Things to do in Ballyclare

The 17 Best Things to Do in Ballyclare for Solo Travelers and Families

Last Updated: September 29, 2023By

If you’re wondering if there are any exciting things to do in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland, be rest assured. This charming town in the UK that offers a plethora of exciting things to do for solo travelers and families alike.

With its range of attractions, activities, and natural beauty, Ballyclare is the perfect destination for an unforgettable trip. Whether you’re looking to explore historical sites, enjoy family-friendly activities, or immerse yourself in vibrant city culture, Ballyclare has something for everyone.

Key Takeaways

Key highlights are as follows:

  • Discover a variety of attractions in Ballyclare that cater to different interests and age groups
  • Explore the local heritage and visit historic sites and landmarks
  • Enjoy outdoor adventures in the beautiful natural landscapes surrounding Ballyclare
  • Take a day trip to Belfast and experience its vibrant culture and rich history
  • Don’t miss the breathtaking Antrim coast road and its stunning attractions

With stunning scenery, Ballyclare presents opportunities to create some great memories!

Best Things to Do in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland

1. Explore the Local Attractions

Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Ballyclare by exploring its top attractions and tourist spots. From charming heritage sites to natural wonders, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this picturesque town. Here are some of the must-visit places to add to your itinerary:

  • Ballyclare Town Hall: Discover the heart of Ballyclare at the Town Hall, a stunning historic building that showcases the town’s architectural beauty and serves as a hub for local events and activities.
  • Ballyclare May Fair: Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the annual May Fair, a traditional celebration that dates back to the 17th century. Enjoy live music, funfair rides, and delicious local food during this lively event.
  • Greenmount Campus: Visit this renowned agricultural college and explore its stunning grounds, which feature beautiful gardens, scenic walking trails, and a vast array of plants and flowers.
  • Doagh Famine Village: Step back in time at this fascinating attraction, where you can learn about Ireland’s history during the Great Famine. Explore the recreated village and hear stories of the hardships faced by the Irish people.

Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, Ballyclare has something for everyone. Take the time to explore these top attractions and discover the hidden gems that make this town truly special.

2. Enjoy Family-Friendly Activities

Family-friendly activity

Family-friendly activity

Ballyclare offers a host of family-friendly activities that guarantee a memorable experience for everyone in your clan. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or indoor entertainment, this charming town has something for all ages. From exploring nature parks to immersing yourself in educational museums, here are some of the top family-friendly activities in Ballyclare:

  1. Zoos and Wildlife Parks: Get up close and personal with fascinating animals at the local zoos and wildlife parks. It’s a great opportunity for kids to learn about different species and conservation efforts.
  2. Children’s Museums: Dive into the world of interactive exhibits and hands-on learning at the children’s museums. These engaging spaces encourage curiosity and creativity in young minds.
  3. Educational Places: Ballyclare offers a range of educational places suitable for all ages. From historical sites to science centers, these destinations provide a fun and informative experience for the whole family.
  4. Gaming and Betting: For some indoor excitement, explore the gaming and betting options in Ballyclare. Whether it’s mini-golf, arcades, or family-friendly casinos, there’s plenty of entertainment to keep everyone entertained.
  5. Health and Wellbeing: Take a break from the hustle and bustle with activities focused on health and wellbeing. From leisure centers with swimming pools to yoga classes in serene settings, Ballyclare offers opportunities to relax and rejuvenate.
  6. Sports and Adventure: Get active and enjoy the outdoors with the sports and adventure activities available in Ballyclare. From hiking and cycling to water sports and adventure parks, there’s no shortage of adrenaline-pumping fun.

With such diverse offerings, Ballyclare ensures that families can create lasting memories while enjoying their time together. So pack your bags, gather the family, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in this enchanting town.

3. Delve into History and Heritage

Step back in time and uncover the captivating history of Ballyclare as you explore its well-preserved historic sites and landmarks. This charming town in County Antrim boasts a rich heritage that is waiting to be discovered.

From ancient castles to intriguing museums, there is something for everyone interested in the stories of the past.

  • One of the standout historic sites in Ballyclare is the impressive Sentry Hill Historic House and Visitor Centre. This beautifully restored 19th-century farmhouse offers a glimpse into the lives of the McKinney family, who were influential in the linen industry.
  • Take a guided tour to learn about their fascinating history and explore the period rooms, filled with original furniture and personal belongings.
  • Immerse yourself in the folklore traditions of South Armagh at the Ti Chulainn Cultural Activity Centre.
  • Another must-visit landmark in Ballyclare is the imposing Dunamore Bridge, a striking structure that dates back to the 18th century. This historic bridge played a crucial role in connecting towns and villages in the area, and its architecture is a testament to the skilled craftsmanship of the time.

4. Unearth the Rich History and Heritage of Ballyclare

For those interested in military history, a visit to the Greenmount Battlefield and War Memorial Park is a must. This peaceful park commemorates the sacrifice of soldiers from Ballyclare and the surrounding area during World War I. Take a stroll through the memorial garden and reflect on the bravery and resilience of those who served.

