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: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) 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.
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.
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
HEALTH AND SAFETY:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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