Ballymoney Travel Guide

Explore the best places to visit, hike and bike routes, food and drink scene, local culture, and travel tips for a safe and enjoyable trip to Ballymoney, Northern Ireland.

Introduction to Ballymoney

Ballymoney is a small town located in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, known for its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. This quaint town offers visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in Northern Irish history and culture while enjoying a serene countryside experience.

Ballymoney is home to some historic landmarks, scenic routes, and stunning natural attractions that guarantee an unforgettable trip to visitors. Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, or family, there is something for everyone in Ballymoney.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best places to visit, things to do, local cuisine, cultural practices, travel tips, and much more to help you plan your journey to Ballymoney.

List of Places to Visit in Ballymoney

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Joey Dunlop Memorial Garden

The Joey Dunlop Memorial Garden honors the life and legacy of Joey Dunlop, an iconic motorcyclist, and Ballymoney native. The garden, located on Garryduff Road, features a statue of Joey and a memorial that celebrates his achievements.

Ballymoney Museum

Ballymoney Museum tells the story of Ballymoney town and its people from the Bronze Age to modern times. The museum features exhibits on local history, archaeology, and geology, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the town.

Old Bushmills Distillery

Old Bushmills Distillery is the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery, established in 1608. Visitors can take a tour of the distillery and learn about the history of whiskey-making in the area. The distillery also offers whiskey tasting sessions for visitors.

Dark Hedges

The Dark Hedges is a picturesque avenue of beech trees planted in the 18th century. This magnificent natural wonder was made famous as a filming location for the popular TV series Game of Thrones.

Natural Attractions of Ballymoney: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Ballymoney Riverside Walk

The Ballymoney Riverside Walk is a scenic trail that runs along the banks of the Ballymoney River. The trail is perfect for a leisurely stroll, jogging, or cycling, with plenty of scenic spots to stop and take in the views.

Benvarden Gardens

Benvarden Gardens is a stunning 18th-century garden, located just outside Ballymoney. The garden features a beautiful walled garden, ornamental lakes, and a wide range of rare plants and trees. Visitors can take a guided tour of the gardens and enjoy a picnic in the charming picnic area.

Aghadowey Hillwalkers

Aghadowey Hillwalkers is a hiking group that offers guided walks along some of the most beautiful scenic routes in the Ballymoney area. The group organizes regular walks for people of all fitness levels and ages, guaranteeing an enjoyable adventure for everyone.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Ballymoney

Walking Routes in Ballymoney

Mountsandel Wood

Mountsandel Wood is a peaceful and scenic walk that takes you through a historic woodland, believed to be the earliest known settlement of humans in Ireland.

Lissanoure Castle Walk

Lissanoure Castle Walk is a serene walk that takes you through the heart of the Glens of Antrim, offering panoramic views of the countryside.

Biking Routes in Ballymoney

Causeway Coastal Route

The Causeway Coastal Route is a scenic bike route that runs along Northern Ireland’s north coast with plenty of stunning views and landmarks, such as the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and Dunluce Castle.

Best Things to Do in Ballymoney: Activities and Tours

Bushmills Distillery Tour

Bushmills Distillery Tour offers visitors a chance to learn about the history of whiskey-making in the area and sample some of the finest whiskeys in Ireland.

Golfing at Gracehill Golf Club

Gracehill Golf Club is a challenging 18-hole golf course, nestled in the heart of Northern Ireland’s countryside. The scenic surroundings and the well-maintained course make it one of the most popular golfing destinations in the area.

Week-Long Itinerary for Ballymoney

Day Activity
Day 1 Visit the Ballymoney Museum and Joey Dunlop Memorial Garden
Day 2 Take a scenic walk at Ballymoney Riverside Walk
Day 3 Enjoy a guided hiking tour with Aghadowey Hillwalkers
Day 4 Visit Dark Hedges and Old Bushmills Distillery
Day 5 Take a bike ride along Causeway Coastal Route
Day 6 Explore the stunning gardens at Benvarden Gardens
Day 7 Golfing at Gracehill Golf Club, one of the top courses in NI

Food and Drink Scene of Ballymoney

Must-Try Dishes

Irish Stew

Irish Stew is a traditional dish made with lamb, potatoes, onions, and a range of vegetables, often served with soda bread.

Ulster Fry

Ulster Fry is a hearty breakfast dish made with bacon, eggs, sausages, black pudding, white pudding, and fried soda bread.

Local Beverages

Bushmills Whiskey

Bushmills Whiskey is a famous Irish whiskey, known for its smooth texture and rich flavor. Visitors can taste some of the finest whiskeys at the Old Bushmills Distillery.

Lemonade Pet

Lemonade Pet is a popular local soda drink made from a unique recipe that gives it a distinctive taste. Visitors must try it for a true taste of Ballymoney.

Where to Stay in Ballymoney: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Sleepy Hollow B&B

Sleepy Hollow B&B is a charming guesthouse located in the peaceful countryside of Ballymoney, offering guests a chance to relax and enjoy the serene surroundings.

The Hedges Hotel

The Hedges Hotel is a modern hotel located near the Dark Hedges, making it a perfect base for exploring the area’s natural wonders.

What to Buy in Ballymoney: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home


Bushmills Whiskey is a popular local whiskey that serves as an ideal souvenir.

Ballymoney Honey

Ballymoney Honey is a natural and delicious product produced by local beekeepers.

Local Culture and Customs of Ballymoney

Ballymoney has a rich cultural heritage, and visitors should observe and respect the local customs and traditions, particularly those related to religion and family. The majority of the population is Roman Catholic, and visitors should be mindful of religious holidays and events.

Best Time to Visit Ballymoney

The best time to visit Ballymoney is during the summer months of June to August when the weather is pleasant, and activities and attractions are open.

Do’s and Don’ts of Ballymoney


  • Respect the local culture and customs.
  • Enjoy the serene countryside by hiking or biking along scenic routes.
  • Taste some of the finest whiskeys in Ireland.


  • Disrespect the local customs and traditions.
  • Leave litter on the countryside trails or other public places.
  • Ignore safety advice and guidelines.

Safety and Health

Safety in Ballymoney

Ballymoney is a safe destination, and visitors are unlikely to encounter any incidents of crime or safety concerns.

Health in Ballymoney

There are no major health risks visitors should be aware of when traveling to Ballymoney. Still, it is advisable to have comprehensive health insurance and carry any required medication when traveling.

Getting to Ballymoney: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Ballymoney

The nearest airport to Ballymoney is Belfast International Airport, located approximately 30 miles away.

Bus Stations Near Ballymoney

Ballymoney has excellent transport links, with regular bus services connecting it to other parts of Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Other Options

The most convenient way to travel to Ballymoney is by car.

How to Get Around in Ballymoney

Ballymoney is a small town and is relatively easy to navigate by foot, bike, or car.

Where to Go Next from Ballymoney: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Giant’s Causeway

Giant’s Causeway is a natural wonder and Northern Ireland’s top tourist attraction. Visitors can take a scenic drive from Ballymoney to the Giant’s Causeway, passing through picturesque villages along the way.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a must-visit attraction, offering visitors a chance to cross a rope bridge suspended over the water, offering breathtaking views of the North Atlantic coastline.


Ballymoney is a small town with a rich cultural heritage and a range of natural attractions that guarantee an unforgettable trip to visitors. With the comprehensive guide provided above, you’re ready to plan a trip to Ballymoney and enjoy all that it has to offer.