This unique venue offers a range of activities and workshops that uncover the ancient customs and traditions of the region. From traditional music and dance to storytelling and craft demonstrations, Ti Chulainn provides an immersive experience into Irish culture.

As you explore Ballyclare’s history and heritage, you’ll find yourself transported to a bygone era, where stories of the past come to life. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the town’s roots, Ballyclare’s historic sites and landmarks are sure to leave a lasting impression.

5. Discover Outdoor Adventures

If you’re an adventure seeker, Ballyclare has a plethora of thrilling outdoor activities to get your adrenaline pumping. From breathtaking hikes to exhilarating cycling routes, this town offers something for everyone looking to explore the great outdoors.

For those who enjoy hiking, the stunning landscapes surrounding Ballyclare provide the perfect backdrop for scenic walks. Lace up your boots and venture along the picturesque trails of Carnmoney Hill or take on the challenge of the nearby Benbradagh Mountain. As you ascend to higher altitudes, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping panoramic views that will leave you in awe.

If you prefer cycling, Ballyclare boasts a network of cycling routes that cater to all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a beginner, you’ll find routes that will take you through lush forests, charming villages, and rolling countryside. Strap on your helmet and embark on a two-wheeled adventure that will leave you feeling invigorated and refreshed.

6. Unleash Your Inner Thrill-Seeker

  1. For an adrenaline rush like no other, why not try your hand at off-road quad biking? Jump on a quad bike and navigate through rugged terrains, muddy tracks, and steep hills. It’s an exhilarating experience that will leave you buzzing with excitement.
  2. If you have a head for heights, Ballyclare also offers thrilling zip line adventures. Soar through the air as you zip across tree canopies and take in the breathtaking views below. It’s an adrenaline-pumping activity that will make you feel like you’re flying.
  3. If water sports are more your style, you can try your hand at kayaking or paddleboarding on the beautiful Ballyboley River. Glide along the tranquil waters, taking in the surrounding scenery and enjoying a peaceful and serene experience.

With its abundance of outdoor activities, Ballyclare is the perfect destination for adventure enthusiasts. So, pack your sense of adventure and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this picturesque town.

7. Experience Belfast’s Vibrant Culture

Take a short trip from Ballyclare to Belfast and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and history of Northern Ireland’s capital city. With its bustling streets, lively Irish pubs, and a rich tapestry of historical sites, Belfast offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors.

Start your exploration of Belfast with a visit to the iconic Titanic Belfast, an interactive museum that tells the story of the infamous ship. Discover the city’s maritime heritage and learn about the tragedy that unfolded in the icy waters of the Atlantic. As you wander through the exhibits, you’ll be transported back in time to the era of the Titanic.

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the Crown Liquor Saloon, one of Belfast’s oldest pubs, known for its exquisite Victorian architecture and stunning stained glass windows. This historic establishment offers a wide selection of local beers and spirits, making it the perfect place to relax and soak up the city’s unique atmosphere.

No visit to Belfast is complete without a trip to the captivating Crumlin Road Gaol. This former prison offers guided tours that delve into the dark and fascinating history of Northern Ireland. Explore the eerie corridors and cells, and learn about the political tensions and conflicts that shaped the country. It’s a haunting experience that provides a deeper understanding of the region’s complex past.

8. Explore Belfast’s Cultural Gems

Belfast is home to a vibrant arts and music scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and live music venues to explore. Visit the MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) and indulge in contemporary art exhibitions, theater performances, and dance shows. Immerse yourself in the city’s cultural scene and discover the talent and creativity that Belfast has to offer.

  • Discover the historic St. George’s Market, a bustling indoor market where you can find delicious local produce, unique crafts, and live music performances. It’s the perfect place to sample traditional Irish delicacies and soak up the lively atmosphere.
  • Explore the breathtaking Botanic Gardens, a green oasis in the heart of the city. Marvel at the exotic plants in the Palm House and soak up the tranquility of the gardens, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.
  • Immerse yourself in the city’s musical heritage at the Oh Yeah Music Centre, a dynamic hub that celebrates Belfast’s vibrant music scene. Discover the city’s rich musical history and catch a live performance by local artists.

From historical landmarks to cultural hotspots, Belfast offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors of all interests. So make sure to include a day trip to this vibrant city on your itinerary when exploring Ballyclare and discover the true essence of Northern Ireland.

9. Explore the Stunning Antrim Coast

Embark on a scenic journey along the Antrim coast road and discover the awe-inspiring beauty of Northern Ireland’s coastline. This picturesque route stretches for miles, offering breathtaking views of rugged cliffs, golden sandy beaches, and shimmering turquoise waters. As you drive along, you’ll be captivated by the dramatic scenery, with each twist and turn revealing a new natural wonder.

For fans of the hit TV series Game of Thrones, this coastal road is a must-visit. You’ll have the opportunity to explore iconic filming locations, immersing yourself in the world of Westeros. Stand in awe at the Dark Hedges, where Arya Stark made her escape, or visit the stunning Ballintoy Harbour, better known as the Iron Islands. It’s an extraordinary experience, stepping into the realm of dragons and battles.

