The Northern Ireland Potato Festival, Giants Causeway, 7th October 2017

Northern Ireland's favourite potato themed festival is promising a packed programme of activities and attractions for all ages on Saturday 7th October 2017. Fun will commence at 10:00 and run until 17:00 in the grounds of the Causeway Hotel.Now in its 5th year the line-up boasts a debut display by 'The Grass Lads' on the grass roof of the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre, cookery demonstrations & talks, bouncy castles, artisan food and drink producers, crafters, potato inspired games and a petting farm. Cutting Edge Helicopters will be back in the air again offering spectacular helicopter sightseeing flights, and the festival organisers have launched a raffle offering a free flight for three lucky spectators.Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase a range of delicious local produce from gourmet burgers to speciality potato dishes, artisan confectionary and locally crafted beers & ciders or find inspiration at the Cookery Demonstrations & talks taking place throughout the day in the Food NI festival kitchen.Guests will be transported back to the Causeway Hotel where they can join the community evening event in the hotel.The Potato Festival event coincides with the National Trust free open day at the Giant's Causeway (Saturday only).There will be a park and ride service with free parking and free shuttle buses, which will operate from Bushmills car park and Dunluce School.The Potato Festival will be celebrated with a ‘Super Spud Tour’ along the beautiful Causeway Coastal Route which takes places on Friday October 6th

potato festival

Belfast Halloween Monster Mash and Fireworks Display 29 Oct 2017

Belfast's biggest and best Halloween event and fireworks display is promising guests plenty of weird and wonderful action on Sunday 29 October at The Slipways, Titanic Belfast with a cast of thousands!

The entertainment line-up will feature:

• an array of street theatre and walkabouts,

• breathtaking fire shows and jugglers,

• wicked arts and crafts workshops,

• fairground rides,

• live music,

• a range of hot food, drinks, sweets and Halloween tasty treats.The evening will draw to a cinematic finale with the largest fireworks display in the city, with theme tunes.

So if you are staying in our self catering apartments over the Halloween break take a trip to belfast to see how Northern Ireland does fireworks!

Good food Show Northern Ireland Belfast Waterfront 10-12 November 2017

After the roaring success of the 2016 Show, It's returning to Belfast Waterfront for another food-filled weekend.


Indulge in a feast of amazing food and drink and join our line-up of top chefs and experts cooking LIVE in the Big Kitchen, including Michelin master Michel Roux Jr, family favourite Nadiya Hussain, the entertaining Hairy Bikers and Show favourite John Torode.

Celebrate the legacy of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink in ‘Eat Like a Local’ sessions and enjoy seasonal dishes at the BBC Good Food Pop-Up Restaurant. Get closer to your favourite cooking stars in live interviews and book signing sessions, plus shop from a huge range of Northern Ireland’s finest artisan food and drink producers. 

Browse, sample and shop from big name brands as well as a range of artisan producers across the Show.

The Food NI Pavilion - We love to put the focus on local produce at the Show. Visit the Food NI Pavilion to try and buy from some fantastic local producers.

Producers’ Village - The Producers' Village is a huge speciality food market at the heart of the show, packed with small artisan producers who pride themselves on the quality and provenance of their produce. Here you can try before you buy with some of the freshest seasonal foods, many of which you won’t find on your local high street.

Why not come and make a week of it in Northern Ireland. Stay at our award winning self catering accomodation, take a drive up the Causeway Coast, Shop in Belfast and explore all the area has to offer.

Belfast Waterfront
10-12 November 2017

Showing Opening Times: 10:00 - 18:00 (Friday & Sat) and 10:00 - 17:00 (Sunday).

*Save 20% on tickets with your special offer - Quote DN20.

Good food show

Winterfell Festival- Game of Thrones Northern Ireland 24th September

The National Trust invites you to step into the world of the Stark family at Castle Ward on Sunday 24 September 2017 for Northern Ireland's very own Winterfell Festival.

