Ballycastle is a famous town located on the A2 ring road that treks all the way along the Antrim Coast from Belfast City. The main attraction it offers is a mile long sandy beach curving under the striking Fair Head cliffs. Ballycastle was once a thriving holiday town that attracted holidaymakers from all over Ireland in the sixties, but is now a much more localized venue for day trips and a good base from which to explore the Antrim Coast and the beautiful Glens of Antrim. There are lots of guesthouses and a number of family run hotels in the town and around the outskirts.
Ballycastle’s claim to fame is the ancient Auld Lammas Fair which takes place in August of every year. The fair attracts thousands of visitors many of them repeat ones, from Ireland and Scotland in particular.
Other features of the town include The Glory Hole which is a plug-hole-like smugglers cave to the sea is at the end of the strand, the half ruined Bonamargy Franciscan Friary, which is on the edge of town and Ballypatrick Forest Park is 10km away near the village of Watertop where there is also an open farm which welcomes visitors in summer.
In good weather, Ballycastle’s biggest attraction is the ferry to Rathlin Island just off the Antrim Coast.
There is also a regular ferry service to Campbelltown, Scotland from Ballycastle to Scotland, just 12 miles off the Antrim Coast, maintaining long standing links between the two countries.