Coast to Castles | Family Guide to 48 Hours on the Coast

Coast to Castles, our family guide to 48 hours on the coast exploring historic, medieval and fascinating castles and ruins. The Causeway Coast is home to some of the most famous attractions, most of them only a short drive away.

Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle is a medieval castle on the Causeway Coastal Route. Perched on the cliffs edge, this castle has a long history and is a top tourist hotspot along the coast. The present castle ruins date to the 16th & 17th centuries. The castle was once inhabited by the feuding McQuillan and MacDonnell clans. Opening hours: check before your visit as public access may be restricted.









Kinbane Castle

Situated a short 10 minutes drive from Ballycastle, the ruins of Kinbane Castle overlook Rathlin Island and Dunagregor Iron Age Fort. Considered locally as a hidden gem, this coastal walk admiring the scenic views is a top recommendation. There is carpark access available. Check before visiting as public access may be restricted.
Kinbane Castle









Dunseverick Castle
Dunseverick Castle is situated in County Antrim, near the small village of Dunseverick and the Giant’s Causeway. Dunseverick Castle and earthworks are Scheduled Historic Monuments in the townland of Feigh, in Moyle District Council area. Dunseverick Castle and the peninsula on which it stands were given to the National Trust in 1962 by local farmer Jack McCurdy. The Causeway Cliff Path also runs past on its way to Dunseverick Harbour to the east and to the Giant’s Causeway to the west.

Saint Patrick is recorded as having visited Dunseverick castle in the 5th century AD, where he baptized Olcán, a local man who later became a Bishop of Ireland. The original stone fort that occupied the position was attacked by Viking raiders in 870 AD. Credit Discover Northern Ireland










Mussenden Temple & Downhill Demense
The temple was built in 1785 and forms part of the estate of Frederick Augustus Hervey, Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol (or the Earl Bishop). The temple was built as a summer library and its architecture was inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, near Rome. It is dedicated to the memory of Hervey’s cousin Frideswide Mussenden and uniquely reflects the personality of its flamboyant creator.

Both the Temple and the breathtaking views are among the most photographed scenes in Ireland. Over the years the Temple itself was under danger of being lost to the sea due to the erosion of the cliff which brought Mussenden Temple ever closer to the edge. In 1997 the National Trust then carried out cliff stabilisation work to prevent the loss of this lovely building. Credit Causeway Coast & Glens

Mussenden Temple










Bonamargy Friary

Built in 1500 by Rory MacQuillan, the rival MacDonnell clan fought for and claimed the friary from the MacQuillans in 1588. The ruins of the friary can be found nestled at Ballycastle Golf Course. The burial grounds for Sorley Boy MacDonnell, Julia MacQuillan (The Black Nun) and several Earls of Ulster










Cushendun Caves

A hidden gem and off the beaten track, Cushendun Caves became increasingly popular after its broadcast on HBO’s Game of Thrones. The caves can be found by following the pathway from the harbour. The caves are thought to be 400 million years old due to their geological state. Access to the caves is free and open to all.

Cushendun Caves










As the hotel expands from 41 to 51 bedrooms, we will have new family room additions to the hotel. Planning ahead for Summer 2022? Book direct with our reservations team by calling 02820762222, by emailing reception@marinehotelballycastle.com or by booking direct on our official website here.