Fodor's Expert Review Ballygally Castle

274 Coast Rd., Ballygally, Co. Antrim, BT40 2QZ, Northern Ireland

Connoisseurs of sea views love this baronial castle, built by a Scottish lord in 1625 to rise dramatically beside Ballygally Bay, and which is playing host to waves of Game of Thrones fans due to filming in the area. Bedrooms in the castle have retained beamed ceilings but the furnishings are somewhat bland, if comfortable. Ask for a room in a turret—they are named after four of the nine Antrim glens—and one comes complete with milady's ghost. Eighteen deluxe rooms decorated in green and purple have what the hotel classifies as "five-star coastal views," which come at a premium, though you also get superking beds, a separate shower and bath, and bath robes. Depending on how busy the hotel is, the extra cost for the sea view rooms varies from £40 to £50. On Saturday, a decent set-menu dinner in the Garden Restaurant is served to musical accompaniment, while a Sunday bistro meal is also available in the Kintyre Room. The hotel offers Game of Thrones packages that include an evening banquet or Game of Thrones afternoon tea served with Winterfell jaffa cakes, Kingslayer cupcakes, and Sansa Stark's lemon cakes along with finger sandwiches (£24). After a storm in 2016 the wood from several beech trees at the Dark Hedges road (filmed as Kingsroad) was made into ornately carved wooden Game of Thrones doors. Door No. 9 at the entrance to the restaurant depicts a battle featuring hungry dogs and crests of House Bolton and House Stark. Check the website for good value gourmet mini breaks available at certain times of the year.

PROS

  • guests are well looked after
  • handy stopover en route to the Giant's Causeway of Glens of Antrim
  • handy stopover en route to the Giant's Causeway of Glens of Antrim
  • deluxe rooms have coastal views
  • handy stopover en route to the Giant's Causeway
  • good location for Game of Thrones fans

CONS

  • can fill up quickly
  • leading to delays particularly at peak holiday times
  • can fill up quickly, leading to delays particularly at peak holiday times
  • busy at peak holiday times
  • somewhat bland, if comfortable, furnishings
  • service can be hit-or-miss

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
RomanticViews
Quiet
Near the beach
Basic
$$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 028-2858–1066

HOTEL DETAILS

54 rooms
Rate Includes: Free breakfast

What’s Nearby