivate your senses.

As you step off the ferry, you’ll be greeted by the welcoming atmosphere of Rathlin Island. Take a leisurely stroll through the quaint streets, lined with traditional cottages and local shops. Stop by the island’s visitor center to learn about the island’s history and its unique wildlife, including puffins and seals.

For those seeking outdoor activities, Rathlin Island offers a range of options. Explore the rugged coastline on a scenic hike, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the West Lighthouse, perched on the edge of a cliff, and admire its striking architecture and panoramic vistas.

Uncover the island’s past by visiting Ballycarry Castle, a 16th-century tower house that stands as a reminder of Rathlin’s turbulent history. Wander through the ruins and imagine what life was like in ancient times. Don’t forget to explore the island’s hidden gems, including the picturesque Roonivoolin Nature Reserve and the secluded Rue Point.

Discover Rathlin Island in Style

“Rathlin Island is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of history, nature, and tranquility. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable experience in Northern Ireland.”

No trip to Rathlin Island is complete without indulging in fresh, locally caught seafood. Visit one of the island’s charming restaurants or cafes and savor delicious dishes made with ingredients sourced from the surrounding waters. Immerse yourself in the island’s laid-back atmosphere, where time seems to stand still.

Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, Rathlin Island has something for everyone. Plan your trip today and embark on a journey to this enchanting island, where breathtaking landscapes and captivating stories await.

6. Torr Head – A Game of Thrones Location

Calling all Game of Thrones fans! Make sure to visit Torr Head, a breathtaking location that will transport you to the world of Westeros. Located in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland, Torr Head has captivated audiences with its stunning landscapes and rich history, making it a must-visit for any fan of the hit TV series.

As you explore Torr Head, you’ll be immersed in the scenic beauty that served as the backdrop for some iconic Game of Thrones scenes. From towering cliffs that overlook the crashing waves of the North Atlantic Ocean to rolling green hills that stretch as far as the eye can see, this location truly brings the fantasy world to life.

But Torr Head isn’t just for Game of Thrones enthusiasts. Its natural beauty and dramatic landscapes make it a popular attraction for visitors of all interests. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast looking for a challenging trek or a photography enthusiast in search of the perfect shot, Torr Head offers an unforgettable experience.

So grab your camera, channel your inner Game of Thrones character, and embark on an adventure to Torr Head. Discover its rugged beauty, soak in the breathtaking views, and let your imagination run wild as you step into the world of Westeros.

7. Serenity at Murlough Bay

Experience tranquility at its finest with a visit to the serene Murlough Bay, where you can relax in the midst of stunning natural beauty. This peaceful hideaway is tucked away along the stunning North Coast of Ballycastle, offering a haven of calm away from the bustling crowds. As you stroll along the pristine sandy beach, the gentle sound of the waves lapping against the shore creates a soothing symphony that melts away your cares.

Surrounded by dramatic cliffs and lush green hills, Murlough Bay is a paradise for nature lovers. Take a leisurely hike along the coastal path and soak up the breathtaking views of the sparkling ocean and the rugged coastline. Immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere and let the fresh sea breeze invigorate your senses. You might even spot some curious seals playing in the crystal-clear waters.

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, Murlough Bay offers opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding, and even wild swimming. Dive into the refreshing waters and feel the exhilaration of being one with nature. Afterwards, revel in the sense of accomplishment and treat yourself to a picnic on the beach, surrounded by the beauty of this untouched gem.

Whether you’re looking for a place to unwind, explore, or simply reconnect with nature, Murlough Bay in Ballycastle is the perfect destination. Let the serenity of this enchanting spot wash over you and leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Discover the beauty of Murlough Bay and create memories that will last a lifetime.

8. Whitepark Bay Beach and Elephant Rock

Bask in the beauty of Whitepark Bay Beach, a hidden gem featuring pristine sandy shores and the striking Elephant Rock. This idyllic beach stretches for two miles along the North Antrim Coast, offering visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. As you take a leisurely stroll along the shore, feel the soft sand beneath your feet and let the gentle sea breeze brush against your face. The crystal-clear waters invite you for a refreshing swim or a paddle in the shallows, perfect for both families and water enthusiasts.

As you explore Whitepark Bay Beach, don’t miss the iconic Elephant Rock, a unique rock formation that resembles the mighty creature it is named after. This natural wonder adds a touch of magic to the already picturesque landscape, making it a favorite spot for photographers and nature lovers. Whether you’re capturing the perfect shot or simply admiring the panoramic views, Elephant Rock is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Looking for some adventure? Whitepark Bay Beach offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. From beachcombing and birdwatching to picnicking and kite flying, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The beach is also a popular spot for surfing, with its consistent waves attracting surfers of all levels. So grab your board and ride the waves, or simply sit back and relax while soaking up the sun.

