Discovering the Golden Beauty of Benone Beach on the Causeway Coast

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Benone Strand: A Golden Sandy Beach Stretching from Mussenden to Magilligan

Benone Beach, or Strand, is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland. It is a pristine, golden sandy beach stretching for seven magnificent miles from below Mussenden Temple to the Martello Tower at Magilligan. Beyond being just a picturesque location, it serves as a historical and recreational hub, offering numerous attractions and activities. Dive into this guide to discover why Benone Strand should be your next destination.

Benone Strand From Mussenden Temple – Image By

Key Takeaways:

  • Benone Strand is a pristine seven-mile beach located near Limavady, Northern Ireland.
  • Recognised as the first fully inclusive beach in the region, it boasts multiple European Blue Flag awards.
  • Nearby attractions include Magilligan Point, Downhill Beach, and the historic Mussenden Temple.
  • The Benone Tourist Complex offers a range of recreational activities.
  • The surrounding dune systems, especially the Umbra Dune Grasslands, are a conservationist’s dream.

Benone Strand

As you journey along the enchanting Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland, stopping at the magnificent Benone Strand is a must. This seven-mile expanse of golden sands, nestled between the dramatic Binevenagh mountain backdrop and the shimmering Atlantic, is more than just a beach—it’s an experience. Recognised as Northern Ireland’s first fully inclusive beach and a proud recipient of the European Blue Flag award, Benone offers pristine conditions for both relaxation and recreation.

The Umbra Dune Grasslands beckon nature lovers and conservationists with its unique dune systems. Their proximity to historic landmarks, such as the Mussenden Temple, infuses a touch of history into their natural charm. Whether you’re in the mood for a serene stroll, exhilarating watersports, or a picturesque picnic, Benone Strand promises a memorable stop on your Causeway Coastal adventure.

Getting To Benone Beach

Benone Strand is located on the north coast of Northern Ireland in County Derry/Londonderry. It stretches between Castlerock and Magilligan Point. The beach is easily accessible from the nearby towns of Limavady and Coleraine. Given its natural beauty and extensive stretch of golden sands, Benone Strand makes for an essential stopover if you’re travelling along the Causeway Coast.

Getting to Benone Beach By Car

The journey typically takes about an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and 30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions (tractors and caravans!), and there are two options from Belfast. You can follow the A2 along the Causeway Coast or take the M2 and A26 to Coleraine (it’s well-signposted). Once in Coleraine, follow the signs for the Causeway Coastal Route (N). This will take you on the Coleraine Ring Road over the River Bann. Once past McDonald’s and the riverside retail park, follow the signs for Castlerock/Causeway Coastal Route (A2). The A2 will take you through articulative (pronounced art-a-cliff) and past Mussenden Temple along Seacoast Road north, taking in mountain and cliff scenery to the Benone Entrance.

Parking on Benone Beach

Parking on the Beach At Benone Strand – Image By @candou.g

Benone Beach is one of the few beaches in Northern Ireland where parking on the beach is allowed. However, always check for any seasonal or temporary restrictions before driving onto the sand, and be cautious about the tide and soft sand areas to avoid getting stuck.

Additionally, a car park is behind the Benone Beach entrance, close to the Benone Tourist Complex. This provides an alternative to parking directly on the beach, especially during peak times when the beach might be crowded or if you’re not comfortable driving on sand. The car park is run by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. It normally offers free car parking, but charges might apply, so it’s advisable to make some handy changes, check for payment methods in advance, or download the JustPark app.

Getting to Benone Beach By Public Transport

Benone is a bit out of the way, so public Transport options are limited. From Belfast, you can take the train or bus to Colbraine and then get the 124 Ulsterbus service to the Benone Beach entrance. 

