Ballycastle is a small but thriving community which has much to offer visitors. We have a rich history, going back at least 5,000 years. Our ancestors left evidence of their way of life at the Céide Fields where an Interpretative Centre has been built. We have long sandy beaches and tall threatening cliffs along the seafront. The cliffs at Céide reach a height of 365 feet and give a panoramic view of horizontal layers of sandstone 350 million years old.
The Tourist Office, open June - September, is located in The Resource Centre, upper Main Street. It is open daily from 10.00a.m.
The local beach is situated about one mile north of Ballycastle on the southern end of Bunatrahir Bay where it is bordered by sand dunes which makes it ideal for sunbathing. The waters are clean and safe for swimming.
Ballycastle coastal waters are becoming ever more popular with scuba divers. Sheltered launching areas and excellent diving conditions ensure that diving can take place for nine months of the year. The entire coastline provides a range of truly spectacular dives. These, coupled with wholly unpolluted waters, excellent visibility and abundant sea life all contribute to make this area of North Mayo an attractive location for diving enthusiasts.
The old Courthouse building and the building beside it were converted into Art Studios and an Art Exhibition area in 1992 and is now known as 'Ballinglen Arts Foundation'. Since it opened, artists of international stature have been coming here on a Fellowship Programme to live and work in the community. The works of art made by the Fellowship Artists are exhibited internationally in Art fairs, museums and galleries. This building will also host an Art Reference Library and Public Library.
There is a viewing stand at Downpatrick Head to view the many breeds of birds that nest on Dún Briste. These include Black Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black Gull, Herring Gull, Kittiwake, Fulmer Puffins, Crows, Ravens Hooded Crow and Magpie. Horse Island in Belderrig is another bird-nesting location. By Maeve Dunne
Ballycastle has a variety of clubs and organisations, some of which are listed below.