Review Date: September 2008
Ballyness Caravan Park is a medium sized multi-award winning caravan park half a mile outside Bushmills in County Antrim on the B66 towards Dervock. This countryside park opens daily from the middle of March until the end of October.
Ballyness Caravan Park’s address is: 40 Castlecatt Road, Bushmills, Co. Antrim. BT57 8TN.
Telephone: +442820732393. Fax: +442820732713.
The interactive map shows the location of Ballyness Caravan Park. Zoom out on the map to see the Caravan Park’s location in proximity to the nearby town of Bushmills.
In May we had attempted to book Ballyness Caravan Park for a weekend in July or August. On telephoning the office I was told that they were fully booked until July and that a minimum stay of 5 nights was required during July and August. In other words, it was not possible to come down to Ballyness for the weekend in July or August. Later we discovered that a minimum stay of 4 nights was required over Easter and 3 nights during May Day and Spring Bank Holiday weekends.
We booked in for a weekend in September and paid 20 pounds deposit. A 35 pounds deposit was required for longer stays. Payment could be made by either cheque or debit/credit card.
On the day prior to arrival I received a phone call from Ballyness reminding me of my booking and asking if my plans to visit were still going ahead. I told the caller we would still be coming and asked if each site had water, waste and electricity. She confirmed that they did. Telephone manner was polite and courteous.
We arrived at approximately 19:00 on Friday night. The approach road, B66, was a good quality road and the park was clearly signposted.
The lane into the park was wide, smooth and led to the office. The office remained open until 8:30pm, however later arrival was possible. Surnames with allocated site numbers were displayed in the office window for late arrivals.
I went into the office and received a very informative sheet with our site number handwritten in the top right hand corner. The park rules were written on one side of the sheet with an access code for the amenity building. The other side of the sheet listed among other things: local restaurant numbers, local taxi numbers, a ‘What’s On’ guide for the current month and cinema listings for the week. Impressive!
The office had a small shop that sold caravan and tent accessories such as Cassette Toilet chemicals. They also sold gas on a cylinder replacement system. Prices seemed reasonable.
We paid 19 pounds per night for the two of us and our touring caravan. Awning and / or pup tent was an extra two pounds and additional people aged 6 and over cost an extra one pound per person.
We paid the balance due and were directed to our site.
Leaving the office car park it was possible to turn left through some pillars into the main area of the park or go straight ahead into a smaller area. Both areas of the park have white pillars at the entrance. The main area houses the amenity block while the secondary area has a Motor Home Service Area.
After driving into the park, there was a large ‘Welcome sign’ on the Amenity Block wall, with some of the awards that the park had won. As well as being a five star park, the park owners had also earned themselves a Gold David Bellamy Conservation Award. I later learned that this park won the first ever David Bellamy award in Northern Ireland a few years ago. The award was presented for such things as recycling, energy efficiency, providing for wildlife (e.g. nest boxes) and encouraging the use of public transport.
The Park provided for 48 touring caravans, motorhomes or trailer tents. There was also a grassy area for 6 tents. The remainder of the area was taken up with static caravans. My first impression was that this was a spacious, tidy and very well kept site. Both the static and touring caravan pitches seemed to have a very generous amount of land separating them from their neighbours. The park was sheltered a little by the surrounding trees.
The centerpiece of the park was a man-made lake which had a couple of little islands in the middle. Some swans had a made a home for themselves there.
The touring area was grassy with tarmac roads. Each touring pitch had a water tap, drainage, electric hookup and hard stand.
The facilities in the park were contained at one Amenity Building inside the main area of the park. Access to the Amenity Block was via a code which was supplied on the information sheet presented upon arrival.
An extremely spacious family room contained a couple of showers, a bath, a toilet and wash hand basin. When we used the room on the first morning of our stay it was immaculately clean. I had a bath and my wife a shower. We were a little disappointed because the water was only luke-warm and not hot. Showers and baths were however free.
The next entrance along into the Amenity Block provided access to the toilets and showers. There was a separate room for men, women and disabled.
In the men’s room there were two Urinals, two toilets, five wash hand basins and three showers. Four of the wash hand basins were contained within separate cubicles. This room had under floor heating and relaxing music played in through some speakers mounted high on the walls. Again this room was kept immaculately clean. A bucket and mop was left for guests to mop the floor of the ‘dry’ area of their shower cubicle after use. This novel idea seemed to work well, as when I took a shower on the second morning the floor had been mopped to leave it relatively dry prior to my arrival. The sign above the bucket and mop encouraged visitors to dip the mop in the detergent before and after mopping their shower. I have no doubt that these toilets and showers were cleaned rigorously by staff also. On the second morning my shower was approaching hot although I would have liked it if I could have made it a little hotter. My wife informed me that her shower was hot. All showers had a temperature control allowing adjustment of temperature.
The next entrance along into the Amenity Block provided access to the Computer with Internet Access, Laundry room, Baby Changing room and another room with a Freezer and Microwave.
The computer provided an extremely fast internet connection and is great if you wish to check your email for free.
There was a dedicated children’s play area in the park.
Ballyness Caravan Park is situated in pleasant, spacious grounds just outside Bushmills. This 5 star park also boasts a Gold David Bellamy Conservation Award. The price is a little more than other parks in Northern Ireland however it has additional facilities that make up for this slight extra cost. The communal rooms and toilets were spotless and the rest of the grounds are tidy and well presented. This is a park where one can unwind and relax and really enjoy the peace and quiet. Highly recommended for couples and families alike.