“The Antrim coast road is like something out of a fantasy novel. The rugged cliffs, hidden coves, and mystical atmosphere make it a truly enchanting destination.” – Travel Magazine

One of the highlights along the Antrim coast road is the world-famous Giant’s Causeway. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a geological wonder, with its hexagonal basalt columns resembling stepping stones created by giants. Explore the unique formations and marvel at the myths and legends surrounding this remarkable natural phenomenon.

10. Discover the Hidden Gems

While the Antrim coast road and its Game of Thrones connections are certainly the main draw, there are plenty of other hidden gems to discover along the way. Visit the enchanting Ballygally Castle, a stunning 17th-century hotel said to be haunted by a friendly ghost.

Explore the tranquil Fermanagh Lakelands, a paradise for nature lovers, and take a leisurely boat ride on Lough Erne. And don’t miss the chance to walk along the historic city walls of Londonderry, immersing yourself in the rich history and culture of this fascinating city.

So, whether you’re a Game of Thrones enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply someone looking for stunning coastal scenery, the Antrim coast road has something to offer everyone. Prepare to be amazed as you embark on this unforgettable journey through some of Northern Ireland’s most breathtaking landscapes.

11. Visit Other Must-See Destinations

Expand your horizons and visit these nearby gems that offer unique experiences and breathtaking landscapes. Whether you’re seeking history, natural beauty, or a taste of Irish culture, these destinations near Ballyclare have it all.

  1. Ballygally Castle: Step into a fairytale at Ballygally Castle, a stunning 17th-century castle turned hotel. Discover its rich history, explore the picturesque gardens, and enjoy breathtaking views of the Antrim coastline.
  2. Fermanagh Lakelands: Immerse yourself in nature’s beauty as you embark on an adventure to the Fermanagh Lakelands. Cruise along serene lakes, explore ancient caves, and unwind in idyllic surroundings.
  3. Londonderry City Walls: Uncover the stories of the past as you walk the historic city walls of Londonderry. Marvel at the well-preserved fortifications and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this culturally diverse city.

For those seeking even more exploration, South Armagh offers a glimpse into Ireland’s folklore traditions. Explore ancient burial sites, uncover tales of mythical creatures, and experience the rich heritage of this enchanting region.

With a wide range of accommodation options available, including charming guest houses and even castles, you can rest assured that your stay in Ballyclare and these neighboring destinations will be nothing short of exceptional.

12. Find the Perfect Accommodation

Rest and rejuvenate in one of Ballyclare’s diverse accommodation options, ranging from charming guest houses to magnificent castles. Whether you’re seeking a cozy and intimate setting or a grand and luxurious experience, Ballyclare has something to suit every taste and budget.

  1. Guest Houses: Experience warm hospitality and a home-away-from-home atmosphere in Ballyclare’s guest houses. These charming establishments offer comfortable rooms, delicious breakfasts, and personalized service, ensuring a memorable stay for all visitors.
  2. Hotels: Indulge in luxury and sophistication at one of Ballyclare’s top hotels. From stylish boutique hotels to well-known chains, these accommodations boast elegant rooms, first-class amenities, and exceptional service, promising a truly indulgent experience.
  3. Cottages: Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of the countryside with a stay in one of Ballyclare’s cozy cottages. These self-catering accommodations provide a peaceful retreat, allowing you to relax and unwind amidst breathtaking natural surroundings.
  4. Castles: Fulfill your fairytale dreams by staying in one of Ballyclare’s magnificent castles. Transport yourself to a bygone era as you revel in the opulence and charm of these historic buildings, complete with exquisite decor, stunning grounds, and a touch of regal elegance.

Whichever accommodation option you choose, you can expect a warm welcome, comfortable amenities, and easy access to all the attractions and activities that Ballyclare has to offer. So, whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, Ballyclare’s diverse range of accommodations ensures that your stay will be nothing short of extraordinary.

Final Thoughts – Plan Your Unforgettable Trip to Ballyclare

Start planning your unforgettable trip to Ballyclare and create lasting memories as you explore its diverse attractions and activities. Whether you’re a solo traveler or travelling with your family, Ballyclare offers a wide range of experiences that cater to all interests and ages.

  • Visit local zoos and wildlife parks to get up close with fascinating creatures and learn about conservation.
  • Kids will love the interactive and educational exhibits at children’s museums for fun family learning.
  • Historical sites and hands-on science museums provide engaging educational experiences for student trips.
  • Adventure seekers can hike picturesque trails, mountain bike, rock climb, or try thrilling activities.
  • Explore vibrant Belfast nearby – enjoy Irish bars, delicious dining, and sites like Titanic Belfast.
  • Don’t miss visiting the stunning Antrim coast and iconic attractions like the Giant’s Causeway.
  • Try your luck at gaming and betting activities or relax at local spas and wellness centers.
  • Stay in comfortable Ballyclare accommodations from hostels to charming guest houses or even castles.

If you have any comments or recommendations, please use the comments section below this article.

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One Comment

  1. Sebastian T. Goodwin September 29, 2023 at 5:13 am - Reply

    Hello, thanks for a great article on visiting Ballyclare, NI!

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