Mr. and Mrs. S.C. Hall, in their book 'Ireland, its Scenery, Character and History' from 1843 describe Ballycastle:
"Ballycastle is a good town, with a good inn; and the tourist will do well to rest here awhile, proceeding hence to the Causeway, and examine, both by sea and land, the grandest object along this wonderful coast – the Promontory of Fairhead."
Almost entirely the creation of one energetic gentleman, Hugh Boyd, in 1739, modern day Ballycastle is still famous for its breathtaking scenery, although the town itself has a great deal more to offer than merely a 'good inn'.
Ballycastle is a quiet and compact seaside resort situated in the heart of two areas of outstanding natural beauty: the Causeway Coast and the Antrim Glens. Unlike the other principal seaside resorts of the north, Ballycastle lies in a sheltered embayment, protected by hills from the severe onshore winds which afflict coastal settlements farther west and inhibit tree and plant growth. A large state forest extends from the slopes of Knocklayde to the edge of the town and within the urban area many individual deciduous trees flourish.
The town itself contains a mixture of Victorian terraces, Georgian villas, mature residential areas of individually designed homes and modern housing developments. The main street in the town, Ann Street, is a conservation area. Ballycastle is becoming a popular choice for young families, with an excellent choice of schools nearby and commuting time to Belfast of 1 hour, with Ballymena and Coleraine just 30 minutes away.
Other notable attractions include: one of only 8 beaches in Northern Ireland to achieve the Blue Flag status; a marina with 200 berths; various historical sites of interest; Rathlin Island with famous bird sanctuary.
Ballycastle also facilitates a wide variety of sports with long established clubs: