During our EPIC Game of Thrones Road Trip through Northern Ireland, I got to stay at a real castle. Yes, you read that right! We stayed at Ballygally Castle, where I not only slept in a cloud, but also met a ghost… and had whiskey in my porridge for breakfast.
Interested to find out more about this magical place? Keep on reading!
What we'll cover in this article
BALLYGALLY CASTLE IN NORTHERN IRELAND
Ballygally Castle is a 17th-century estate located on the scenic Antrim coast of Northern Ireland, only 26 miles / 42 km from Belfast. It is the only 17th Century building still used as a residence in Northern Ireland today. Most of the hotel with 54 bedrooms is beautifully renovated with modern conveniences, while still keeping its old charm… and even its ghosts!
One of the special things about this hotel, is that it offers a “Game of Thrones Afternoon Tea”, so even if you’re not planning on staying here (which would be a shame), you can still make a stop and enjoy the place if you want. We had an amazing Game of Thrones style Banquet here as well, which I’ll tell you more about in a separate post.
As you can read in our Game of Thrones Door-Post, Ballygally is also the location of one of these incredible wooden doors:
There was a super nice welcome waiting for me by the hotel and visit Northern Ireland Tourism (a whole kit with local food products). You’re lucky it even made the photo before I devoured all. the. chocolate.
I stayed in one of Ballygally’s “Coastal Deluxe Rooms”, which meant I not only had a MASSIVE room, but I had a view over the ocean! It had a King-size Bed with the one of the best mattresses I ever had in a hotel, as well as robes, slippers, a great working desk, TV, iPod dock, coffee/tea machine, free Wifi and (ooh fancy) turn down service.
The bed was super-super comfy and I read on their website that they call them “Cloud Beds”, well, I have to agree on that! I slept like a rose and with my super-bad back, that was a nice experience, for sure.
View from my room… not too bad, ey?
The bathroom was incredibly big, with a separate shower and bath tub. There were also plenty of beauty products, which I always enjoy so much when staying in hotels. To be honest, I don’t really like it when they just have the big bottles of shampoo screwed to the walls!
There was a whole range of shampoo, conditioner, soaps and lotions by ESPA London, which smelled soooo good! As an extra surprise, there was this cute little bad duckie by Hastings Hotels, that of course I just had to take home with me. I may or may not have also taken home the bathroom slippers, which were the most comfortable I think I ever got in a hotel so far!
My favourite part of staying in a hotel must be the breakfast, how about you? I always love to discover new things and, boy, did I do just that at Ballygally.
Apparently, in Northern Ireland it’s totally legit to have porridge…. with Whiskey in it for breakfast. Because, well… why not?
When you’re at Ballygally Castle, make sure you don’t miss exploring the garden! It is filled with amazing flowers and there is even a riverside walk you can do. Pretend you’re the lady of the house going for a stroll :)
The Ghost Room
Oh, you thought I was done by showing you all the unique features of this hotel? Hah! I haven’t even mentioned the Ghost Room. Yes, you heard that right, Ballygally has its own ghost. A friendly one, apparently.
According to the legend, Lord James Shaw wanted a son, so when his wife Lady Isabella delivered his heir (a daughter), he snatched the baby and locked Isabella in a room at the top of the castle. While trying to escape to search for her beloved child, Isabella fell to her death from the tower window… and nowadays, you can visit this room (if you dare).
Ballygally is by far one of the most unique places I have ever stayed at. Besides the Game of Thrones theme, this hotel just has a great atmosphere and great rooms, where you really get to relax and spend some quality time. And it’s location makes it perfect to visit on your road trip. Make sure to not skip their famous Afternoon Tea!
STAY AT BALLYGALLY CASTLE YOURSELF!
Name: Ballygally Castle
Address: Coast Rd, Ballygally BT40 2QZ
Phone: 028 2858 1066
More on the Game of Thrones Afternoon Tea: www.hastingshotels.com/ballygally-castle/gameofthronesafternoon
Disclaimer: I visited Northern Ireland and Ballygally Castle Hotel on invitation of Visit Britain and Tourism Northern Ireland as part of the #OMGB campaign. All opinions and photos in this article is 100% my own!
This post is also available in: Dutch