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Downpatrick Head


Take A Closer Look

Downpatrick Head is a majestic heritage site found about 5km north of Ballycastle village. Jutting out into the ocean and rising almost 40m above the waves, it provides unparalleled views of the Atlantic, including the unique collection of islands known as the Staggs of Broadhaven. You can also spot the nearby Dún Briste sea stack, with its different coloured layers of rock and nesting sea birds. In addition to the natural scenery and wildlife, Downpatrick Head is home to the ruins of a church, holy well and stone cross, which together mark the site of an earlier church founded by St Patrick. Ireland’s patron saint is also honoured with a statue that was built in the early 1980s. Given its religious associations, Downpatrick Head was once a popular destination for pilgrims, who came here each year on the last Sunday of July, known as ‘Garland Sunday’. Today that tradition lives on, and mass is still celebrated at Downpatrick Head on that same day.