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Being a qualified Heritage Tour Guide, this tour of Ballycastle grew from my simple historical walking tour into a 3.5 hour interactive food, history and culture experience. It covers our ‘Ulster Scots’ heritage especially mentioning Rathlin Sound, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Irish Sea. Tour guests sample an authentic Ulster Fry in a local café which has long been part of this community. Stephen (chef/owner) makes the soda and potato bread especially for the tour; we sample Dart Mountain cheeses in a local supermarket who are part of Food NI and we learn about potatoes, past, present and varietal and that not only can you eat out local, but you can self-cater locally too.
We visit award winning eateries whose hosts explain their past experience and current ethos as in the gluten free certification in the Marine Hotel, pear and almond or seaweed and parmesan scones in Thyme and Co, cakes that are delicious works of art, kelp pesto, fresh fish from Morton’s, collaboration as e.g. O’Connor’s use Ursa Minor Bread and North Coast Smokehouse Salmon; local, as all of them believe and show local foods, farmers, e.g. Ursa Minor uses foraged or donated fruits to put into their breads and patisseries. Occasionally we try yellow man and clove rock (local sweeties) Ballycastle was voted the Best Place to Live in Northern Ireland by the Sunday Times and this tour shows why.
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