Camping Tips for Beginners

By / 17th September, 2014 / Uncategorized / Off

Camping adventures provide an ideal opportunity for you and your friends to get away from a busy and hectic city life. Families can use this chance to bond and share good times together. A couple of friends could use a camping trip as a way of catching up after going separate ways soon after completing college.

Seeing that you are going to spend a weekend or a few days and nights away from home, there are a number of things you should take care of. For instance, you need to pack a few clothing items; clothes and shoes that are suitable for the outdoors. You must also prepare in advance; know where you are going and how to get there.

The following tips can be helpful for first time campers:

Identify where you are heading for the camping trip: There are many places you can choose for a camping expedition. When making choices, make sure you understand the area’s climate. Find out whether there are camping grounds available. Also know in advance how to get there.

Get a detailed map of the area: Maps help bring familiarity especially in places you have never been to before. Since most maps are drawn to scale, use it to calculate the distance you will cover from home to the camping grounds. Get to know the state of the roads and any tracks will find along the way.

List the items you intend to carry: Even if you are going for a day or two, you are going to need essential items such as toothpaste, toothbrush, shaving kit, soap and so on. Remember to include sleeping gear, food and clothing. As you load each item, tick it off from your list; it helps you ensure that you don’t forget anything.

Sleeping arrangements during the trip: Decide beforehand how you will tuck in for the night. If the campsite rents out tents, then you only need to carry sleeping bags. On the other hand, you could also rent one of the cabins at the site. Alternatively, if you happen to own a recreation vehicle (RV), it can serve as your sleeping place.

Emergency arrangements: Whether you are camping alone or as part of a group, there are arrangements you should make just in case an emergency arises. Carry your cell phone with you. Let your family members and close friends know where you will be and for how long.

Upcoming Events In Northern Ireland

By / 29th July, 2014 / Uncategorized / Off
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Car Touring near Dunluce Castle County Antrim

Road Trip on the Causeway Coastal Route

Why not enjoy a road trip on the stunning Causeway Coastal Route?  With unrivalled coastal scenery, iconic attractions and great places to eat and stay over, you’ll see why it’s been rated as one of the world’s top road journeys.

Here are some of the highlights along the route, which runs between Belfast and Londonderry/Derry.

Glenariff Forest ParkThe Glens of Antrim

Explore the delights of the famous Glens of Antrim.  Visit the Conservation village of Glenarm, home to the famousSteensons Jewellers where you can watch the skilled craftspeople at work and pick up a beautiful contemporary gift.  Stop off for lunch in the historic Londonderry Arms Hotel in Carnlough (once owned by Winston Churchill) then stroll by the village’s pretty harbour.  Leave the coast and take a bracing walk through Glenariff Forest Park, with its impressive waterfalls and stunning views over the classic u-shaped valley.

Car Touring Dark Hedges StranocumThe Dark Hedges

Take a detour inland to the much-photographed Dark Hedges, a sinewy avenue of beech trees planted in the eighteenth century and recently used as filming location in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope BridgeCarrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Back on the coast, take the exhilarating rope bridge challenge to Carrick-a-Rede island.  The crossing over the 30-metre deep and 20-metre wide chasm was originally erected by Salmon fishermen.  Reward yourself for your efforts with the stunning views of the coastline and out to Rathlin Island.

Old Bushmills DistilleryThe Old Bushmills Distillery

Enjoy a tour through the heart of the oldest working distillery in Ireland.  The craft of whiskey making has been carried out at Bushmills since 1608, using the same traditional methods to create the finest Irish whiskeys, which you can sample for yourself.  While you are in Bushmills, stop for a bite in The French Rooms, an elegant but informal restaurant and gift shop.

Giant's CausewayThe Giant’s Causeway

Not to be missed, this iconic World Heritage Site is renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt and is steeped in myth and legend.  Unlock the secrets of the Causeway landscape with the interactive exhibition in the Visitor Experience then head out to the stones to identify  distinctive formations such as the Wishing Chair, the Granny and the Organ.

Dunluce CastleDunluce Castle

Explore this dramatically located Medieval castle, once the headquarters of the MacDonnell Clan.  Its magical clifftop setting is said to have inspired Cair Paravel in C.S. Lewis’Chronicles of Narnia and it was included in BBC Countryfile Magazine’s top 10 romantic ruins in Britain.

MussendenTrainDownhill Demesne and Mussenden Temple

Take in the wild, dramatic views at this 18th century estate, developed by the colourful Earl Bishop of Derry, Frederick Hervey.  The circular Mussenden Temple, overlooking stunning coastal scenery, was inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, near Rome.

Roe Valley Country ParkRoe Valley Country Park

Take another short detour inland to this beautiful country park near Limavady, which offers a variety of routes through woodland and along the pretty River Roe.

Follow the Causeway Coastal Route to the Derry~Londonderry, where you can stay over and explore the city’s many attractions.  These include the famous City Walls,St. Columb’s Cathedral, Tower Museum, Museum of Free Derry and the beautiful Guildhall.

