Is a ferry from No. Ireland to Scotland 'worth it' for a day trip?

Hello! We're going to be spending 3 nights in the Portrush area and I thought it might be fun to take a ferry into Scotland for the day, just so we can say we've been there and to check it out for an afternoon. The ferry out of Ballycastle, No. Irealnd drops off in Campbelltown, Scotland, but I haven't been able to uncover much info about Campbelltown, like what we can see there easily without a car. Does anyone have knowledge of this area, or has anyone taken this trip? Thanks.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

It's really hard for me to find anything bad to say about Scotland, however,

Campbeltown is dingy and economically depressed with a very high percentage of boarded-up commercial buildings. Finding a half-acceptable pub was a project and I ain't that picky when it comes to drinking. It's the armpit of the Kintyre peninsula and maybe of all of the UK.

Not such a red-hot use of time.

Now, if you could hive out a way to get up to Tarbert .....

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
12898 posts

Have you looked at the times of the little ferry boat operated by Kintyre Express on that route?

The little boat goes once a day in the summer, leaving Scotland at noon, taking 90 minutes, and leaving Northern Ireland at 2pm. To go to Scotland for the day you'd have to arrive before you left or spend the night.

Posted by Carolyn
Los Angeles, CA
21 posts

Ed and Nigel,
Thanks so much. I guess I hadn't examined the schedule as closely as I should have, and Ed, thanks for your candor. There seems to be too many beautiful sights for us to fit into our Ireland itinerary, so I guess I'd be better off keeping my focus on Ireland.

Posted by David
Missoula, Montana
99 posts

Maybe the next best thing to do then is take in the Giant's Causeway, just a short distance west of Portrush on the Antrim coast. After all - according to Irish folklore - it once stretched all the way to Scotland. Check out the story of Finn McCool when you're there to understand its origin. Aside from that, the Causeway is a wonder of nature and a fabulous place to spend an hour or two.

Posted by Glenn
58 posts

Only ferry experience I've done is the high-speed out of Belfast to Stranraer on the west coast of Scotland. Took a while from the port to get to anywhere I'd consider worth visiting, but its a nice way to get down to central Scotland, and thence to Northern England.

I'd agree with checking the sailing schedules carefully or you may end up exploring Alba more than you expect as you wait for the return!


Posted by doric8
327 posts

I vote for Giants causeway.............also we were on that ferry as a part of an organized wales/Ireland/Scotland trip a few years ago......and the medical crisis of a passenger caused us to double back and then start over again.....and yes, that is just one of those random things that can happen.......but anything similar could lock you into having about 10 minutes in Scotland...............