The beautiful seaside village of Ballygally, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Ballygally is a beautiful seaside village with quaint sandy beach and deep blue sea. It is home to Ballygally Castle, reputed to be the oldest occupied building in Ireland and with a reputation for being haunted. It sits in the middle of the village and is currently used as a 4 star hotel. It was built around 1625 for James Shaw of Greenock and is one of Ireland’s best-preserved Scottish baronial style plantation houses. Ballygally, despite the shop being demolished in 2008 to build flats, now has a brand new two-storey building, funded by the Big Lottery, Larne Borough Council and NER. The building consists of a large Spar shop at ground level and a Community Hall on the first floor. This will be the venue for many social activities in the very near future. Restaurants, pubs and Cairndhu Golf Course are nearby. Ballygally beach is a popular destination during the Summer months. Situated 1–2 miles away is the Carnfunnock Country Park, which offers a cafe, trailer park, a children's park, go-cart racing, clay pigeon shooting, mini-train rides, bungee runs, mini-golf and nature walks.



Local Attractions

The Giants Causeway, Carrickfergus and Dunluce castles and the Carrick a Rede rope bridge are just a few of the attractions within easy travelling distance from the Ballygally Holiday Apartments.

Two sections of the Ulster Way, Northern Ireland's best known walking trail, are easily accessible from the Ballygally Holiday Apartments. These beautiful walks give an excellent opportunity to fully appreciate the magnificent scenery and wealth of archaeology on the Antrim plateau.


The Giant's Causeway

Northern Ireland's only Unesco World Heritage Site, located on the North Antrim Coast is a "must see" on any itinerary. See over 40,000 volcanic rock formations formed some 62 - 65 million years ago and enjoy local legends of how the Giant Finn MacCool built the Causeway to retrieve his Lady Giant from Staffa in Scotland. Fifteen miles of footpaths.  2012 saw the opening of a brand new visitor and information centre. This facility greatly adds to the Causeway experience and makes a trip to the Causeway a must for visitors. The Giant's Causeway is 48 miles from the Ballygally Holiday Apartments along the breathtaking Antrim Coast Road.

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Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge

Originally erected by salmon fishermen to access the rocky island of Carrick, this breathtaking attraction is now operated by the National Trust. Located 5 miles west of Ballycastle and just 7 miles from the Giant's Causeway, the bridge is open from March to October weather permitting and provides wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. Excellent for birdwatching.

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The Gobbins Cliff Path

On the very edge of the Irish Sea lie the Gobbins Cliffs, Not for the feint hearted the walk is being described as a white knuckle experience but what an experience!!    The Gobbins was first opened in 1902 by the Edwardians and was as big an attraction as the Giants Causeway.   

A spectacular location where you can truly escape everyday life and experience nature at its most elemental. During your amazing 2.5 hour fully guided walking tour you may even taste the sea salt on your lips, feel the Irish Sea wind, marvel at tales of local smugglers, witness the native sea birds and keep your eyes open for some dolphins swimming off the rugged coastline. The Gobbins experience will take you along a narrow path hugging the dramatic cliff face; across spectacular bridges amid the crashing waves of the North Channel; traversing hidden Tunnels under the Irish Sea; up and down rugged staircases carved into the cliff face and into caves that were once home to smugglers and privateers.

The Gobbins visitor centre is the start of your adventure and where you will meet your guide for your adventure, please remember to bring along your booking confirmation. The centre hosts a fabulous interactive exhibition telling the history of The Gobbins Path, its flora and fauna, and the story of how the path was reborn. Guests with young children or with reduced mobility are welcome to browse our gift shop, enjoy a coffee in The Gobbins Cafe, or enjoy the outdoor children’s play and picnic area. You may also avail of the free car parking located at the Visitor Centre. We understand that The Gobbins Path may not be suitable for everyone and details are contained on our booking page.

The Gobbins Path was masterminded by the Irish railway engineer, Berkley Dean Wise as an incredible tourist attraction. The path originally opened in 1902 and was later abandoned in the 1960’s until an investment of over £7.5 million brought about its rebirth in 2015.

 

The Gobbins Experience

The Gobbins Path is an arduous trek that is often narrow and uneven, accessed by a very steep pathway. Due to the nature of the rugged coastal location suitable outdoor clothing and walking boots or shoes are essential. Without exception, all guests must wear a safety helmet whilst experiencing The Gobbins. To enjoy The Gobbins a good level of fitness is needed. You must be fit enough to climb 50 flights of stairs and walk a very steep 1 in 5 gradient.

