Ballyheigue is a coastal village in North Kerry. It is a seaside resort with many miles of long sandy beaches.
The town holds many events throughout the year including the Half on the Head (Kerryhead Half Marathon & 10k Run) in June, Summer Festival in July, a triathlon in September. Pattern Day is also greatly attended on September 8th celebrating Our Ladies birthday. Celebrations include an outdoor mass, street stalls and a great atmosphere in the pubs, with entertainment laid on throughout the day. At Christmas there is horse racing on the beach. What a sight for the eyes, horses galloping along the strand with the backdrop of the snow capped Brandon Mountain and Tralee Bay.
Ballyheigue's most famous recent resident was the handicapped writer and painter Christy Brown. He famously wrote My Left foot which tells the true story of Christy Brown an Irish man born with cerebral palsy who could control only his left foot. The film won Daniel Day Lewis best actor at the Oscars and Brenda Fricker best supporting actress.
The start of a 7 mile stretch of strand Ballyheigue beach is a particularly safe place to swim and surf. During the summer months it is patrolled by a lifeguard. Beach fishing for bass and plaice is popular and Blackrock which marks the end of the beach is a good spot also from which to fish. At low tide you will often see fishermen digging for bait on the beach. Two miles up the coast from the village is a small harbour. Pleasure boats, rowers, open water swimmers and local kayakers all use this spot.
Ballyheigue has a wide range of quality accommodation to suit all budgets, ranging from hotels and bed & breakfasts to hostels and self catering accommodation. Ballyheigue has a nice variety of pubs which are well worth a visit on a warm summers evening or a cold winters one!.
For diners there are a selection of restaurantsGlenderry Souterrains in the townland of Glenderry are a remarkable collection of six corbelled underground chambers joined together by an elaborate system of tunnels. Ballyheigue Castle was a grand mansion and home of the Crosbie family. Now mostly a shell, it is surrounded by a golf course. There is a story of a ghost and hidden treasure associated with Ballyheigue Castle. Today various local legends abound as to where the treasure went. The golf course which encompasses the castle is a 9 hole parkland course with spectacular views of the bay.