Ballealy Cottage

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.

  • Sleeps 5

  • 1 Dog Allowed

  • Child Friendly

  • From £291 for 2 nights

  • Open Fire


  • 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:There is a substantial resident bat colony in the roof space at Ballealy Cottage that is largely active during the summer months. Bats are a protected species and guests are asked to ensure they do not disturb the roost.  When the roost is at its most active, May to early September, there is a strong smell in the property, especially in the upstairs bedroom and bathroom.  Guests making bookings for the time when the bat roost is active can only book by making direct contact (by phone or email) with the Bookings Office.  Guests booking a holiday in these months must agree to the conditions that apply to bookings for Ballealy Cottage.  Access to Ballealy Cottage is by 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 from the time you make the turn on the lane before you expect to see the property.


    • 1 Double Room
    • 1 Twin Room (downstairs)
    • 1 Single Room (downstairs)
    • Oil Fired Central Heating
    • Open Fire in Sitting Room
    • Electric Oven
    • Range in Dining Room
    • Microwave
    • Washing Machine
    • Fridge/Freezer
    • Towels and Linens Provided
    • Travel cot/crib for infants (under 2 years), on request
    • Hair dryer
    • Iron and Ironing Board
    • Cooking utensils and equipment
    • 1 Bathroom with roll top bathtub
    • Separate Shower room downstairs
    • Sitting Room
    • Snug
    • Large garden and garden furniture
    • Forest location with lots of wildlife such as deer, bats, foxes, etc;
    • Radio
    • Car parking

    WiFi Free Zone:  Irish Landmark believes that digital detox is good for the mind, body and soul.  This is why Irish Landmark properties advocate the properties in our care as WiFi and television free zones. Reconnecting with our lives, nature, our surroundings, books, as well as family and friends, is vital for a happy life. This continues to make us very proud and happy to be a WiFi Free Zone.

    Please note:  Irish Landmark properties that welcome a pet may not have secure enclosures.  It is vital that you supervise your pet during your stay.

    A contribution towards energy fees is applied to all bookings.   As a not for profit organisation, this fee makes a significant contribution to energy costs.   It is our aim to reduce our energy consumption at all self catering properties and encourage guests to reuse, reduce, recycle.


    Ballealy Cottage has recently been awarded a Bronze level by Green Tourism.


  • history

    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.

  • visitor book

    "Our weekend was fantastic. The cottage is amazing. I feel in love with it as soon as we arrived outside. It was so cosy and inviting and had such character. All of our party fell in love with it. We will definitely be back at some stage. My husband particularly enjoyed looking through all the old books. Will recommend it to any friends who are looking for a place to stay for a break."

    Irene, USA

    "A truly wonderful place. Next time we’ll visit for longer!"

    Colette, Co. Kildare

    "Wonderful house in a lovely part of the world. Edwardian charm and comfort on the shores on Lough Neagh."

    Mary, Dublin

  • 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.

    Loc8: DR0-72-TN7
    GPS: 54.728271 , -6.327726


    Our buildings were made to the standards of earlier times – and sometimes without the intention that they should be lived in.  Consequently, you may encounter features that reflect their particular character but that deserve due care and attention, particularly by the young, elderly, less mobile or visually impaired.  Examples of these are steps worn with age, uneven surfaces, low ceilings and beams, unexpected drops or changes in level, and by modern standards low or absent lighting.  In all cases we have sought to make a sensible compromise between due regard for safety and the careful retention of the fabric of each building, which makes it an interesting place to stay. We ask you to appreciate and use the building with this understanding. If you have any queries about the property you are interested in and would like more clarification please contact Irish Landmark at

    Arrival and Departure Time?

    Unless otherwise agreed with the House Manager the earliest time at which you can check in is 4.oop.m.  Guests may NOT take over the property any time later then 9.00pm.   Guests are requested to vacate the property by 10.00am at the latest on the day of departure.

    Is there a TV?

    No, but there is a radio, board games, cards and plenty of books.

    Is there WiFi?

    No, at our properties you have an opportunity to experience the best of a former way of life:  beautiful architecture, fascinating history and a peaceful relaxed ambiance, without modern electronic distractions, where you decide the pace of your holiday.

    Can I bring a dog?

    Yes.  Please check the Irish Landmark T&Cs re bringing a dog to Irish Landmark properties.

    Can I bring more than one dog?

    This property is only suitable for one dog. Special allowances may be made for two dogs but this will be permitted on a case by case basis.  Please ensure to contact Irish Landmark Trust directly prior to making a reservation if you are enquiring about two dogs.

    Is linen supplied?

    Yes – all beds are prepared and ready for your arrival.

    Is there an open fire?

    Yes.  There is a limited amount of fuel left for the fire (where applicable) so guests may want to bring more for the duration of their stay.  Please contact the local House Manager for more information on what type of fuel is used at your chosen property

    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?

    Irish Landmark Trust have a 2 night stay minimum at all of our properties.  Some Special Dates will have restrictions on arrival and departure date which will effect the minimum number of nights.

    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.

    What about the resident bats at Ballealy Cottage?

    There is a large resident bat colony in the roof space 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. When the roost is at its most active, July and August, there may be an odour present in the upstairs bedroom and bathroom.

  • location

    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


    Antrim Roundtower



    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


Articles about Ballealy Cottage

Late Availability Offers

September 17, 2021

Late availability discounts are available on new bookings within the next 14 days

Property of the Week

April 12, 2019

Where we have an in-depth look at a property in the care of Irish Landmark Trust.

View all articles about Ballealy Cottage ›