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The Causeway coastal route

Embark on the Causeway Coastal Route: One of the greatest drives on earth. 

 
1. Belfast


Your adventure begins (or ends) in the vibrant city of Belfast. It’s ideal for a short break, with its excellent dining, nightlife, shopping and cultural attractions across its many quarters. Uncover the legend of RMS Titanic in the city of her birth at the landmark Titanic Belfast and related attractions. Other highlights include the Ulster Museum, Belfast Castle, Crumlin Road Gaol and a range of sightseeing and historical tours.

2. Carrickfergus Castle

Discover one of our most imposing monuments and one of Ireland’s best preserved medieval structures in this early stop off if you’re starting the route from Belfast. It was begun in 1177 by Anglo-Norman conqueror John DeCourcy and played an important military role up until 1928. You can visit throughout the year for fun family days out and to learn about the castle’s colourful history.

Find out more about Carrickfergus Castle

3. The Gobbins

Excite all the senses on this exhilarating cliff-face path, which was first enjoyed in the early 1900s. Located on the scenic Islandmagee peninsula, the attraction has been reborn and reimagined for the 21st century giving unparalleled access to the rugged Antrim Coast. The dramatic and challenging path includes spectacular tubular and suspension bridges, caves, steps and tunnels. There is also a fascinating Visitor Centre and cliff-top path.

Find out more about The Gobbins (currently closed for maintenance due to open soon)

4. Carnfunnock Country Park

An excellent day out for all the family, the park is packed full of exciting and unusual attractions, in a spectacular setting overlooking the Antrim Coast. Highlights include an outdoor adventure playground, family fun zone, nine-hole golf course, walled garden, walking trails, geocaching, a hedge maze in the shape of Northern Ireland, caravan and camping site and and a modern visitor centre/café.

Find out more about Carnfunnock Country Park

5. Slemish

With its unmistakable profile rising above the surrounding plain, this extinct volcano has always captivated visitors. Slemish is famous as the location where, according to legend, Saint Patrick tended sheep for six years after being captured and taken to Ireland. From a car park with interpretation, there is a looped walk ascending to the summit - a popular pilgrimage walk on Saint Patrick’s Day each year.

Find out more about Slemish

6. Glenarm Castle and Walled Garden

Visit the ancestral home of the McDonnells, Earls of Antrim, with its glorious Walled Garden packed full of natural and manmade features. Enjoy a treat in the charming tea-room, located in the 19th century Mushroom House. The castle itself is open on selected dates, where you can see superb examples of Irish furniture plus family portraits. Open Easter until end of September.

Find out more about Glenarm Castle and Walled Gardens

7. The Glens of Antrim

Take time to explore the famous Glens of Antrim. There are nine altogether, each with its own scenic drive, with lyrical names such as Glencloy, Glentaisie and Glenballyemon. Don’t miss Glenariff Forest Park, set in the ‘Queen of the Glens’, with bracing walks and beautiful waterfalls. Stop off in pretty towns and villages such as Glenarm, Carnlough, Cushendall and Cushendun, and enjoy a traditional music session.

8. Cushendun

Don’t miss a stop off at the pretty coastal village of Cushendun, nestled at the foot of Glendun, one of the nine Glens of Antrim. A designated Conservation Area, it was designed in the style of a Cornish village by eminent architect Clough Williams-Ellis. Look out for the goat sculpture, ‘Johann’, and the caves behind the village which were one of many local locations used in the filming of HBO’s Game of Thrones®

9. Torr Head

Take a detour off the main Causeway Coastal Route towards this rocky headland which forms our closest point to Scotland, just 13 miles away. It’s a narrow, winding road but it’s worth it for the stunning views of Fair Head, Rathlin Island and the Antrim and Scottish coastlines. A ruined 19th century lookout on the headland once tracked transatlantic ships.

10. Bonamargy Friary

Stop off at the picturesque ruins of Bonamargy Friary, just outside the lively seaside town of Ballycastle. It was founded around 1500 by the Franciscans and contains the remains of chieftain Sorley Boy McDonnell. In the town itself, look out for a memorial to Guglielmo Marconi who carried out the first tests on radio signals here in 1898.

