A short distance from Ballycastle lies a little-known jewel called Kinbane Castle. Although not much remains of the castle itself, the surrounding area offers spectacular views. At location you have a car park and toilets, both of which are free. The secluded ruin lies at the bottom of a steep cliff face. The path to the castle ruins is narrow and stepped so be careful. Be sure to stop halfway down to take in the stunning scenery, it is host for the perfect photo opportunity.
Once at the bottom, take a walk and enjoy the 360degree panoramic views of the stunning coastline and cliffs. You can then walk out as far as you want past the castle for more spectacular views (there is no fence so be careful at the edge).
Kinbane Castle is one of my favourite places to visit in Northern Ireland. Standing on the cliffs, surrounded by the Atlantic ocean, listening to the waves crash and the birds sing, highlights the wonder and awe of nature that can be found on our stunning little isle.
I really do recommend you visit Kinbane Castle. Although the cliff edge is steep and there are many steps, the panoramic views are absolutely worth it. On the way back up take your time, stop and turn back to enjoy the views one more time.
Along the main coastal road, situated just outside Portrush, you will find a stunning beach, White Rocks. It’s is a firm favourite with locals and a must-see for international travellers. At location you have a car park, toilets and shower facilities.
The scenery is instantaneous as your make your way from the coast road to the car park. From the beach, the famous limestone cliffs are clearly visible. The beach is very popular for water sport enthusiasts, in particular body boarding. White Rocks beach is also home to a number of breathtaking caves and arches, however these are only accessible at low tide. The sweeping golden sands give way to a perfect 3-mile beach walk leading to the East Strand, Portush. The towering sand dunes and cliffs provide the perfect setting for a stunning, peaceful walk along the beach.
The cliffs and headlands provide the perfect panoramic view of the Causeway Coast. It makes the perfect backdrop for a stunning sunset.
You would be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere tropical whilst walking the golden sands of the White Rocks (although the weather is usually a giveaway!). It has a very different vibe to other beaches around the north coast. Its clean white sand, crashing waves, stunning cliffs and headlands and giant sand dunes gives you everything you could want and more from a ‘day at the beach’.
Hidden Gem: Cranny Falls
One of Northern Ireland’s most stunning waterfalls can be found 30 minutes from Ballymena. Cranny Falls, located near a small village called Carnlough, is a hidden gem and a must-see for tourists and locals alike.
From Carnlough, take the steps going up the hill beside the Harbour Lights building. This will take you across the bridge over the main road. The path will lead you past a car park and take you toward Gortin Quarry where there are seats and a viewpoint which looks over Carnlough Bay. Follow the path and signs to Cranny Falls. The walk is roughly 1.2 miles each way with a slight gradient. Come back down the same way. Some parts are off road. On the way back don’t forget to look up! The views are beautiful and you have a great view of the Antrim coastline.
If you have time, take a moment to explore the harbour in Carnlough Bay and its array of boats before you leave. You may even recognise some of the scenery as it was used in Game of Thrones series.
My name is Timmy. There is nothing like getting outdoors and exploring the country we live in. Photography is a hobby of mine which is super enjoyable as it challenges you to see new places.
You can follow me on Instagram (@timmymcclean) – this is where I try to inspire people to get outdoors and help people find places they might not have known about before. Let me know what you think if you explore any of these locations.