Places to visit during your stay
The North Coast of Antrim is famous worldwide for its stunning scenery and breathtaking vistas. There are many activities and places of interest which you can take in on your visit - all within a short journey of Ballintoy Harbour Cottage.
Carrick-a-rede rope bridge (approx. 1.5 miles)
A short coastal footpath leads to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. On the way, there are wonderful vantage points to stop and take in the natural beauty. The geology, flora and fauna have won Carrick-a-Rede recognition as an area of special scientific interest. Fulmars, kittywakes, guillemots and razorbills breed on the islands close to the rope bridge.
Of course, Carrick-a-Rede also boasts an exhilarating rope bridge experience. Traditionally fishermen erected the bridge to Carrick-a-Rede island over a 23m-deep and 20m-wide chasm to check their salmon nets. Today visitors are drawn here simply to take the rope bridge challenge!
The Giants Causeway (approx. 6.5 miles)
The Giant's Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, is the only World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, this is the focal point of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries. It harbours a wealth of local and natural history.
The Giant’s Causeway is steeped in myth and legend. Some say it was carved from the coast by the mighty giant, Finn McCool who left behind an ancient home full of folklore. Look out for clues of the existence of the mighty giant, Finn McCool – including Giant’s Boot, The Wishing Chair, The Camel, Giant’s Granny and The Organ.
Guided tours of the Causeway are available by arrangement for groups of more than 15 people, and there is access for visitors with disability. The area is suitable for picnics, cliff and country walks, and dogs are welcome on leads.
Ballycastle (approx. 5 miles)
The small town of Ballycastle is situated at the northern mainland limit of the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of outstanding natural beauty. The town has a beach and views across to Rathlin Island and the Mull of Kintyre. Ferries to Rathlin Island depart from the small Ballycastle harbour daily.
The town is famous for its annual 'Ould Lammas Fair' which is held every year, traditionally on the last Monday and Tuesday of August. The fair has been running for nearly 400 years dating back to the 17th century. Various goods and wares are sold and traded at the fair including local traditional foods such as 'yellowman and 'dulse'.
Kinbane Castle (approx. 3 miles)
A two storey castle was built in 1547 by Colla MacDonnell, brother of Sorley Boy MacDonnell, with a large courtyard with traces of other buildings, probably constructed out of wood. In 1551 the castle was besieged by English forces under Lord Deputy, Sir James Croft, in the course of an expedition against the MaDonnell's. Another siege in 1555 by English forces, the castle was partly destroyed by cannon fire. Rebuilt afterwards, Colla MacDonnell died at the castle in 1558.
Portrush (approx. 13 miles)
Portrush is a seaside resort town approximately 13 miles from Ballintoy. The route there is along the beautiful North Coast Coastal road which is worth taking a trip along for the views as much as the destination. The main part of the old town, including the railway station as well as most hotels, restaurants and bars, is built on a mile–long peninsula. The town boasts a small harbor, amusement arcades, promenade, shops, eateries and bars and some beautiful beaches.
The Famous North West 200 Motorcycle race meeting takes place in Portrush annually and is traditionally held on the third Saturday in May.
Recently awarded with the prestigious 2011 Blue Flag Award, Portrush Whiterocks Beach has become a favourite with locals and a must see destination for International visitors. The limestone cliffs of the White Rocks stretch from Curran Strand to Dunluce Castle. These soft, sedimentary rocks have been carved through centuries into a labyrinth of caves and arches. Shelagh’s Head, the Wishing Arch, Elephant Rock and the Lion’s Paw are headlands of distinguishable forms which rise out of the ocean. Under the road, there are cavernous caves, accessible only from the sea, home to seabirds and a hunting ground for hawks.
The East Beach is backed by glorious sand dunes and the nearby Royal Portrush Golf Course. Its golden sands are lined by dramatic cliffs that have been weatherworn over the centuries into a spectacle of caves waiting to be explored and superb views over the Skerries to the Scottish Islands. Portrush East beach has also been awarded the prestigious Blue - Flag beach award for the management, cleanliness and quality of water.