11. The Dark Hedges

This iconic archway of intertwining beech trees has become one of our most photographed natural phenomena. It was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century to impress visitors approaching the entrance to their Georgian mansion. Today the site is perhaps best known as a filming location in HBO’s Game of Thrones®; it doubled as The King’s Road in Season Two of the epic series.

12. Rathlin Island

Take a day trip or stay over to experience the rugged beauty and tranquillity of Northern Ireland’s only inhabited offshore island, reached by ferry from Ballycastle. Follow one of the island’s scenic walking trails or hire a bicycle to explore the quiet roads. Learn about island life at the Boathouse Visitor Centre, watch the seal colonies, visit the island’s three lighthouses or the popular RSPB Seabird Centre situated at the distinctive West Lighthouse.

Find out more about Rathlin Island

13. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Take the exhilarating rope bridge challenge across to tiny Carrick-a-Rede island (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) and enjoy a truly cliff-top experience. Set amid unrivalled scenery on the North Antrim Coast, the 30-metre deep and 20-metre wide chasm is traversed by a rope bridge that was traditionally erected by Salmon fishermen. It’s a bit more sturdy these days but there’s still only one way off the island - back across the swinging bridge!

Photo Courtesy of Rob Durston ( www.durstonphoto.com )

Find out more about Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

14. Ballintoy Harbour

This small, picturesque fishing harbour is a short detour from Ballintoy village. Follow the narrow winding road downhill past the white-washed Ballintoy Parish Church "one of Ireland’s most photographed churches. The harbour’s stunning natural setting led to it being used as a filming location in the fantasy TV series Game of Thrones®, as exterior Pyke shots and as the Iron Islands.

15. Whitepark Bay

Enjoy a stroll on this spectacular sandy beach which forms a white arc between two headlands on the North Antrim Coast. Your only company might be the cows who are known to rest on the beach. Don’t miss the picturesque little harbour and hamlet of Portbradden at the western end of the bay. It is home to the beautiful St.Gobban's Church, one of the smallest in Ireland.

Find out more about Whitepark Bay

16. Giant's Causeway

Not to be missed on any itinerary is this geological wonder which gives the route its name. The Giant’s Causeway sits at the centre of an Area of Outstanding Beauty and is Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site, famously steeped in myth and legend. Begin your visit at the state-of-the-art Visitor Centre then stroll down to the intriguing polygonal stones to search out distinctive formations such as the Camel, Wishing Chair, Granny and Organ.

17. Old Bushmills Distillery

Take a guided tour through the heart of Ireland’s oldest working distillery, its original grant signed by King James I in 1608. The finest Irish whiskeys have been produced here for over 400 years, using the same traditional methods and the water from the distillery’s own stream. Take in the sights and smells, enjoy tutored tastings and relax with a whiskey (or soft drink) in the 1608 Bar at the end of your tour, before browsing the excellent gift shop.

Find out more about the Old Bushmills Distillery

18. Dunluce Castle

One of the jewels on the route, this breathtaking castle ruin has inspired artists and writers such as C.S. Lewis. Perched dramatically on the cliffs of the North Antrim Coast, it was built around 1500 by the local MacQuillan family and later seized by the Scottish MacDonnell clan who eventually established a small town here. Discover the castle’s tumultuous history with an audio-visual tour and smartphone app.

Find out more about Dunluce Castle

19. Downhill Demesne

Experience the wild and dramatic setting of Downhill Demesne which was the romantic vision of Frederick Hervey, an 18th century Earl Bishop of Derry. Beyond the ruined mansion lies one of our most iconic monuments - the circular Mussenden Temple, perched on a cliff edge high above Downhill Beach. It was built as a summer library and inspired by the Temple of Vesta near Rome. Don’t miss a visit to Hezlett House, a picturesque, late 17th century thatched cottage.

Find out more about Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne

20. Binevenagh

With its line of dramatic, basalt cliffs, Binevenagh mountain dominates the surrounding countryside. Take a detour off the main Causeway Coastal Route and ascend a scenic drive to the summit, with its fishing lake and panoramic views of the Roe Valley, Sperrin Mountains, North Coast and across Lough Foyle to Donegal. The more adventurous can follow one of the hiking trails to the summit.

