Antrim Coast question

My husband and I will be on the Best of Ireland tour departing September 24, 2015. We have a question about the Day 11 drive along the Antrim coast. We have lots of McDonnell ancestors from Castle Dunluce and Keenan ancestors from the town of Ballycastle. We're wondering if the drive that day will include either of those locations? We don't need a stop; just hoping for a drive by and picture opportunity.


Katharine Sherwin


  • edited July 2015
    Last year I asked the same question "Dunluce Castle"- the answer is that it is a drive-by with a brief roadside photo op stop. The responder said the vantage point appeared to be the same as used to take the photo I posted in my question. If you look in the full Best of Ireland forum, you'll see my question and the complete answer. The answer was the same for Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. However, you leave the bus and get to visit the Giant's Causeway and climb on the stones.

    No mention is made of Ballycastle which is only 4.6 mi./9 min. east of the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. The link posted by Peregrinator to his detailed, day-by-day blog from May 2014, "My Best of Ireland Experience" (which is a great read so check it out!) states that after his tour left Belfast, they made a restroom stop in the coastal town of Carnlough, then a quick photo stop at the Carrick-a-Rede bridge. The route could be different, but I did a Google Maps route (see below) from Belfast to Carnlough, Carrick-a-Rede- then to Bushmills, Dunluce, Bushmills, and the Giant's Causeway (the bus passes through Bushmills on the way to a drive-by/photo stop at Dunluce, then returns to Bushmills for lunch before heading to the Giant's Causeway. According to the Google Maps route, the bus "should" go through the northern part, if not right through the center, of Ballycastle. If the center of town is not on the bus route, maybe you can ask the TD if they can make a slight deviation to do it. It is not unheard of for a TD to make something like that happen. It won't hurt to ask.

    Maybe someone who has been on this tour more recently will provide a more detailed answer about Ballycastle. If not, you will have to wait for my report (our tour ends 18 Sept.)

    We are on the 3 Sept tour.

  • I was on the Best of Ireland last year (August 30 departure). I just went back to look through my pictures and we did stop for a break in Ballycastle. We were supposed to have stopped in a town about 1/2 hour earlier, but there were quite a few other tour buses with the same idea, so we continued on and stopped by the The Marine Hotel in Ballycastle and had time walk in the park across the street for a while . It was a nice little town.
    Did a photo stop at Carrick-a-Rede Bridge (also crowded with many other buses) but don't recall Dunluce Castle even as a drive by.
    It is a great trip, enjoy!
  • Thanks so much to both of you!
  • Just to let everyone know--neither Ballycastle nor Dunluce Castle were on the planned itinerary. However, our route went right through Ballycastle, and our guide and driver were happy to make a quick photo stop. We also prevailed upon them to take an extra 15 minutes after lunch to run up to Dunluce Castle for another photo stop. We found that our guide was happy make accommodations like this for reasonable requests made a few days in advance (not at the last minute).
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