Author: Pamela S Boyd
Date of Trip: October 2007
When you think good B&B’s, you know if you’ve been to Ireland, know some of the best are there because they’ve been having them for so long. So, when my dearest friend and I decided to take a two week trip to the Emerald isle, we booked several B&B’s over the internet.
Having found B&B’s online,you never really know what to expect. The pictures are always very nice, the rooms look cozy, and the families are smiling. Sometimes, however, pictures can be deceiving.
We’d driven from Dublin to Hurler’s Cross (near Bunratty), to Galway (where they said they never got our information, but when I showed them the emails, they found a “friend’s B&B for us), to Westport, Donegal, and finally to Northern Ireland.
We drove through Derry, to Bushmill’s and Giant’s Causeway, and now were on the way to Ardaghmore B&B, 35 North Street in Ballycastle. This lovely Victorian home has wonderful views of the Bay which include breathtaking views of Rathlin Island (which you can get to by Caledonian MacBrayne Company who operates a ferry). Rathlin has 3 lighthouses which stand as monuments to the wild coast where more than 40 recorded shipwrecks lie in the depths of underwater cliffs. It is also considered a marine botanical paradise. You’ll find standing stones, ancient church sites, even Robert the Bruce’s Castle. Fair Head (where you can climb) and the Mull of Kintyre (which belongs to Scotland), not only an important land bridge throughout history, but they say the remains of several Second World War planes can be found here.
Ardaghmore B&B itself is very lovely, beautiful stained glass, very clean, very much a home away from home. The utter charm of Genevieve and her husband, made our stay absolutely wonderful.
Our room was spotless and comfortable, and had a wonderful tea service set up with gorgeous fresh flowers. A small, comfortable sofa was located in front of the window, which looked out overlooking at the beautiful Ballycastle bay, and we sat and drink tea, looked at the sites going on out on the water, and even spent a quiet time reading. It was so relaxing.
Genevieve told us a bit about her family, when the “troubles” were on in Northern Ireland, and about this area of County Antrim. She gave us a wonderful recommendation for dinner (which had to be good, as we were the only non-locals there) Quay 26, that looked over the bay as well. We could walk to a small grocery and several pubs, which was nice, but we loved Gen’s home and could not wait to get back.
The breakfast was the traditional Irish breakfast and more, and take it from us, it was exceptional. It included tea, juices, coffee, hot chocolate, cereals, bacon, ham, baked beans, eggs any way you liked, and tomatoes. The friendliness and genuine warmth of Genevieve and her family, made this the perfect place to relax and really feel you were on a holiday!
Ballycastle itself is the Northern gateway to the Glens of Antrim, situated where the North Channel sweeps past Fair Head to meet with the Atlantic Ocean. It is a traditional seaside town, with extremely warm, genuine people.
We highly recommend Genevieve’s home, the Ardaghmore B&B to all. We look forward to visiting again, and staying for a bit longer.