Ballycastle Marina, a sailing gem on the Causeway Coastal Route

12 Sep 2016

This lovely harbour at Ballycastle has been in use for centuries. The MacDonnells fleet of galleys gathered there in the 1400s when it was called Port Brittas. Later it was the main port for shipping of coal mined at Fairhead. Marconi conducted some of his earliest experiments in radio transmission between Rathlin and Ballycastle in 1898. The marina, opened in June of 1999, has created a welcome refuge on this stretch of northeast Antrim coast.

Ballycastle Marina is strategically situated just a few miles west of Fair Head and is a convenient arrival point from Scotland, whether headed west or south. The modern facility, thoroughly protected by a massive “rock armour” surround, provides full services to yachtsmen, dive boats and fishermen. The marina is very clean and sheltered, and just a few minutes’ walk from the town.

A park, children’s playground, picnic tables, fountains and water jets for kids to play in is at the quayside. Information boards dotted around the harbour tell visitors the story of Ballycastle and its connections with the sea. The seaside town is famous for the Ould Lammas Fair, which has been held at the end of August each year for more than 400 years.

The fish and chips takeaway shop, Morton’s, gets rave reviews for their fresh local fish and massive portions. The Bay Café, opened in 2010, is family run business situated on the seafront in Ballycastle offering stunning views of Ballycastle beach, marina, Fairhead, and on a clear day, even the Mull of Kintyre.

The adjoining harbour has access for two ferry services. The first, in operation for a long number of years, is a small ferry that transports cars, people and sometimes sheep from Ballycastle to Rathlin Island on a daily basis. The second service operates two vessels: a fast ferry that takes about 20 minutes to reach Campbeltown, a small town on the east side of the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland, and a somewhat larger vessel capable of transporting fifty cars and passengers to the same destination which takes about 45 minutes in splendidly scenic waterways. So a side trip to Rathlin Island or Scotland can be planned into your visit.

The marina is in close proximity to shops, restaurants and pubs. It is a great access point for exploring Giant's Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the Old Bushmills distillery and the Glens of Antrim. There’s also good bus access from town.


Harbour Master, 74-berth Marina, Fresh water, Shore power, Marine diesel, Petrol by can, Gas, Wi-Fi Internet Access, Provisions store, Rubbish disposal, Laundrette, Toilets, Showers, Tourist information centre, Bar, Restaurant, Post Office, Slipway, Anchorage, Mooring Fee Payable


Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council

Phone: +44 (0) 28 7034 7034