Why You Should Visit The North Coast of Antrim This Summer

By / 23rd June, 2014 / Uncategorized / Off

When the holiday season rolls around, one of the most fascinating and beautiful places to visit is the Antrim coast. This area has just about everything a tourist could want from castles to the oldest whiskey distillery in the world.

Plan Your Trip

If you are planning a holiday along the Antrim coast, then you need to do some planning to be able to get all the best sights in. One place you should definitely check out is the town of Portrush. It has restaurants, pubs, amusements nightclubs and beaches.

Plus, it is on the train route that goes all along the Antrim coast. This little sea town has many students when school is in session, and a lot of families come here on the weekends to go to the beach.

Some of the sights you won’t want to miss include:

Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle is mostly ruins now, as it is precariously standing on the edge of the rocks. The castle is said to have fallen apart in 1639 into the sea, taking the servants with it during a particularly stormy night. Admission to the castle includes a view of these ruins. Dunluce Castle is believed to be the inspiration for Cair Paravel in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series.

Old Bushmills Distillery

Bushmills Distillery is said to be the oldest whiskey distillery in the world, as it has been made there since the 13th century. You can tour the facility and see how they make this potent brew of Irish whiskey and get to try it for yourself at the end of the tour. It is best to go there during the week so you can actually see the plant in action.

Giant’s Causeway

When you stay at our Causeway coast accommodation you can visit the four mile long Giant’s Causeway which is a World Heritage Site, famous for its strange basalt columns. Its shore is full of thousands of hexagonal pillars jutting up at different heights. Geologists think it was created more than 60 million years ago by a volcanic eruption. However, legend says it was built by a giant Ulster warrior called Finn MacCool. There are lots of Giant’s Causeway bus tours available but this one is our favourite.

Layde Church

Ruins of Layde Church are in Cushendall on the Antrim coast. It is important for being one of the oldest Christian churches in the area that may date back to the Iron Age and that held Protestant services until the 1800s.

Kinbane Castle

Kinbane Castle ruins still sit on a little stone promontory named Kinbane Head. It is about three miles from Ballycastle on the Northern Antrim coastal road.

St. Gobbans

St. Gobbans, which is in Dunseverick, is known as Ireland’s smallest church and is only three meters by 1.4 meters in size. It sits right by the ocean. The church is now privately owned. It is dedicated to St. Gobbans, a renowned individual who was the area’s best known architect in the 6th and 7th centuries.

Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge

This is a very well-known tourist attraction. This rope bridge at one time connected the mainland to Carrick Island, it was replaced by a better and safer bridge with a wooden platform to protect people using it to cross. It was first built as a way for fishermen to check their nets. It’s open to tourists from February to November.

So, if you want to have your holiday along the North Coast, be sure to see the above sights and enjoy the rich history of the area.

If you are visiting the North Coast then be sure to check out our camping barn which is one of the top campsites in Northern Ireland.

Top 9 Tourist Attractions In Northern Ireland

By / 9th June, 2014 / Uncategorized / Off

Many people come to Northern Ireland every day to spend their holidays. When they do our Ballycastle Accommodation is the ideal hub for their tourist activities.

Here are the 9 top tourist attractions they are likely coming to see:

1. Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway is found on the Antrim Coast. It is now a World Heritage Site about two miles north of Bushmills. It’s made up of more than 40,000 interlocking columns of basalt and was created by a volcanic eruption millions of years ago. However, legend says that it was created by the Giant Finn McCool.

2. Bushmills Distillery

Bushmills Distillery is home to Ireland’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the town of Bushmills. The distillery gets more than 100,000 visitors a year and produces all the bottled whiskey that bears the Bushmills brand logo. It received its brewing license in 1608 from King James I. If you go on a tour of it, you get to sample this delicious brew at the end of the tour.

3. Irish Linen

The Irish Linen Guild was founded in 1928. It’s Ireland’s official organization for promoting the linen industry. They are well-known for producing fine quality linen products that are sold world-wide. The Irish Linen trademark can only be placed onto items that are genuinely made from yard that was spun in Ireland and on fabrics made by Guild members.

4. Belfast City

Belfast is one of the popular cities that tourists like to visit in Ireland. Some of the popular sights to see there include St. Anne’s Cathedral, free concerts in the Custom House Square, the annual Belfast Festival, Botanic Gardens, the Ulster Museum, as well as fantastic restaurants and bars and shopping districts that attract thousands of tourists on holiday.

5. Belleek Pottery

One thing that many tourists want when they come to Ireland is to buy some Parian china at Belleek Pottery. The company was founded in 1857 by John Caldwell Bloomfield. The company is so strict that they destroy any piece of china that has even a small flaw. They also have an online store at www.belleek.ie.

6. Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast

The Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast is one of the only High Victorian Public Houses left and it still features its gas lighting and snugs. Formerly called the Liquor Saloon, it is known for having a huge range of genuine ales, great pub food selections and of course tons of Irish hospitality. It originally was known as being a mighty gin house back in the Victorian age and it is still popular with tourists today who flock to it every year to try out its wares.

7. Walled City of Derry

The Walled City of Derry is the last of the totally walled cities in Ireland. It was originally founded in the 17th century. Some of the fantastic sights to see inside those walls are the Verbal Arts Centre, St. Columb’s Cathedral, the murals along the Lincoln Courts and Bond Street, Apprentice Boys of Derry Association and Memorial Hall, Ashbrook, First Derry Presbyterian Church, Brook Hall or the Ebrington Barracks to name a few.

8. Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

This is a museum that houses the country’s biggest collection of trains, cars and vintage buses. It also features an outdoor display depicting Ireland’s country life from a hundred years ago and has several farm and other restored buildings.

9. The Odyssey Complex

The Odyssey is one of Belfast’s entertainment centres and it also holds the biggest indoor arena in the country. The Belfast hockey team the Giants play there, and there are also several restaurants, pubs, cinemas, a bowling alley and an interactive discovery centre the kids are sure to enjoy.

These are but a few of the superb things to see or do in Northern Ireland on your next holiday and when you visit we would love it if you stayed with us at one of the best campsites in Northern Ireland.

6 Reasons Why Northern Ireland Is Perfect For Camping

By / 13th May, 2014 / Uncategorized / Off

Every outdoor enthusiast probably has a mental image of a perfect campsite. People look for various qualities in a camping location including beauty, privacy, quietness, security, spaciousness and cleanliness among others. The best camping locations in Northern Ireland have all of these qualities.

1. Beauty

This refers to the general surroundings of the campsite, especially in parks, beaches and other scenic locations. Campsites in Northern Ireland offer outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy the country’s natural splendour from their tents. Northern Ireland has beautiful settings that invite you to relax and enjoy them. The country is blessed with a vast array of forest parks, coastal paths, mountain beaches and much more. It is home to beautiful regions, all with their own unique appeal.

Campers can enjoy beautiful scenery that ranges from the secluded coastal beaches, scenic glens and quaint villages situated in the North Coast, to the beautiful granite topped summits and dramatic views of the Mourne Mountains. There is something for everyone.

2. Privacy

Northern Ireland campsites offer unrivaled privacy. You do not have to worry about wayfaring intruders straying off a trail into your campsite. Most campsites have considerable ground vegetation that forms barriers between campsites. It is important for campers to respect the privacy of others, and hope that the respect will come back to them as well.

3. Quietness

Campsites in Northern Ireland are far enough from each other. This means that you do not have to worry about hearing every word from your neighbours. The campsites are located away from busy places such as boat landings and major roads. The quietness in some campsites is masked by waterfalls, sound of waves and other natural sounds. At least, such sounds muffle the sounds that many people probably want to get away from.

However, quiet campers will hopefully remind others to do the same.

4. Spaciousness

Campsites in Northern Ireland are quite affordable. Some campsites are located in distant locations, which may require campers to travel a while before reaching their destination while others are located in wide-open areas near major roads. Sometimes, remote and primitive campsites do not have actual campsite space.

5. Security

Camping in Northern Ireland is very safe as the campsites are very secure. They are patrolled by rangers and monitored by campsite hosts. Security is an important factor to consider when spending time outdoors. You should consider proximity to trails, how easy it is for someone to abuse your space, where to leave expensive equipment and other factors. It is advisable to keep a low profile and lock valuable items in your car whenever you can.

There is an unwritten rule in camp ethics, which requires campers not to interfere with the affairs of other campers. Unfortunately, not all adhere to this unwritten rule. When camping in Northern Ireland, be sure to check with campsite host whenever you leave your campsite, and notify both the ranger and the campsite host if you will be away for long. Some security breaches are not caused by humans. Therefore, do not leave foodstuff lying around the tent because it might attract insects and other animals.

6. Cleanliness

Campsites in Northern Ireland are well managed by rangers and campsite hosts. This means you do not have to worry about garbage and tossed foodstuffs. Most Northern Ireland campsites do not have a reputation of being scavenge locations for critters. However, consider various hygiene factors when choosing a campsite. Natural debris such as leaves and twigs may indicate strong winds, which may require you to clean up once a while.

Tip: Making a checklist of what you require in a campsite will help you choose the perfect site for a getaway. Check out our Ballycastle accommodation today.

Ballyvoy open to the world!!!

By / 12th March, 2014 / Uncategorized / No Comments

Ballyvoy Camping Barn opened to the world on the 9th of July 2014.

The barn’s location offers, cyclists, bikers, golfers, climbers photographers, kayakers; canoeists; ramblers
and backpackers a fantastic stay at very competitive prices.

Come and stay with us and be assured of a friendly, enjoyable break on the beautiful north Antrim coast.