You won’t be instgramming yourself in your favourite yoga position on the beaches of the North Antrim coast. But these beaches are spectacular and well worth a visit, at least once on your life.
We spent a week this summer catching up with family and hanging out on the golden sands from Benone to Port Stewart. Since the kids arrived we’ve spent a week each summer here.
Holidaying on the North Antrim coast is a really easy holiday, with heaps to do with the kids. Since none of us are bothered about topping up tans, drinking mojitos by a crowded pool – it’s a perfect spot for us. Our kids are simply happy with digging another giant hole in the sand, rock pooling to catch shrimps and sand eels and taking a dip in the invigoratingly fresh sea.
This used to be really off the beaten track in terms of holiday destinations. But since Game of Thrones started filming here, it’s really in the spotlight and you can see why.
Here are a few of my suggestions on what to see and do:
- Carrik-a-rede Rope Bridge: Suspended 100ft above the sea this rope bridge connects the mainland to a little rocky island.
- Giant’s Causeway: This is what most vistitors come to the north coast to see. Created by the legendary Finn McCool, these basalt columns really are spectacular.
- Rathlin Island: Great for a day trip. Visit the RSPB outpost – West Light Seabird Centre. You can catch the ferry from Ballycastle, and while you’re there make sure you sample a Morrellis ice-cream.
- Harry’s Shack: a new arrival, right on Port Steward Beach. So good it’s hard to grab a table for supper. Jay Rayner loved it and I love it too.
- Dunluce Castle: Perched on a cliff edge this stunning now ruined medieval castle is said to be the inspiration for Cair Paravel, the castle where the kings and queens of Narnia reign in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia.
- Dunserverik Rock Pools: Have the deepest natural pools in Northern Ireland, in which you can swim and with an extraordinary range of marine wildlife, including the sea hare, china limpet and needle whelk. We caught sand eels.
- Oh and the beaches: My favourites are Benone Strand, Whiterock Beach (check out the giant sand dune – great for rolling down), Castlerock, and Port Stewart.
- For accommodation I can recommend Causeway Coastal Rentals which has an excellent selection of cottages and apartments.
(First published 13/9/15)