Benone Tourist Complex

Benone Complex From the Air – Image By @aerialvisionni

Nestled beside the iconic Benone Strand, the Benone Tourist Complex is a testament to the Causeway Coastal Route’s rich offering of activities and facilities for travellers. An indispensable part of your coastal adventure, this award-winning facility provides an all-inclusive experience for day visitors and those planning an extended stay.

Facilities and Amenities

  • Caravan Park: The complex boasts a touring caravan site, ideal for travellers seeking the perfect blend of outdoor adventure and comfort. The site has 80 touring pitches with electricity, including 33 “super pitches”, 6 glamping lodges and 18 camping pitches with electricity – bookings by telephone only – These can be booked here.
  • Leisure Activities: The fun doesn’t stop at the beach! The complex has tennis courts for those keen on serving up some action. If swimming’s more your style, dive into the inviting outdoor heated splash pools. Children are bound to enjoy the bouncy castle, ensuring they’re entertained as adults unwind.
  • Indoor Games Room: No matter the weather, the indoor games room entertains with various games, ensuring fun is never compromised.
  • Café and Shops: There is a cafe called “Waves Bistro”, located just off one of the boardwalks. It offers pretty good food and drinks all day, including their “golfer’s fry,” homemade scones, and ‘cooked to order’ meals. We have enjoyed having a bite inside in front of the log burner and outside on the patio, depending on the weather, or picking up souvenirs and essentials at the on-site shops.
  • Toilets: The complex has a wide range of facilities accessibility toilets

Golfing at Benone Tourist Complex: A Swing with a View

The 5th at Benone Golf Course – Image By @danielgrove34

For golf enthusiasts venturing along the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland, the Benone Tourist Complex presents a delightful retreat. Merged seamlessly with the stunning landscapes of Northern Ireland’s coast, the complex’s PAR 3 9 hole course is an experience.

9-Hole Golf Course: The heart of the golfing experience at Benone is its picturesque 9-hole par three course. Designed to challenge and entertain golfers of all skill levels, the course offers a unique blend of strategic play and scenic beauty. As you traverse the greens and fairways, the captivating surroundings with views of a picturesque riverbank area overlooking the coastline and nearby landscapes accentuate every shot, making each round a memorable experience.

Pro Shop: Catering to both seasoned golfers and those new to the game, the Pro Shop at Benone is a haven for golfing gear and accessories. Moreover, the knowledgeable staff is always on hand to offer advice, ensuring you have the right gear tailored to your needs such as golf balls, clubs and buggies.

Putting Green: Whether you’re looking to warm up before a round or simply practice your short game, the well maintained putting green is an ideal spot.

Crazy Golf: For families and those seeking a more light-hearted golfing experience, the Crazy Golf course is a delightful addition to the complex. Infused with fun obstacles and inventive layouts, it’s an entertaining way to engage with the sport. Whether you’re competing with family or friends, or just looking to have some relaxed fun, Crazy Golf ensures smiles all around.

The Umbra Dune Grasslands

The Dunes at Benone Strand – Image By @seashedcoffee

Nestled near the Benone Strand along the Atlantic Coast, the Umbra Dune Grasslands stand as a testament to Northern Ireland’s coast’s pristine beauty and ecological diversity. This protected stretch is not just a mere extension of the coast; it’s one of the largest dune systems in Ireland a delicate ecosystem teeming with unique flora and fauna, and a haven for nature enthusiasts, birdwatchers, and those seeking solace in nature’s embrace.

Dog Walking

Dogs PLaying on Benone Strand – Image by @underdog_ted

With nearly seven miles of golden sands, begone’s Dunes offer an excellent place for dog walkers to get out with their pooch. There is a seasonal dog-free zone away from the seasonal rnli beach lifeguards and most of the Blue Flag Beach, where families mostly go. 

About the author

Originally from Scotland, Colin now resides near the beautiful seaside town of Portstewart on the Causeway Coastal Route. By day he works in IT and by day off he spends much of his time travelling around the Island with his young family, writing about his experiences for many sites both locally and nationally.