Capture the Maritime Heritage and history between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island

Capture the Maritime Heritage and history between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island

From the 27th of May to the 5th of June, Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival will return to Ballycastle and Rathlin Island.

The Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival takes place in one of Northern Ireland's most beautiful locations, making it a must-attend event.  Indulge in the local seafood, traditional music and dance, take part in arts and crafts workshops, experience a boat trip – maybe you’ll spot a dolphin! These activities capture the maritime heritage and history between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island.

The tall ship 'Leader', a traditionally rigged sailing vessel, will be docked in Ballycastle throughout the festival. Get on board for a tour, enjoy a sail around the bay or simply admire the beauty of this majestic boat from the harbour.

The Causeway Coast Maritime Heritage group will be on the water sailing drontheims, currachs and will be offering have a go sessions.  Watch out the Vikings will be about, head down to the seafront to see how Vikings crafted tools and watch them do battle!

Kitecrew Ireland will fill the air with colourful displays, while Tony Hawkins creates a sand sculpture to inspire you for the sandcastle competition.  

The festival delivers a full itinerary of dance, traditional Irish music, children’s workshops, storytelling, a showcase of local produce at the cookery bites sessions at the seafront and much, much more.

Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce President Brian Mc Lister said:

"As a community we are delighted to welcome the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival back to Ballycastle after a two year pause. We are looking forward to welcoming many more visitors to enjoy the fun and excitement of the festival! Enjoy our local independent businesses' fantastic maritime themed window displays and we hope you enjoy some of the maritime themed "specials" on offer from our local restaurants and cafes, complemented by the local produce showcased at our local award-winning artisan market Naturally North Coast and Glens.”

Paul Kerrigan Chair of the Ballycastle Community Development group said:

“It’s wonderful to be able to offer the opportunity once again for our local communities to come together to showcase, promote and engage people with our maritime heritage and history. The Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival prides itself in being an opportunity to engage with our local maritime heritage and offer opportunities to get on the water.”

Shauna Mc Fall from Naturally North Coast and Glens said:

“We are proud to be a partner in delivering this festival which we have supported since 2012.  It provides a great opportunity for our local artisan producers to showcase their skills and products at the market. Our market is a fantastic showcase of our local food, culture, heritage and traditions, a perfect destination for anyone searching for an authentic artisan market experience.”

Visit for more information and to see the complete programme when it is released

It is recommended that you keep an eye out for updates on the festival's Twitter (@RathlinSoundMF) and Facebook (@RathlinSoundMaritimeFestival) accounts, as the schedule is subject to change due to tides and weather.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, the Ballycastle Community Development Group, and the Rathlin Development and Community Association are working together to deliver the festival.

Geoffrey Moffett

Written by Geoffrey Moffett

Content Creator for Causeway Coast Community.
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