Mini guide to Ballymena
Known as the 'City of the Seven Towers', Ballymena is located at the foot of the
Antrim Mountains in Northern Ireland and is a thriving market and shopping town.
Ancestral home of the 21st US president, Ballymena also hosts the largest two-day
agricultural show in Ireland and has some notable old buildings.
The old home of former US president, Chester Alan Arthur, lies just outside
Ballymena and many visitors come here to see the restored 18th century farmhouse.
The People's Park is another major highlight, a five-hectare swathe of land
offering places where you can relax and plenty of activities, with its children's
playground and sports facilities offering golf, football and tennis.
Nowadays, the town only sports three towers and the architectural focus is
the 1920s Town Hall, built on the site of the Old Market House, which is the
venue for many spectacles throughout the year including the Arts Festival in
October. The other major sight in town is Morrow's Shop Museum which retells
Ballymena's history and is situated beside the Town Hall.
There are two huge shopping centres in Ballymena, the Tower and Fairhill centres,
as well as numerous local traders, high street chains and the Saturday market
located behind the new cinema. For further entertainment, Ballymena has a huge
leisure centre and a multiplex cinema.
Not far from Ballymena is the 1,500 feet high volcanic mountain, Slemish Mountain,
which is ideal for picnics and panoramic views, while the colourful villages
of Gracehill and Broughshane are well worth a look. To the north of Ballymena
are the must-see Giants Causeway rock formations and to the south is picturesque
Ballymena is fed by the M2 motorway and A26 from Belfast and trains depart
just under every two hours from various stops in Belfast, while Translink buses
leave every 30 minutes. Translink bus/train combination transfers leave from
Dublin International Airport every two hours and go via Dublin and Belfast.
Belfast International Airport is the nearest air terminal to Ballymena.
Selection of hotels in this region:
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full list of hotels and online booking