Northern Ireland's Coastline
Discover Northern Ireland's Sea and Coast
Northern Ireland has over 200 kilometers of diverse coastline and beachfront in care of the National Trust, making it an ideal destination for that perfect beach, touring or activity holiday.
County Antrim: The Causeway Coastal Route and Giant’s Causeway
Along the magnificent North Antrim Coast are the world famous polygonal columns of the Giant’s Causeway, an icon of Northern Ireland and its only World Heritage Site. The Giant’s Causeway is also an area of historical significance. During the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the Girona, one of only four galleasses in the Armada, sank in the surrounding waters in 1588 and the cannon recovered from the vessel was taken to nearby Dunluce Castle. Follow the stunning Causeway Coastal Route, running from Belfast to Derry~Londonderry, which has been rated one of the world's top road trips.
Just off the North Coast of Northern Ireland lies Rathlin Island, easily accessed by ferry from the seaside town of Ballycastle. This stunning landscape allows visitors to get lost in the peace and tranquility of the island, currently home to a small population of around 70 people. The L- shaped Island is 4 miles (6.4km) from east to west, and 2.5 miles (4.0km) from north to south. Rathlin Island is 15.5 miles (24.9km) from the Mull of Kintyre, the southernmost tip of Scotland’s Kintyre peninsula.
The island is abundant with wildlife and is popular with geologists, botanists, divers, anglers and anyone with a passion for wild and rugged scenery. Bird watchers can enjoy the sight of puffins, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes that come to the island during the summer months.
The dramatic coastline of County Londonderry includes the golden sands of Portstewart Strand, situated between the popular seaside town of Portstewart and the River Bann.
This two mile strand is a favorite for tourists and holiday makers who visit the Causeway Coast. The beach currently holds the coveted Blue Flag award which recognises the high standards of beach management, cleanliness and water quality.
Portstewart is famous for its golf club offering 54 holes set on the famous Causeway Coast, offering spectacular views and exciting gaming.
The islands and foreshore of Strangford Lough in County Down reflect a long cultural history and human interaction with the Lough from Neolithic to Victorian influences. There are extensive archaeological and historical associations with the Lough, from fish traps and kelp grids to shipwrecks and submerged forests. Strangford Lough is a conservation area and its abundant wildlife is internationally recognized for its importance.
Why not follow the Mourne Coastal Route which stretches from Belfast to the city of Newry, via the Ards Peninsula, the Lecale coast and, in the words of the famous song, the place 'where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea’. The route also has a number of scenic loops to explore.
For further information visit: www.ntni.org.uk