Kinbane Castle, Ballycastle

4.8
#2 of 14 in Things to do in Ballycastle
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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Kinbane Castle Reviews
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4.8
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  • Must-do in Northern Ireland. Requires a hike down many uneven stairs and up a small hill but so worth it! Beautiful location. If the weather is nice this would be a lovely place for a picnic. Only a s...  more »
  • We accidentally stumbled upon this place last weekend. We parked up at the empty car park, walked around the corner along the coast and suddenly there was this outcrop of land and cliff that we just h...  more »
  • The castle is mostly ruins, but there is a great view of the coast. The sheep there grazing you will swear must be ready to fall into the sea.  more »
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  • Stunning place a little off the beaten track. An unexpected gem. It is a ruin but definitely worth a visit. Only accessed by steep steps though. It's well worth the journey down & then of course back up. The castle is actually on a little island & you can just about see Ireland if you walk up to the top. Stunning views.
  • It is beyond me how, after spending weeks of every summer here that I didn't know this existed. It's spectacular! A way better idea than the rope-bridge or Dunluce - it's free! The climb down does need a decent bit of attention, mind.
  • Short walk down to the Castle....it's stunning when you get there...hard climb out again but we'll worth it
  • A fantastic distraction whilst traversing the Causeway Coastline. I hadn't heard of this point of interest before I visited, and just happened upon it when exploring the northern coast one Sunday afternoon. It is situated just about half a mile from the main road, so access is easy, and it has a decent sized car park on the cliff with a good view of the coast, Rathlin Island and, on a good day, the Mull of Kintyre. The castle itself is on the headland at the base of the cliff. As a warning: this means that accessibility can be difficult! There is a large narrow stairway that leads round the cliff to ascend and descend, and this will potentially be difficult for some. Once on the headland there are parts that are weathered and natural meaning it can be a scramble along some muddier parts in some weather if you wish to head to the signalling point. You can see part of the stairs and the muddy path in one of my pics. It's not a huge issue for most, but could be a big hindrance for some. Sensible footwear is a must. There are good information boards to tell you about the headland and its use. There is a small building which possibly used to be a toilet in the car park that is no longer open. The nearest settlement isn't far away though. All in all I spent a good 45 mins here whilst out and about. A good distraction if you are in the area or passing by.
  • This was the best castle we visited while here. Breath talking views and scenery but not an easy walk as lots of steps down. Highly recommended

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