21. Magilligan Point

A remote and beautiful location, Magilligan Point guards the entrance to Lough Foyle at the tip of one of the British Isles’ largest sand dune systems. Visit the Martello Tower, one of best preserved of a chain built to defend the coast of Ireland during the Napoleonic Wars. Then enjoy a brisk stroll on the golden sands of the Blue Flag Benone Strand before enjoying a meal in the popular Point

22. Limavady Sculpture Trail

Explore the myths and legends of the scenic Roe Valley area with this trail of beautiful and innovative art pieces. Learn about the notorious, 18th century highwayman Cushy Glen, enjoy the stunning coastal views from the sculpture of Celtic God of the Sea Manannàn Mac Lir, and see the writhing form of Lig-na-paiste - the last remaining serpent in Ireland.
 

23. Roe Valley Country Park

Take time out from driving to explore this scenic and tranquil park on the outskirts of Limavady, known for its abundance of wildlife, birds and Springtime wild flowers. Enjoy woodland walks and spectacular riverside views, learn about the industrial and natural heritage of the area in the museum and countryside centre then enjoy a snack in Ritters Tea Room. Don’t miss the ‘Leap of the Dog’ sculpture inspired by a legend behind the town’s original name, ‘Leim an Mhadaidh’

Find out more about Roe Valley Country Park

24. Derry~Londonderry

This ancient yet contemporary city makes for a perfect beginning or end to your itinerary. Take a walking tour of the City Walls - this is Ireland’s only remaining, completely walled city - and learn about the settlement’s rich history. Landmark sights include St. Columb’s Cathedral, the beautiful Guildhall and gleaming Peace Bridge curving across the River Foyle. It’s also a great party city with a packed programme of events and festivals during the year, including a massive Halloween carnival.

 

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Antrim coast road

Antrim Coast Road

A part of the A2 in Northern Ireland, called the Antrim Coast Road, is one of the most famous road trips in the world. A large section of the road is winding trough the countryside, following the scenic coastline. Some parts are even built between large 100m high cliffs and the sea.

The Antrim Coast Road

We start following the road in Belfast. From there, it will take us to all major attractions of North Ireland’s coast before it ends near the walled city center of Derry, at the border with the Republic of Ireland. The Antrim Coast Road is often praised as Ireland's most scenic drive. This part of the road is also relatively narrow and lightly used, which is great for a road trip.

The road was constructed between 1832 and 1842 by civil engineer William Bald. Instead of building the road inland, Bald had the vision of building the road at the foot of the cliffs. This avoided the road having steep gradients as it ran along the valleys. The workers blasted parts of the cliffs, and the fallen debris then formed the base for the coast road. It was a great engineering achievement for its day and made a great difference to the people of the Glens. Before the road was built, they sailed their goods across the sea to markets in Scotland, because the sea crossing was easier than travel by land.

From Belfast, we follow the A2 to Larne. (and Ballygally right past our door) This mid-sized town is the starting point of the Antrim Coast road. The road starts following the shoreline to the North. As we drive further, we’ll pass the Glens of Antrim. These nine valleys radiate from the Antrim Plateau to the coast. The Glens are an area of outstanding natural beauty and are great for hiking.

Glenariff, one of the nine Glens of Antrim

Some miles further down the road we pass a headland called Garron Point. The scenery is amazing here; we start to understand why this road is listed in the Guardian’s top 5 of road trips. Let the sea breeze flow through your open windows and start cruising.

Garron Point

Eventually we arrive in Cushendall, a small coastal town. It lies at the meeting point of three of the Glens of Antrim: Glenaan, Glenballyemon and Glencorp. Much of the historic character of this 19th century settlement remains. In 1973 it was designated as the second Conservation Area in Northern Ireland, and includes the largely intact Irish Georgian buildings of the town’s four original streets. At Cushendall the A2 is heading inland, but we keep following the coast by taking the spectacular Torr Road.

Torr Road

This small road is winding and climbing its way up to Torr Head. From there you can easily see Scotland (which is only 16 miles away) on a sunny day. We keep following the Torr road and eventually rejoin the A2 at Ballyvoy. Not for long though, because we leave the A2 a few miles further again at Ballycastle to take the B15 towards the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

This rope suspension bridge links the mainland to the tiny Carrick Island. The bridge spans twenty meters and is hanging thirty meters above the rocks below. The bridge is open all year round. After this little walk we continue our way on the B15 which will rejoin the A2 after a few miles.

Further down the road, our next exit is the B147, also known as the Causeway Road. The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that were formed some million years ago by an ancient volcanic eruption. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. At some spots the columns are about 12 meters (39 ft) high, and 28 meters thick. This natural wonder alone is already worth the trip.

Giant’s Causeway

We keep following the B147 and arrive in Bushmills. This little village is home to the world’s oldest licensed distillery: The Old Bushmills Distillery. The distillery's range includes the Bushmills Original and Black Bush blends and the 10, 12, 16, and 21 year old Single Malts. Several of these whiskeys have won international prizes.

After the whiskey tasting we continue on the A2. Just after leaving Bushmills you can already see the Dunluce Castle ruins. These ruins are perfectly located on a spectacular headland. The castle is surrounded by extremely steep drops on either side and is only accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland.

Dunluce Castle

Take a walk from Dunluce to the West, and you’ll arrive at White Rock Beach, near Portrush. This beach is known for its great white cliffs and rock formations.

White Rock Beach

Portrush itself is a small seaside resort town. The main part of the old town is built on a mile–long peninsula, Ramore Head. The town is known for its three sandy beaches and for its golf club. Portrush is also the end of the most scenic part of the route. After a little walk on the peninsula, we keep following the A2. The road turns more inland and heads for Derry, the end of our trip.

Derry is the only remaining completely intact walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe. The Walls constitute the largest monument in State care in Northern Ireland and, as it was the last walled city to be built in Europe, stands as the most complete and spectacular.

The walls

The Walls were built in the 17th century as defenses for settlers from England and Scotland. The Walls are completely intact and form a walkway around the inner city. They provide a unique promenade to view the layout of the original town which still preserves its Renaissance style street plan. There are four original gates to the Walled City to which three further gates were added later. Historic buildings within the walls include the Gothic cathedral of St Columb, the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall and the courthouse.

It is one of the few cities in Europe that never saw its fortifications breached, withstanding several sieges including one in 1689 which lasted 105 days, hence the city's nickname, The Maiden City.

In total, this road trip is only 198km (123 miles) long. With a driving time of 3h30m it can be done perfectly in one day, with some stops at the biggest highlights. If you’re going to North-Ireland, don’t hesitate to rent a car and do the trip, you won’t regret it.

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Antrim Castle Gardens

Antrim Castle Gardens are an absolute historical gem. You will find nothing like these 400 year old gardens anywhere else in Northern Ireland. A £6m restoration project, which received generous support from Heritage Lottery Fund, has now preserved this historic site for generations to come.

Walk into the past as you stroll around this magnificent setting, visiting beautiful features such as the Large Parterre, Her Ladyship’s Pleasure Garden and Yew Tree Pond. Antrim Castle Gardens are the proud winners of the Ulster in Bloom Special Award 2012.

Within the heart of the Gardens is a unique visitor experience, the refurbished Clotworthy House. Visit the Garden Heritage Exhibition where you can read about the history of the Gardens and the story of the Massereene family. It provides a fantastic opportunity to come and learn about garden history how the lives of the key family members intertwine with the development of Antrim town and the surrounding areas.

The light filled Oriel Gallery plays host to a range of stunning exhibitions throughout the year.

Be sure to visit and sample the many culinary delights in the Garden Coffee Shop with its delicious treat menu which has something to suit everyone. Your visit won’t be complete without a visit to the Visitor Shop where there is a unique range of goods with a distinct garden focus. With Christmas just around the corner, the shop offers some interesting and quaint gift ideas so why not drop in and pick something up for a friend, a loved one or even to spoil yourself.

With a year round programme of events and activities including talks, walks, interactive workshops, performances and exhibitions, the Gardens are just waiting to be explored. Pick up a ‘What’s On’ guide to keep up to date with our exciting programme.

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Women's Rugby World Cup

The 8th Women’s Rugby World Cup gets underway on 9th August in Dublin, before moving north to Belfast, Northern Ireland for the play-off rounds and final. The competition will culminate on 26th August at the impressive Kingspan Stadium, home of Ulster rugby.

The 18,000 seater Kingspan Stadium's outstanding facilities and renowned atmosphere make it one of the best Rugby stadiums in the UK and Ireland.

Semi-Finals

The Semi-Finals will take place in Kingspan Stadium on Tuesday 22nd August with the Final scheduled for Saturday the 26th in the home of Ulster Rugby.

