Fair Head (An Bhinn Mhór in Irish Gaelic) is an amazing cliff located east of the town of Balllycastle (Co. Antrim) in Northern Ireland. 5 kilometers long and 196 meters high, it is very different from the usual Irish cliffs. It is indeed composed of vertical rocky strata in dolerite, which forms a striated, cracked wall, in the shape of “organ pipes”. Rather hostile, it is one of the favorite spots of the sportsmen to practice the climbing… and was even used as a filming location for the HBO series Game of Thrones!
It is impossible to pass by Ballycastle without following the famous “Torr Head Scenic Road”! This coastal road, all curved, follows the ocean shore, until reaching Fair Head.
The perfect opportunity for any traveler to admire one of the most impressive cliffs in Northern Ireland!
There are many viewpoints from which to admire it. You just have to park your car in a special area, and there you go! An incredible panorama is offered to you! And let’s admit it: this cliff is one of the most beautiful spots in the region.
Because Fair Head is a kind of rocky cape, made up of strata of vertical stones. Devoid of grass on the sea front, it hides however on its plateau, a real wild treasure: 2 magnificent Northern Irish lakes, invaded by a tender green vegetation!
The show is unique!
It is of course possible to go on the cliff itself. It must be said that Fair Head is considered as THE spot of climbing, essentially reserved to the hardened climbers. The place is certainly difficult to access: the climbing techniques to be deployed require mastery, high level, and can sometimes be atypical of traditional cliffs. Also, do not hesitate to contact a local mountaineering club: some guides will offer to accompany you for the ascent… But be careful : an excellent level is required !
If you are not too much into “climbing”, you should know that it is also possible to discover the place by simple walks. Some hikes are indeed possible on the plateau, by accessing it from the back. No high level required, but bring good walking shoes, a backpack, something to eat and drink, a windbreaker and above all… an effective anti-midges agent! Because this terrible voracious mosquito haunts the plateau of Fair Head and could very quickly make your hike a real nightmare. (Beware, they particularly like travelers!)
Once on the plateau, the view is exceptional. The nature is omnipresent, and you can enjoy sumptuous views on the surroundings. Above all, don’t miss the beauty of the two hidden lakes, the surrounding moorland, as well as the breathtaking panorama on the ocean. You may even be lucky enough to come across some wild goats and sheep that have made Fair Head their home!
You feel like you are alone in the world, in symbiosis with the wilderness, the rock, and the raging water.
Note that the landscape is extremely changeable: especially during the day, the weather, and the light. However, prefer a clear weather, the less windy possible. You will then be able to enjoy a clear view from miles away!
But be careful : the cliff is particularly windy, and without guardrails. The area is wild, and has the least possible trace of human intervention. Avoid venturing too close to the edge: the precipice is vertiginous, and accidents have unfortunately already happened (especially for selfies).