Whitepark Bay Beach is not just a beautiful destination, but also an important habitat for wildlife. The beach and its dunes are home to a variety of plants and animals, including rare species of orchids and butterflies. While exploring the area, keep an eye out for these fascinating creatures and take a moment to appreciate the rich biodiversity that thrives in this coastal haven.

9. Giants and Bridges – Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge

Prepare to be amazed by the natural wonder of the Giant’s Causeway and experience an adrenaline rush crossing the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. These iconic attractions in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland, will leave you in awe of their beauty and grandeur.

The Giant’s Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a geological masterpiece. It features over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago. As you explore this unique landscape, you’ll feel like you’ve entered another realm, with its hexagonal pillars rising out of the sea. Take your time to marvel at the intricate formations and learn about the fascinating legends surrounding this natural wonder.

If you’re up for a thrilling adventure, head over to the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. Suspended 100 feet above the crashing waves, this narrow bridge connects the mainland to Carrick-a-rede Island. Test your courage as you walk across and enjoy breathtaking views of the rugged coastline. The bridge sways with the wind, adding an extra level of excitement to the experience. It’s a true spectacle for both nature lovers and adrenaline junkies.


  • Witness the extraordinary hexagonal basalt columns at the Giant’s Causeway.
  • Take a stroll along the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge and feel the thrill of crossing the gap.
  • Admire the stunning coastal scenery surrounding both attractions.

The Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge are must-visit destinations for anyone looking to experience the breathtaking beauty of Northern Ireland’s coast. These natural wonders will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.” – Traveler’s Digest

Remember to bring your camera to capture the awe-inspiring landscapes and share your adventure with friends and family. Whether you’re fascinated by geology or seeking an exhilarating experience, the Giants Causeway and Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge won’t disappoint. Plan your visit to Ballycastle and immerse yourself in the wonders of Northern Ireland.

Final Remarks – Things to Do in Ballycastle Northern Ireland

With its breathtaking scenery, rich history, and charming attractions, Ballycastle is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Northern Ireland. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be captivated by the stunning landscapes, picturesque beaches, and historic landmarks that make this town truly special.

Start your day off right with a delicious breakfast or a refreshing cup of coffee from Our Dolly’s cafe. Fuel up for a day of adventure as you explore the top attractions Ballycastle has to offer.

Take a leisurely walk along the beautiful Ballycastle Beach and immerse yourself in the stunning views of the North Coast. Feel the sand between your toes and let the sound of the crashing waves wash away your worries.

Uncover the secrets of the past as you visit Kinbane Castle and Dunagregor Iron Age fort. Stand in awe of the breathtaking views of Rathlin Island and immerse yourself in the history that surrounds these ancient landmarks.

For those seeking adventure, a visit to the majestic Fair Head is a must. Marvel at the dramatic cliffs and soak in the panoramic views of Ballycastle, Rathlin Island, and even the Scottish mainland. It’s a sight you won’t soon forget.

Embark on a ferry journey to Rathlin Island and uncover its rich history, charming villages, and stunning landscapes. Lose yourself in the tranquility of this island escape and experience the true essence of Northern Ireland.

For Game of Thrones fans, a trip to Torr Head is a must. This stunning location has been featured in the hit TV series, and its dramatic landscapes will leave you feeling like you’re in another world.

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life by visiting the peaceful and scenic Murlough Bay. Let the serenity wash over you as you take in the breathtaking views and reconnect with nature.

Discover the picturesque Whitepark Bay Beach and marvel at the soft white sand and iconic Elephant Rock. Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline and let the beauty of this coastal gem captivate you.

No trip to Ballycastle would be complete without a visit to the world-famous Giant’s Causeway. Witness the unique hexagonal basalt columns that have been formed by volcanic activity and immerse yourself in the mystique of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

For the thrill-seekers, a walk across the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge is a must. Test your bravery as you traverse this suspended bridge and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline.

End your journey with a visit to the well-preserved ruins of Dunluce Castle. Learn about its fascinating history and let your imagination run wild as you wander through the ancient halls of this iconic landmark.

With its diverse range of attractions and activities, Ballycastle truly offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, this charming town has it all. So pack your bags, grab a map, and get ready to explore the wonders of Ballycastle, Northern Ireland.



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