Ranking play-off games will take place in Queen's University over the same dates. Ireland's knock-out matches will take place in Kingspan Stadium regardless of their ranking position.

Price list
From £10 for children
£15 for adults
£45 for families (2+2))

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St Georges Market

St George's market

There has been a Friday market on the St George’s site since 1604. The present award-winning St George’s Market, built between 1890 and 1896, is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions. 

As well as being home to some of the finest fresh produce, with customers travelling near and far to sample the delights of Friday, Saturday and Sunday markets, it has become one of the city's most popular places to visit. 

Since its £4.5m refurbishment in 1997, this charming Victorian building offers one of the most vibrant and colourful destinations that Belfast has to offer. 

Friday Variety Market

The Friday Variety Market is open 6am to 3pm. Around 248 market stalls sell a diverse range of products from Atlantic shark and zips, to antiques and fresh fruit. The fish section alone contains 23 fish stalls and holds the reputation for being the leading retail fish market in Ireland. You can also listen to live music from local solo artists.

Saturday City Food, Craft and Garden Market

The Saturday City Food and Craft Market is open 9am to 3pm. Enjoy the best food tastes and smells brought by local producers, as well as a fusion of tempting continental and speciality foods from around the world. Customers can sample the produce, relax with a coffee and a newspaper against a backdrop of live music from top local bands and solo artists.

Sunday Food, Craft and Antique Market

The Sunday Market is open 10am - 4pm and is a mixture of the traditional Friday Variety Market and Saturday’s award-winning City Food and Craft Market. It has a special emphasis on local arts and crafts, offering more local craftspeople the opportunity to show off their talents. Live music from top local bands and solo artists also ensures that visitors are kept entertained. Products on sale include local, continental and specialty foods, scented candles, clothes, handmade jewellery, antiques, art and souvenirs.

It was named the UK's Best Large Indoor Market 2014 by the National Association of British Market Authorities, beating off stiff competition from internationally renowned markets like Spitalfields, Billingsgate and Borough. 

A free market bus runs every 20 minutes between the City Centre (outside Boots the Chemist, Donegall Place or HMV, Castle Place) and the market. Bus departs at 8am on Friday and Saturday and every 20 minutes thereafter. 

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Rosepark Farm

Just picked up a leaflet for this open farm yesterday and then had a look on their website. It looks like a lot of fun and something to keep the little ones amused.

Farm History

The McAleese family bought the farm in 1995 and the game farm was established breeding pheasants, partridges and ducks. This is seasonal from mid May to mid August.

The Blue Lagoon was created in 1999 and stocked with brown trout, rainbow trout and grass carp fish. It creates an abundance of insect life – dragon flies can be seen mid to late summer.

Various planting took place within the farm and for the millennium we thought a fantastic idea to grow our own trees from seeds. We acquired the seeds from trees in the local area, namely horse chestnut, oak, maple and mountain ash. These were planted as seeds and now can be seen in various locations about the farm.

The Enchanted Wood was planted in the year 2000 with various hardwood including oak, silver birch, ash, maple, beech, mountain ash, wild cherry and birch trees.

The Orchard was planted in 2004 with native Irish apples and plums. They harvest in September/October.

They decided to do our bit to help to create renewable energy and reduce pollution of the earth’s atmosphere by installing a wind turbine in 2015. It is a 150 KW machine which can power up to 20-30 family homes. The machine is 30 metres high to the hub and 42.5 metres to the highest point on the blades. The electricity generated by the machine goes back into the national grid. Feel free to walk around it during a visit.

Upwards of 4000 roses have been planted around the walkways on the farm. These consist of many different varieties and colours.

 

Things to do

 

Rubys Tea Room” where a warm welcome awaits you from the friendly staff. Opening from 11am and closing at 5pm the tea room is located in the main animal yard opposite the indoor petting area.

Pedalo boats

Quad Train

Hop on Rosepark farms 6 car quad train that takes you over 3 large quad bumps, great fun for both adults and children.

Playpark

Zipline

Petting hut-snakes, rabbits, guinea pigs, bearded dragon, kittens.

Indoor Playbarn

Rosewalk-over 4000 roses planted on various walkways around the farm.

Giant’s chair

Blue lagoon

Enchanted wood

 

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Larne Museum and arts centre

Built in 1905, this historic building opened its doors to the public in 1906 as the Carnegie Free Library following financial assistance from the American millionaire and philanthropist Mr Andrew Carnegie.  In 2005, to commemorate its centenary year, the building was restored and renovated, retaining many of its original features.

