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Whiterocks Bay County Antrim Northern Ireland

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, fishing or water sports holiday. 

The coast as we know it today has shaped Northern Ireland and its Counties into an area of outstanding natural beauty, and a place of industry, inspiration and leisure, abundant with marine life and water activities. 

Northern Ireland is the perfect choice for a short break or a holiday, offering world class activities such as trout, salmon and freshwater fishing, surfing, sunbathing and a range of outdoor activities along scenic walking routes such as bike riding, hill climbing and horse riding. 

Tourist destinations offer luxury accommodation from beach front self catering to camping and touring holidays and quaint coastal bed and breakfasts to suit all budgets.

County Antrim: The Causeway Coast 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 Dunluce Castle County Antrim, Northern Ireland. 

Rathlin Island

Just off the North Coast of Northern Ireland lies Rathlin Island, easily accessed by ferry (operated by the Rathlin Island Ferry Co Ltd) 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 (24.9) from the Mull of Kintyre, the southernmost tip of Scotland’s Kintyre peninsula.  Rathlin is part of the Moyle District Council Area.

The island is abundant with wildlife popular with geologists, botanists, divers, anglers and anyone with a passion for wild and rugged scenery waiting to be explored.   Bird watchers can enjoy the sight of puffins, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes that come to the island during the summer months.

County Londonderry

The dramatic coastline of County Londonderry, Northern Ireland includes Portstewart Strand situated between the popular seaside resort of Portrush and the River Bann lies the golden beach and sand dunes of Portstewart Strand. 

This two mile strand is a favorite for tourists and holiday makers who visit the Causeway Coast.  The beach currently holds the coveted blue and yellow 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.

County Down 

The islands and foreshore of Strangford Lough in County Down Northern Ireland 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.

For further information visit:

Places To Visit

Northern Ireland Blue Flag Beaches, Belfast

From golden sands to pebbled shores Northern Ireland boasts some of the most beautiful coastline anywhere.

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Practical Information

European Regional Development Fund