This one day festival is not to be missed. It's an opportunity to discover the setting of the Stark family home, see first-hand theatrical re-enactments from the fantasy TV series, meet an actor from the show, watch spectacular games unfold in a mystical landscape and enjoy lively music, local food and much more.

Winterfell Festival promises to fully immerse Game of Thrones fans into George R R Martin's mythical world of Westeros. Set within an 820 acre historic demesne on the shores of Strangford Lough, Westeros and Winterfell Festival await you.


Festival gates will open at 11am on 24 September and at 12 noon a fanfare will herald the arrival of the King's procession as he visits House Stark at Winterfell for The King's Tournament Games. Irish Arms, a historical reproduction company, will perform a series of medieval jousting shows on horseback throughout the day.  Sword sparring, archery demonstrations, jesters and falcon flights will add to the atmosphere in the tournament ring where visitors will be able to feast on roast hog washed down with local cider.

Travellers will be encouraged to walk down the Kingsroad to the Inn at the Crossroads where they can pull up a pew and listen to stories from A Song of Ice and Fire Series One being performed by Footsteps theatrical company, while dining on venison pie and ale.

Running from 11am until 5pm, there's also a full line-up of interactive entertainment for all ages to enjoy. Join a skirmish to Audley's Castle, explore inside the iconic Winterfell Tower House or watch a Game of Thrones theme Shadow Puppet show. Children especially will enjoy the 'King's mini tournament' with hobby horses and jousting games.

Meet the cast

Ian Beattie, aka Meryn Trant, Knight of the Kingsguard and Michael Condron, aka Bowen Marsh, First Steward of the Knight's Watch will be hosting a series of 'walk and talks' during the festival. Festival goers will be able to meet the actors and learn about their experiences on set filming Game of Thrones.

Amongst the medieval themed stalls, armourer Boyd Rankin, who starred as
Mikken in Game of Thrones will showcase a selection of the weapons he
forged for the world famous TV series, alongside live blacksmith demonstrations.

Visitors will also get to see Grey Wind and Summer, two of the Direwolves raised by the Stark family. Known as Odin and Thor in the real world, these Northern inuit dogs are the closest thing to real wolves you'll ever meet!

Get tickets

Winterfell Festival is a ticketed event only, with access to Castle Ward exclusively for Winterfell Festival ticket holders on 24 September. Tickets are expected to sell out fast, so make sure to get the date in your diary!

For more information and to book your ticket, please visit

Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Visit Belfast box office (9 Donegall Square North, Belfast, BT1 5GB) for £22.50, plus £3 transaction fee if paying by card.

At Just over an hours Scenic drive if you are staying in our selfcatering Apartments here on the Antrim Coast its worth the trip for any big GOT fans visiting Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland's Belfast City Half Marathon -17th September

On Sunday 17th September, close to 3,500 participants are expected to set off on their 13.1 mile journey from Ormeau Park in a bid to complete the largest Half Marathon event in Northern Ireland, the 5th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon. 

The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon is sponsored by Athletics Northern Ireland, Daily Mirror, Belfast City Council, Translink, Daily Mirror, ASICS, Centra, Belfast Live and U105. Sampling partners are Musgrave Retailers, Deep RiverRock, Linwoods, Tayto and White Oats. 

Mencap Northern Ireland is the official charity partner of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon for next three years (2016-2018). Mencap urges everyone to #doit4mencap and help more children and young people with a learning disability get the best possible start in life and fulfil their potential. By challenging yourself in this year’s Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon; you will help even more local children and young people with a learning disability live full and happy lives, grow into adults with bright futures in education, employment and family life.

To find out more information about Mencap services in Northern Ireland; and about the children and young people with whom we work please visit

Ballygally Holiday Apartments would Like to wish all the Runners the best for the day! 