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday, 10.00am - 4.30pm
Admission free.
Saturday Opening:
Larne Museum & Arts Centre is currently open on one Saturday per month from 10.00am - 4.30pm.

Contact Details

Larne Museum & Arts Centre
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
2 Victoria Road
Larne
BT40 1RN
T: 028 28 262443

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The dark hedges

This beautiful avenue of beech trees was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century.

It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House.

Two centuries later, the trees remain a magnificent sight and have become one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland.

In fact, the iconic trees have been used as a filming location in HBO's epic series Game of Thrones, representing the King's Road.

Featured Scene:

Season 2, episode 1: On the King' s Road, Arya Stark has escaped from King’s Landing, disguised as a boy. She is with Yoren, Gendry, Hot Pie and others who are to join the Night’s Watch, in a cart, travelling north on the King’s Road.

Find out about other Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Northern Ireland on www.discovernorthernireland.com/gameofthrones/

The Dark Hedges have been included in a list of the 12 best road trips in the UK and Ireland, compiled by the website www.continentalroadtrip.com.

Location:

GPS/Sat Nav: BT53 8TP

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Long Line surf School

Winner of the 'Best Coastal Experience in Northern Ireland 2013/2014'    The Long Line surf School and Water Trails provides lessons to teach the skills and techniques of surfing and stand up Paddleboarding.        Beginners and experienced -  all catered for.  

Benone Beach and Portstewrt Beach  :  tel: 07738128507

                                                      Hours:  9am - 9pm

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Ulster Folk and Transport Museum - BT18 0EU

Experience life from over 100 years ago as costumed guides demonstrate traditional crafts.  The story of Titanic comes to life at TITANICa The Exhibition and step aboard majestic steam locomotives in the Transport Museum.

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Northern Ireland War Memorial Gallery - Belfast 21 Talbot Street, BT1 2LD

The Northern Ireland War Memorial Gallery at 21 Talbot Street is well worth a visit.  An exhibition of Irelands (North and South) contribution in WW2.  Books of remembrance, life size displays, an audio visual display on the Home Front, records of the Belfast Blitz and a beautiful bronze centrepiece with connections to Ballygally Holiday Apartments!

 

this entry is currently being updated

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Bushmills Distillery

Bushmills Distillery swept the boards at the prestigious 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  As well as winning 'Best Whiskey in the World' (which of course we already knew!) Bushmills scooped 100% gold accolades in the global competition. These awards come on top of winning three ~World Whiskey Awards in London earlier that year.   Situate two miles from the Giant's Causeway, you can sample the award-winning whiskey for yourself. This is the oldest distillery operating in Ireland today. Distilling "Uisce Beatha", Gaelic for whiskey, since 1608, the distillery offers comprehensive guided tours of the distilling process and tasting of the range of whiskeys on offer. Gift shop on site.

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Dunluce Castle

A 17th Century castle, considered to be one of the most picturesque and romantic in Ireland. Sited on a rocky headland, 3 miles east of Portrush on the road to Bushmills. Visitor Centre, shop and guided tours available.

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Titanic's Dock and Pump House - BT3 9DT

Titanic Belfast extends over nine galleries, with multiple dimensions to the exhibition. Drawing together special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features you will explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise. The journey goes beyond the aftermath of the sinking, to the discovery of the wreck and continues into the present day in the Ocean Exploration Center.

Also see the SS Nomadic - Tender to the Titanic and the last remaining White Star Line ship in the world! Restored to her original glory and back home in Belfast’s historic Hamilton Dock. Come on board and experience over 100 years of authentic maritime and social history.

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Belfast City Centre

Visit the many attractions of Belfast City Centre, including the Ulster Museum, City Hall, the Odyssey complex, St. George's Market and Victoria Square. With its rich history and diverse culture there is something for all the family, including fantastic shopping, world-class dining and an exciting choice of music, cinema, theatre and nightlife. 

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Carrickfergus Castle

Beautifully preserved Norman Castle built by John De Courcy in 1180. Located approximately 15 miles from Ballygally, Carrickfergus Castle is open all year round and is a self-guiding facility with audiovisual and information boards to assist your enjoyment of the visit. Special events take place throughout the year.

