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Kinbane Castle, Ballycastle

(4.7/5 based on 110+ reviews on the web)
Kinbane Castle is situated in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, on a long, narrow limestone headland projecting into the sea, approximately 5 km from Ballycastle on the road to Ballintoy. The name Kinbane means White Head and refers to the white limestone on which the castle stands. Not much of the castle remains, and the path up to it is narrow and stepped. Kinbane Castle is a State Care Historic Monument sited in the townland of Cregganboy, in Moyle District Council area, at grid ref: D0876 4383. The area surrounding Kinbane Castle is a Scheduled Historic Monument, grid ref: D0879 4381. It also offers spectacular views of Rathlin Island and Dunagregor Iron Age fort.HistoryA two storey castle was built in 1547 by Colla MacDonnell, brother of Sorley Boy MacDonnell, with a large courtyard with traces of other buildings, probably constructed out of wood. In 1551 the castle was besieged by English forces under Lord Deputy, Sir James Croft, in the course of an expedition against the MacDonnell's. Another siege in 1555 by English forces, the castle was partly destroyed by cannon fire. Rebuilt afterwards, Colla MacDonnell died at the castle in 1558.The hollow below the castle known as Lag na Sassenach (Hollow of the English) and it was allegedly during the 16th century that a garrison of English soldiers laying siege to the castle were surrounded and massacred. Fires lit on the headland as calls for assistance were answered by clansmen who came from all directions and surrounded the garrison.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • While planning our trip, I searched the internet for "remote places in Ireland." That's how I found Kinbane Castle...and I'm sure glad I did, as it turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. ...  more »
  • There are a lot of great sites to see along northern ireland's coastal causeway, but Kinbane Castle is a hidden gem. It's small, and you have to climb down a bunch of stairs to get there, but you will...  more »
  • steep walk down and back for a very small castle remains. Pretty place with good views, worth it for the walk at least. 
Google
  • Free parking and toilets, and if you go down some stairs for a while you can access the ruins of an old castle, which are also free to get in. You can walk around a little and there are some plaques, but it's not very touristic. Great views of the coast of course! Worth a detour.
  • Beautiful secluded Castle off the beaten track. The scenery is stunning with fantastic views of Rathlin Island and the Western Isles of Scotland. The Castle ruins are beautiful with lots of interesting history on the notice boards. There are toilets located at the car park too which is great. Great place to see aquatic wildlife such as seals. Highly recommend this Castle.
  • There are a bajillion stairs to reach the ruins, but it is totally worth it. My mom and I were the only ones there at the time, and the view of the ocean and cliffs around Kinbane were just beautiful. This was one of my favorite places in Northern Ireland because of the peacefulness and lack of other visitors. This is a must visit locale for those who love castle ruins and breathtaking views!
  • A lovely location along the coast road. Prepare yourself for a bit of a hike; there are lots of stairs. Take you time and enjoy the view in both directions. If it is windy in the parking lot be prepared for what it will be like sea-side.
  • Charming ruins, steep descent the stairs, beautiful views. Note on batteries in phones, cameras etc. - very quickly can discharged here. We have been here and four mobile phones, a tablet and a camera to discharge at one time !!! This is not a joke.