British Open Golf - Royal Portrush - 2019

Everyone was delighted to learn that one of the biggest sporting events to arrive in Northern Ireland will take place in 2019.  The British Open Golf Championship will take place at the Royal Portrush course and is set to be the most prestigious event to be held in our area. Northern Ireland will be at the centre of the global sporting spotlight from 18-21 July 2019 as The Open is staged outside of Scotland and England for only the second time in the Championship’s more than 150-year history with sports fans from throughout Ireland and around the world expected to descend upon the town of Portrush.

Rory McIlroy, who lifted the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool in 2014, added, “Royal Portrush is one of my favourite golf courses in the world. I think it will be a fantastic Open venue. They are going to add a couple of new holes to the golf course and I think that will be a great addition and will make the course even stronger. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Course preparations and the work to create the two new holes on the renowned Dunluce Links are well underway. The new 7th and 8th holes will utilise land from the adjacent Valley Course to develop a new par 5 hole, playing down into the valley encompassing that course’s 6th hole, and then a par four, playing back over its 5th hole into some beautiful duneland. Both holes will have an immediate air of maturity using some of the most stunning land at Royal Portrush. The new holes will replace the current 17th and 18th holes on the Dunluce Links, freeing up that land to be used to accommodate the Spectator Village and Championship infrastructure.

Earlier this year the proposals were approved by the Royal Portrush membership and the work is being overseen by Martin Ebert of Mackenzie & Ebert the Club's golf course architects. As well as creating two new holes, a series of other changes are being made to the course to enhance the challenge that will face the world’s top golfers while remaining true to the ethos of Harry Colt’s original design.

The most significant changes will be to move the 2nd green to lengthen the par five hole by around 40 yards and on the current 10th hole, which will be the 12th at The Open, to alter the line of the hole and extend it by 50 yards. Elsewhere, the existing 8th green (the 10th at The Open), which was not designed by Colt, will be reshaped and several new back tees will be created.

The overall length of the course will increase by just under 200 yards to 7,337 yards and the number of bunkers will be increased by three to 62 in total, still leaving Royal Portrush with the fewest bunkers of any of the courses which host The Open.

The work on the Dunluce Links is due to be complete by the middle of 2016 with the two new holes being given time to grow-in ahead of the following season.

Watch this space for further news of this fabulous event. And if you are starting to think of booking accomodation in advance for the event we are now taking bookings for 2019 in our Self-catering Aparments so you can take advantage of all the Antrim and Causeway Coasts have to offer whilst attending.

Game of Thrones

The Game of Thrones plot has been recreated in a spectacular Bayeux-style tapestry in Belfast

To mark the seventh season of Game of Thrones, which has just hit our screens, a 77-metre long, Bayeux-style tapestry telling the story from seasons one to six has just been unveiled at Ulster Museum in Belfast. As season seven unfolds, new sections of the tapestry will be revealed each week in the build-up to the next episode, capturing key events from the previous week.

The tapestry brings to life the trials and tribulations of the show’s characters in its most epic and famous scenes, complete with blood red weddings, golden Lannister hair, emerald green wildfire, cold blue White Walkers and jet black crows. It has been woven by a team of 30 embroiderers from an enormous piece of linen supplied by Thomas Ferguson’s in Banbridge, one of the last surviving linen mills in Northern Ireland.

The campaign by Tourism Ireland is supported by Tourism NI and created in partnership with HBO. It gives fans the opportunity to re-live their favourite scenes, and showcases Northern Ireland as Game of Thrones territory to millions of fans worldwide. Tourism Ireland will share the new sections of the tapestry via social media, using a mix of cinemagraphs (“living” photographs), time-lapse videos of the weaving process, carousels and Instagram Stories.

An exciting feature of the tapestry that is bound to excite fans is that it will feature hidden cameo appearances by a number of famous faces who have appeared in the show. Game Of Thrones has been filmed in Northern Ireland since 2010, and its lands of the Seven Kingdoms are filmed in the region’s dramatic coastlines, historic castles, monasteries and glens. Fans can use the app to link to pages showing where scenes were filmed and can also start to build an itinerary for their holiday to Northern Ireland.


Game of Thrones

Carnfunnock this week-clay creations


Ever fancied making your own plant pot or vase or….. well, anything! Why not join us and give it a try using special air drying clay.


Price: £5.00 per child.  Maximum 12 children per session. Suitable for children age 5+. Wear appropriate clothing. Booking is essential.  All children must be accompanied by an adult. Contact: Carnfunnock Country Park on 028 2826 2471.

The National Trust Visitor Attractions in Northern Ireland

From the Giant's Causeway and Carrick a Rede rope bridge to stunning houses such as Florencecourt and Castle Ward (to name but a few!) the National Trust is preserving and managing our built hertiage and coastlines with spectacular results.   The website below outlines all of the national Trust's projects in Northern Ireland and events in 2015. This site will give you a true flavour of our beautiful country.

National Trust Northern Ireland

North West 200 - 2018 Dates and event details

2017 was a fantastic race year.   Watch this space for the 2018 dates -  The North West is the race that every motor bike enthusiast is waiting for and is Northern Irelands largest outdoor sporting event.   The race takes place on the legendary triangle between Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine. More than 150,000 spectators line the roads to watch this exciting event. The Practice/Festival week has also become a major tourist attraction taking on a festival atmosphere with concerts and other entertainement geared to include all the family. 

The International Northwest 200 is on the North Coast of Northern Ireland and runs between the towns of Portrush,  Portstewart, and Coleraine.  This motorcycle race meeting is Ireland's largest outdoor sporting event.  Attracting in excess of 100,000 spectators.  Practice is all day Tuesday and Thursday morning before the main events.  There are several separate races of 4-6 laps held on the Thursday afternoon and all day Saturday.  All practice and races are on closed roads.  The street circuit is mostly public roads but does include three speed reducing chicanes.  The circuit is 8.97 miles long per lap. The fastest recorded speed through the speed trap is 208 mph/334.74kph    

Dates for the Northwest 200

Tuesday 8th May to Saturday 12th May

And if you are coming off the Ferry from Scotland to Northern Ireland we are so close and an ideal base for your trip to the North West 200. You can start with us staying at our self catering Apartments and travel up the Antrim and Causeway Coasts for one of the most scenic drives you will ever do.  We can cater for groups if required. Just give us a ring to find out on 02828583061

North West 200

Carnfunnock Country Park /2017

Carnfunnock Country Park - just a mile from the apartments - is hosting their usual variety of exciting events this Autumn/Winter. From Halloween extravaganzas to Nature Walks the Park is an exciting place for young and old with walks, an award winning childrens play park, a childrens adventure centre, an eight hole golf course, driving range and to round it all off a lovely cup of coffee in Cafe spice. Have a look at their website to find out more, there is fun to be had for all the family.

Larne Borough Council

Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle hosts many events during the Summer and one of the most popular is the Lughnasa Fair in July - enjoy local crafts, food and entertainment. Do visit this wonderful website and learn about all the events taking place at Carrickfergus Castle and other venues in Northern Ireland in  2015. A visit to historic Carrickfergus Castle is a must for the kids. The Castle is only 18 miles from the apartments and is a wonderful day out for all the family.    

Northern Ireland Environment Agency

Glenarm Castle


It's LESS than 1 WEEK until tickets for the 2017 Christmas Experience go on sale and we are super excited! Make sure you don't miss out and book your tickets at 9am next Monday 21st August via

Glenarm Castle

RSPB Reserves in Northern Ireland

If birds are your thing, Northern Ireland is the place to come and visit. Rathlin Island has one of the largest sea bird colonys in the British Isles and is home to the Rathlin puffins. Even the very rare corncrake has made an appearance here in recent years and choughs are often to be seen.    Strangford lough is one of the RSPB's greatest successess in Northern Ireland and is a bird watchers paradise. Follow the link below ot learn more about events being held in 2015  Happy bird watching.

RSPB Northern Ireland

2017 — Ballygally self-catering apartments