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Carnfunnock Country Park

Located approximately 1/2 mile from the Ballygally Holiday Apartments, Carnfunnock Country Park provides a range of attractions for both adults and children alike. Including 191 hectares of forest walks, BBQ and picnic sites, adventure playground, walled garden and maze "map" of Northern Ireland.    The family fun zone is a great hit with young and old alike.  Also at Carnfunnock you will find a driving range and 9 hole golf course.

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Cairndhu Golf Club

Beautiful 18 hole golf course with a spectacular hill top location. Golfing enthusiasts staying at Ballygally Holiday Apartments can avail of a free round of golf (Monday - Friday) and use of a buggy. 24 hours notice required.

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Belfast Zoo - BT36 7PN

Belfast Zoo is home to more than 1,200 animals and 140 species.  Many of the animals are under threat in their own natural habitat and Belfast Zoo is a very important base for their survival.  Situated on a 55 acre site on the north side of Belfast, the zoo is easy to access from Ballygally (approximately 20 miles). Visitors can enjoy panoramic views over Belfast Lough and the surrounding countryside. Open all year round, children's playground, restaurant, picnic areas and gift shop.  A truly wonderful day out for all the family.

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Glens of Antrim

Ballygally Holiday Apartments, provides a wonderful base for touring the nine Glens of Antrim – an area of outstanding natural beauty. Many and varied are the attractions and places of interest in this area. Just to take one example, Glenariff Forest Park, signposted from Waterfoot, hosts a range of excellent walks alongside rivers and waterfalls and provides the visitor with breathtaking views of the Irish Sea and Scottish coastline.

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Glenarm Castle - BT44 0BQ

Glenarm Castle, home to the McDonnell family since the early 17th century, opens its historic walled garden and delightful tearooms to the public from May to September. The Dalriada Festival has become a popular annual event and is held on the 14th and 15th July.  . Events are held throughout the year,  Just have a look on their website and enjoy!

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Horse riding

Islandmagee, just 20 minutes drive from Ballygally (16 miles approximately), has two British Horse Society approved Equestrian Centres – The Islandmagee Riding Centre and The Rainbow Equestrian Centres both open all year round. Private/group lessons and beach rides are available.

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Watertop Open Farm

A 600 acre farm located 5 miles south east of Ballycastle. A fun day out for all the family. Enjoy pony trekking, boating, walks and a chance to tour the farm on a "paddiwagon", an ex army 4 x 4 truck.  Cafe facilities available.

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Flame The gasworks museum

Welcome to Flame,

Ireland’s only preserved Victorian gasworks, at Carrickfergus, 10 miles north of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The gasworks opened in 1855 and supplied the town with gas made from coal until 1967. It was subsequently used to distribute gas piped from Belfast until its closure in 1987. 

The gasworks was restored by the Carrickfergus Gasworks Preservation Society and opened to the public as a visitor attraction in 2002.

Flame Gasworks is one of only three preserved gasworks in Britain and Ireland. It boasts Western Europe’s largest set of retorts (in which the gas was made), and an extensive collection of gas appliances and documents. 

The museum is run by volunteers in partnership with Carrickfergus Borough Council and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. You can visit it any time and admission is free. 

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Ballyboley forest

Ballyboley Forest

Ballyboley Forest has some non waymarked walking trails to allow you explore this forest on foot. 

Ballyboley Forest was first planted in 1957. There is still remains of a Boley House in the south west corner of the forest which was used when the cattle were brought up the hill for summer grazing. Today it is a good example of multiple land use with its large catchment area supplying water to the surrounding communities and the forest with its 666 hectares growing raw material for the saw mills. The forest was first planted in 1957 and boasts species such as Japanese larch. Waymarked trails run through the forest and the Ulster Way passes through and over the top of Carninard (366m).

About this forest

The dam at Killylane was constructed in 1955 and can supply Larne, Ballymena, Ballyclare and parts of Antrim with up to three million gallons of water a day. It is stocked annually with rainbow trout and attracts many anglers to the area.

How to get there

From Larne, take the A8 for two and a half miles, then turn right onto the A38, Shanes Hill Road, and travel for about three miles. Turn left onto Upper Ballyboley Road and the forest entrance is signposted.

From Ballymena, take the A36 signposted for Larne (about 14 miles). Turn right onto the Upper Ballyboley Road. The forest entrance is signposted.

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2017 — Ballygally self-catering apartments