I’d never been to the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland and even though its been on my bucket list for so long, I just never seemed to make the trip. Just a couple of weeks ago though, we finally packed up the car and headed on a scenic road trip adventure and I have now found, my new favourite part of Ireland.
What we did along the way will fill another blog post because what I’m here to tell you about today was the base for our incredible trip – Ballygally Castle Hotel.
Located about 40 minutes North of Belfast and just a short hours drive from the Giant’s Causeway, in the small coastal village of Ballygally, this historic Castle Hotel stands proud along the Antrim Coast.
First Impressions – Ballygally Castle Hotel
On arrival to the hotel we were blown away by its position and its view of the sea. Not to mention its stunning 17th Century Castle! We hoped to be in for a fairytale of a stay.
The lobby of the hotel was medieval but modern, welcoming and warm and we were greeted by the team with such politeness, it was lovely. We were given our room straight away and we headed to it to freshen up before our Game of Thrones Afternoon Tea which we had booked – but I’ll get to that later. 🙂
Accommodations at Ballygally Castle Hotel
Our room was located on the first floor and just a couple of steps from the main staircase (there was a lift too but we loved to take the Medieval style staircase!). On entering our room, I was thrilled to see we had an ocean view room and not only that, the room was so spacious, modern and it had all of my favourite luxurious touches – extra pillows on the bed, fluffy towels in the bathroom, bathrobes and slippers for two and a high end shower, which came separate to the bath! We were impressed!
And while we were delighted with our room, it wasn’t in the castle itself but the hotel do offer rooms in there. Not sure I’d be brave enough for one but they look incredible with high ceilings and beams.
Walled Gardens at Ballygally Castle Hotel
Another feature that made Ballygally Castle Hotel so unique was its stunning walled gardens. These were beautiful and full of blooming flowers, scenic views and even a small river. We strolled among the gardens and it was just so peaceful, like you were in a different time and away from all the hustle and bustle of life. We even saw a bride and groom having their photos done there – and wow, what a perfect place to have your wedding! I loved it.
Games of Thrones Afternoon Tea at Ballygally Castle Hotel
The hotel kindly treated us to their unique Game of Thrones Afternoon tea experience in the main restaurant and we couldn’t wait to see their twist on the traditional style tea (of which they also offer, many around us were having traditional afternoon tea and it looked fabulous!).
For the Game of Thrones version, you got to choose your sandwich portions which I was delighted about as a fussy eater and one of my choices was their pulled pork bun – it was hands down some of the best pulled pork I’ve ever had!!
The treats came on a wood board and felt very rustic and true to its character and theme. Not only that, each of the items were so delicious that we had eaten it all way too quick! (We were hungry after our day of sightseeing lol!).
Ballygally Castle Ghost Room
Another thing we were really excited to experience at Ballygally Castle was its infamous Ghost Room. Said to be haunted by Lady Isobelle, a former resident of the castle, the Ghost Room is not for the faint of heart. To get to it, you climb up spiraling stone staircases that quickly get smaller and smaller and turn to a wooden version. High in one of the towers then you will reach the Ghost Room.
And although, we went in the middle of the day (I wouldn’t be brave enough at night!), we still couldn’t believe how eery the space was. Many staff and former guests have witnessed strange happenings, appearances and more within both the Ghost Room and the hotel and I’m pretty sure I heard a few bumps and knocks in the night myself. And, I’ve just noticed below that the image I took of the chair in the room is really poor quality…for no reason at all….strange.
Its a really cool feature of the property and it really adds to the uniqueness of the hotel and castle. We loved it.
Ballygally Castle Hotel, a Causeway Coast Gem
To conclude on what was truly an amazing stay, all I can say is that Ballygally Castle Hotel really is a Causeway Coast Gem. It exceeded all of our expectations and everything was just perfect from the amazing team on-site to the luxury of the rooms and amenities. I’m a hard girl to please when it comes to hotels and this one just blew me away. I’d go as far as saying, it might just be the best hotel I’ve stayed in, in Ireland and I can’t wait to return.
If you’re planning a trip to the Causeway Coast, or you just want a few days away in a peaceful, coastal hotel, Ballygally Castle Hotel is perfect. Check out their website here where they offer have great deals including family specials, Game of Thrones tours and more.
Disclaimer: Hastings Hotels, owners of Ballygally Castle Hotel offered us a complimentary stay at this hotel but as always, all views are my own. No money exchanged hands in exchange for this review.Google+