After receiving the key to our barn loft at the Ballylinny Cottages in Northern Ireland, we returned to the car to unload our luggage and check out our accommodation for the night. We were eager to settle in, change, and get exploring the area. My boyfriend handed me my backpack and as I looked up, we saw a massive rainbow breaking through the sky. Arching over all the cottages, a beautiful rainbow extended towards the Giant’s Causeway. If anything said that we had chosen the perfect accommodation for our stay in Northern Ireland then this was that sign. If you are wondering where to stay in Northern Ireland, then the Ballylinny Cottages is it.

Ballylinny Cottages offers self-catering cottages and barn lofts in a perfect location for a trip to Northern Ireland. The cottages are family run and are on the Coastal Causeway Drive and are less than five minutes to the world-heritage Giant’s Causeway site. Within a twenty minute radius, you can also visit Kinbane Castle, Dunluce Castle, the Dark Hedges and many more stunning points of interest in Northern Ireland. We only stayed here for one night on our epic Ireland and Northern Ireland road trip, and we sincerely regretted just having one night here. The cottages were the perfect stop for us.

CHECK-IN at ballylinny cottages

Our check in with Ballylinny Cottages was smooth and easy. We had, in fact, arrived a little earlier than check-in time, and reception was fantastic about giving us a tour, and letting us drop off our bags and settle in a little earlier than they anticipated. My poor boyfriend was feeling under the weather at this point, so it was quite a relief to be able to let him lie down for a little nap.


I loved the cottages! Ballylinny has nine cottages and two lofts. All of the cottages are white with brightly colored doors and fixings. I was somewhat obsessed. We stayed in the Benandonner’s Barn Loft (named after one of the Giants in the legend of the Giant's Causeway). We were quite impressed with our little loft. Although little is hardly the word for it. The loft was incredibly spacious, boasting two bathrooms, a large open plan kitchen with dining area and living space. It sleeps four to five people, with a master bedroom, and a second room with two twin beds, both with en-suite bathrooms. The cottages are self-catering and are equipped with a dishwasher, washing machine, microwave, gas stove, a TV-DVD system, and Wi-Fi. It was also tastefully decorated and homey.  We also loved the the central heating system – it was warm and cozy after the cold and rainy weather we experienced in Northern Ireland.


Ballylinny Cottages is self-catering accommodation. However, the location is excellent for whatever you need for dining. It is close to Bushmills where they have a few grocery stores so you can pick up some food to cook, and some of the shops even deliver. The nearest Tesco, Asda, and M&S are in Coleraine, about a fifteen minute drive away. This is where we went. We picked up a pizza, chocolate mousse, hot chocolate (maybe that was overkill) and some cold drinks for our night in at Ballylinny. As someone who doesn’t usually stay in self-catering accommodation, I was genuinely quite pleased with being able to buy an easy budget meal from the local grocery store and be ready to cook it at our lodgings. It made our stay in the loft seem even cozier and like home. There are also restaurants near to the cottages, and the staff is more than happy to help with suggestions and reservations. Underneath our barn loft, Ballylinny has rented out space to a café. This means lovely hot coffee is served throughout the day right underneath you. Quite convenient!


Clare, our red-headed (yay) receptionist, was friendly and polite in checking us in, accommodating our earlier than anticipated arrival with grace. All of the staff were friendly and helpful, and it was so lovely to get to chat with everyone. Clare and the rest of the crew were available for all of our questions and helped with planning our visits to the Dark Hedges and Giant's Causeway.  


Ballylinny Cottages is conveniently located for your trip to Northern Ireland. All of the sights we wanted to see were within a twenty minute driving radius from the cottages which meant we could see a majority of the things that I had on my bucket list easily. Within twenty minutes (or less) these are all the sights that we managed to see:

  • The Dark Hedges

  • Dunluce Castle

  • The Giant's Causeway

  • Kinbane Castle

  • The town of Bushmills

These are just the places we visited personally. There is so much more to do in this area, and the only reason we didn't get a chance to see it was because of my lack of planning an additional night in this area - something I would highly recommend. I spoke to Clare, the receptionist, and she said that many of their visitors are repeat visitors, sometimes booking their stay months in advance. I know that I would do this if I was planning a return trip. For more information, you can check out my things to do in Northern Ireland post. Ballylinny is also the perfect starting point for many walking and hiking trails, a surfing holiday (if you can brave those cold waters), golf and fishing. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, this is also a perfect spot for you – within each room is a guide to ALL the filming locations in the area, and the reception is more than happy to assist you in figuring them all out with some tips.


If you haven’t been able to tell already – I LOVED OUR STAY! The rooms were spacious but cozy and warm for our winter holiday. I do wish we had spent more than one night here because our loft was ideally located for all the things we had crammed into our less than 36-hour stay in Northern Ireland. It was also perfectly peaceful with spectacular views of the countryside, cliffs, and ocean. We had as much privacy as we wanted, as well as being able to seek friendly tips and chats from reception. If you are wondering where to stay in Northern Ireland, then the Ballylinny Cottage is a great choice. 



Thanks to Ballylinny Cottages for hosting my stay! As always, thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.