Ballygally Beach is beside Ballygally village.
Ballygally Beach is 200 m long and is sandy with seaweed and boulders. There are great views in all directions: northwards up towards the Antrim coast and its dramatic headlands, eastwards across the sea to Scotland, southwards to distinctive Ballygally Head and westwards inland to landmark features such as Scawt Hill and Sallagh Braes where the Antrim Hills Way/Ulster Way goes across.
There are two public car parks in Ballygally. A small car park with slipway for small craft is located at the southern end of the bay. The main one is opposite the entrance onto the beach. Parking on the road is not permitted.
There is a children's playpark at the junction of Croft Road and Cairncastle Road. Go to the end of the main car park where the toilets are; the playpark is across the road.
Dogs must be on a lead between 11.00 am and 6.00 pm from 1 June -31 August plus all Public and Bank Holidays. A Fixed Penalty of £80 is applicable. Outside these hours and for the rest of year there are no restrictions. However, owners are nevertheless asked to use their own good judgement, for example do not allow dogs off their leads if there are many people on the beach. Dog foul must never be left anywhere including the less accessible grass or stony areas. Place into the bins provided.
A small supermarket is situated in the main car park.
There is a slipway at the south car park suitable only for small craft.
Accessible toilets and baby changing facilities are located at the far end of the car park. They are open all year and cleaned daily.
The beach is one of the access points on the East Coast Canoe Trail.
Horses on beaches can be a concern for other users for behavioural and health reasons. For safety and access reasons horses are not permitted on Ballygally beach. Please see Brown's Bay and Carnlough beaches where horse-riding is permitted at certain times.
Ballygally is popular for swimming and waves are generally not very high except in windy weather.
There is a footway along the length of the beach from Ballygally Castle Hotel to the south car park, about 500 m.
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Ballygally Beach is 200 m long in a horse-shoe shaped bay. The gannet is a large black and white seabird with a yellow head often seen along this shore. They are easily identified from their feeding behaviour as they dive from a height straight down into the sea to catch fish at a speed of up to 100 km/h. The sea is rich in fish here. Grey seals and otters have been seen in this area as they bob in and out of the water looking for food. Grey seals are very curious about what they see around them and so they will be just as inquisitive about us as we are about them. They are highly adapted and intelligent air-breathing mammals. The slippery seaweed kelp is abundant in these waters and can be tossed ashore in great swathes during stormy weather. The tide sometimes takes the seaweed back out. If it lies on the shore it becomes a food source for local wildlife.
The main entrance down to Ballygally Beach is directly opposite the shop. It is a short sloping path with a level wooden platform at the end. There is also a set of steps about 100 m from the slope. A grass area at the same level as the road opposite the car park, allows a pleasant viewing area above the beach and has picnic tables.
Please follow the Water Safety Code:
1. Don't play dangerous games in water.
2. Always tell someone where you are.
3. Know where the life rings are.
Ballygally Beach is on the A2 Antrim Coast Road. It is 4 miles north of Larne town and 27 miles north of Belfast.
Translink provides a regular bus service along the Coast Road (A2). For timetable information please contact Translink Tel: 028 9066 6630.
The Antrim Coast Road is Route 93 of the National Cycle Network. See www.sustrans.org.uk and click on "sustrans near you" to find out about all the National Cycle Network routes throughout Ireland.
There is a footway along the Coast Road from Larne town to Drain's Day car park. There is an off-road path from Drain's Bay car park into Carnfunnock Country Park.
However, between Carnfunnock Country Park and Ballygally there is no footway and the road is narrow and winding with blind bends.
Carnfunnock Country Park is owned and managed by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. It is located one mile south of Ballygally. There is a network of walks throughout the Park; some short and gentle, others longer and more strenuous including steps.
Cycling is permitted in some parts of Carnfunnock Country Park. Paths are shared with walkers. Ask at the Visitor Centre. Tel: 028 2826 2471
The A2 Coast Road is Route 93 of the National Cycle Network.
Outdoor Activity Operator
For information about tourism, events and activities in the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area.
Bus and train information for the whole of Northern Ireland and timetables for Dublin.
Route details for all on and off-road cycle routes in Northern Ireland and beyond.
For information on activities and attractions within Carnfunnock Country Park.
This is a great beach at all times of the year but especially when the waves come crashing in and can be heard and seen from afar...makes living by the sea so very special. Visitors to Ballygally are always impressed by the spectacular all round views from the beach...nature at its very best!
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