Ballycastle is a small town in Northern Ireland on the Antrim Coast in the Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The town is right on the sea. You can see Rathlin Island and all the way to Scotland. This was where I stayed. I made day trips to Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, the Old Bushmills distillery and Dunluce Castle.
Sheltered by the surrounding rock, this harbor has a long history. In the 1400s it was called Port Brittas. The MacDonnells kept a fleet of galleys here. Later, when coal was mined at Fairhead, it was a shipping port. The current marina opened in 1999.I walked into town to get something to eat and try to get some money. I saw a restaurant that said it took credit cards, so I stopped to eat. I ordered Guinness Pie. I was expecting something in a piecrust with potatoes, onions… Not this weird overcooked over seasoned puff pastry thing. The tomato was completely flavorless wood. The peas and fries were good. I was hungry. Then the waitress was offended by my tip in Euros. They wouldn’t let me put the tip on the card. She really told me off. I was going to bring back Sterling once I got some, then decided very much against it as she went on and on. But, she was the only ugly person I met on my whole trip. Fair Head, Ballycastle’s headland rises almost 650 feet from the bay.
Ballycastle is at the foot of Knocklayde mountain. Knocklayde is 1,695 feet high. I could see it out the windows of my room, but I have no photos.A monument to Guglielmo Marconi overlooks the harbor, directly across from where I stayed. It memorializes the “world’s first commercial radio signal from Rathlin Island to Ballycastle on 6th July 1989.”
Guglielmo Marconi, 1st Marquis of Marconi was an Italian inventor and electrical engineer recognized for his success in developing radio telegraph. His mother, Annie Jameson Marconi of Daphne Castle in County Wexford, Ireland was the granddaughter of John Jameson, founder of whiskey distillers Jameson & Sons. On July 6, 1898, Marconi conducted a wireless telegraph transmission test for Lloyds between Ballycastle and the East Lighthouse on Rathlin Island.Almost a mile of beach runs from the pier at Ballycastle Marina at the western end to Pans Rock in the east. It is mostly sand with some pebbles. Ireland calls a pebble beach shingle. The beach has a park with a playground and a bouncing water fountain for kids to play in. It wasn’t warm enough for me, but the kids were loving the water. This signs help you know what you are looking at. This is the sunrise the next morning. No one was about this early but this friendly street cleaner.