Shanes Castle Estate, Co Antrim
Located close to the shores of Lough Neagh, Ballealy Cottage is a nature lover's paradise. With a wonderful wildlife garden and surroundings to explore this property is ideal for people who want to escape from the hustle and bustle life. With zero light pollution Ballealy Cottage is perfect for star gazing and watching the resident bat colony returning to roost in the evenings.
Ballealy Cottage makes a good base from which to explore the beautiful county of Antrim. The cottage has a romantic fairytale appearance and a must stay for wildlife enthusiasts. Situated in a secluded spot at the end of a long farm lane, guests will have a real sense of being far removed from the hustle and bustle of normal everyday life. The large wild garden area offers an opportunity for children to burn off excess energy and spot local wildlife. With zero light pollution Ballealy Cottage is perfect for star gazing and watching the resident bat colony returning to roost in the evenings.
Special Notes: Please note that the lane on the way to Ballealy Cottage is a long and very narrow country lane with a number of farm gates that you will have to go through. Allow yourself approximately 10 minutes before you expect to see the property. There is a resident bat colony at Ballealy Cottage that are active during the summer months.
Ballealy Cottage has recently been awarded a Bronze level by Green Tourism.
Ballealy Cottage was built in 1865 for the deerkeeper on the Shane's Castle estate, beside Lough Neagh, Co. Antrim. Set in a woodland by a stream, Ballealy presents a fairytale appearance of irregular gables and half-hipped roofs, edged with ornate bargeboards of trefoils and bold horned curls. Ballealy is built around a tiny central courtyard and is entered through an arched passageway. The outbuildings include a venison store.
It was built from local blackstone c.1835 for the estate deerkeeper and modelled, in miniature, on the lodge of the Windsor forest ranger, possibly by the architect Richard Morrison.
Situated at the end of a long farm lane, guests will have a real sense of being far removed from the hustle and bustle of normal everyday life.
GPS: 54.728271 , -6.327726
Can I bring a dog?
Yes. Check the Irish Landmark T&Cs re bringing dogs to Irish Landmark properties.
Can I bring more than one dog?
Yes, but please do not bring more than two dogs.
Is linen supplied?
Yes – all beds are prepared and ready for your arrival.
Is there an open fire?
Can I light a fire?
There is an open fire in the sitting room which you can light.
Do I need a car to get here?
It would be preferable to have a car as Ballealy Cottage is situated at the end of a long country laneway and it will be very difficult to get to shops, etc.
How do I get the keys?
When you complete your booking, you will receive an email giving you information about arranging access for your arrival date.
Can I arrive early?
Only by special arrangement with the bookings office and agreement of the local House Manager. The standard earliest arrival is 5pm. Guest MUST agree actual arrival time with the local House Manager in advance of the start date. A charge is made if you are requesting a morning arrival, as this means we cannot take a booking for the night before your arrival date.
What is the latest departure time?
10.00am. The House Manager will discuss arrangements for your departure on the day you arrive.
How far to the nearest town?
About 10 mins drive back to Randalstown.
Is there a caterer who will come in to cook meals?
We do not know of anyone who can go in to cook meals at this property.
Is it suitable for children?
Yes. There is a twin bedded room and a large wild garden for them to play in. Please note that there is a Ha-ha to one side of the property.
Is it suitable for older people?
Yes. There is a shower room and a single and twin bedroom downstairs.
Does it have facilities for disabled people?
The downstairs shower room would be suitable for the assisted disabled.
Is it suitable for a wheelchair?
Is there central heating?
There is oil central heating with radiators throughout the house.
Is the cooker electric or gas?
There is an electric cooker.
Is there a shower?
Yes - there is a separate walk in shower in the shower room.
How many bathrooms?
1 bathroom and a separate shower room
Do you supply towels and bed linen?
Yes. The beds will be made up on your arrival and you will be provided with a bath towel and guest towel according to the number of beds in the property.
Can I get to the house by public transport?
It would be very difficult but possible. You would get a train or bus to Ballymena and a taxi could take you onwards from there to the Cottage. Or you could get a local bus from Ballymena to Randalstown and a taxi from there to the cottage. Please note that the lane is very narrown and not all taxi companies may want to drive down it. You would need a car to get to local shops, etc.
Where is the nearest train station?
What type of heating is in the house?
Oil central heating.
Can I book for just one night?
What is your minimum booking period?
Our minimum booking period from 1st January 2017 our minimum booking period will be 2 nights. Some Special Dates will have restrictions on number of nights and arrival date.
Is there a garden at the house?
Yes. There is a large wild garden.
How many cars can I bring to the house?
Is there parking on site?
Yes, there is parking at the side of the house.
Is there outdoor furniture.
Yes, a table and chairs are provided.
Is there a tv?
No, but there is a radio, board games, cards and plenty of books.
Is there a WiFi?
What about the resident bats at Ballealy Cottage?
There is a resident bat colony at Ballealy Cottage that is very active during the summer months. Bats are a protected species and must not be disturbed during the breeding months of May to October. In the months of July and August the colony is particularly wonderful to watch in the evenings with some pups learning to fly to and from the roast.
Fishing on Lough Neagh
Phone: +44 (028) 7930 12893
Address: Lough Neagh & Lower Bann Advisory Committees, Sperrin House, 43 Queen's Avenue, Magherafelt, Co. Antrim, BT45 6B, Northern Ireland
Phone: +44 (028) 9442 8331
Address: Antrim Round, Steeple Road, Antrim, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre
Phone: +44 (028) 3832 2205
Address: Craigavon, Co. Armagh, BT66 6NJ, Northern Ireland
Antrim Lough Shore Park
Phone: +44 (028) 9442 8331
Address: Lough Road, Co. Antrim, BT41 4DG, Northern Ireland
Coastal Walks (along the Causeway Coast)
Phone: +44 (028) 9030 3930
Address: Countryside Access and Activities Network, The Stableyard, Barnett's Demesne, Malone Road, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT9 5PB, Northern Ireland
July 6, 2017
Irish Landmark Trust recently received a lovely email from Katrine Nyland Sørensen about her family’s trip from Copenhagen to Ballealy Cottage in Co. Antrim. “The children still dream about the Ulster Fry each morning, the bath tub, the heavy duvets, the roaring fire and didn’t even complain that it was raining all the time and […]
February 1, 2017
How has January passed for you? Have you embarked on the new chapters promised for 2017? January can get a bad press. It feels like a month created to survive versus a month designed to live. Resolutions can be cruel at a time when the weather is bleak and the days are short. For this […]