Explore the Beauty and Adventure of Castlerock, Northern Ireland: Golf, Beach, and More at Castlerock Golf Club
Castlerock is one of those great places I see every day from my office window but rarely visit. Bursting with charm and rooted deeply in history, this gem is home to a prestigious golf course (hopefully, the Irish Open will be hosted soon) and a beautiful beach that draws visitors from nearby.
In this seaside village, tranquillity meets thrill, history meets the present, and the rugged coast meets lush, green landscapes.
Discover the Charm of Castlerock
The History of Castlerock
Castlerock has a rich history dating back thousands of years. Evidence of early settlements in the region can be traced to the Mesolithic period, around 6000-4000 BC, with ancient tools and remains discovered in the nearby dunes of the lower river bann estuary and at Mountsandel Fort in Coleraine.
The name “Castlerock” itself alludes to a basalt outcrop resembling a castle, which served as a landmark for sailors.
During the plantation of Ulster, the land was predominantly owned by the London Clothworkers company, who established the nearby town of Articlave in 1613.
The area gained prominence by establishing a railway in the 19th century, making Castlerock a sought-after resort town. Historically, the land was owned by the estate of the Londonderry family, who played significant roles in local development. The Downhill Demesne and Mussenden Temple, located close to Castlerock, symbolise the region’s rich past. The temple, built in the 18th century by the 4th Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry, offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Throughout its history, Castlerock’s serene beaches, historic landmarks, and natural beauty have drawn visitors and settlers, making it an enduring point of interest in Northern Ireland.
Facilities and Amenities at Castlerock
Playing Golf at Castlerock Golf Club
Play around on the 18-hole championship links course at Castlerock Golf Club. With the stunning Irish Sea serving as a backdrop, this lush green course, one of the oldest and most iconic in Northern Ireland, is a golfer’s paradise.
Unwind and soak in the sun at one of the best beaches on the North Coast, Castlerock Beach. Known for its golden sand and majestic dunes, it is perfect for those seeking tranquillity. During the summer, it transforms into a social hub of activity for locals and holidaymakers. With seasonal RNLI beach lifeguards, its an excellent place to enjoy with the family
Establishment Features of Castlerock
From local schools to caravan parks, Castlerock’s establishments are built around the convenience of its people. Many of these, including Castlerock Beach, Mussenden Temple, and Downhill House, are owned by the National Trust and are preserved for future generations to appreciate.
Fun Things to See and Do in Castlerock
Walk along the Beach at Castlerock
Take an invigorating walk along the coast of Castlerock Beach, feeling the sand beneath your feet and listening to the rhythm of the waves. This is undoubtedly a delightful way to refresh and reconnect with nature.
Visit the Black Glen
The Black Glen, nestled near the village, is another must-see site. A favourite among walkers, it is teeming with wildlife and natural beauty. Accessed via the entrance close to Hezlett House, the area offers a high level of tranquillity.
Explore Hezlett House
Imbued with history and interest, Hezlett House is a fascinating place to visit. This 17th-century thatched cottage, one of the oldest buildings in the area, gives you a glimpse into the past, showcasing a slice of life from bygone eras.
Appreciating the Architecture of Mussenden Temple
The Mussenden Temple is a sight and is peddled on a cliff edge overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This 18th-century folly was built by Frederick, 4th Earl of Bristol, which is a testament to his infamous architectural accomplishment.
The Nature Walks in Downhill Forest
For nature enthusiasts, a stroll through the Downhill Forest is a must. Find peace and serenity as you amble through the lush forests and be captivated by the tranquil beauty surrounding you.
The Heritage of Downhill Lake
Last but not least, soak in the heritage and beauty of Downhill Lake, which played a special part in the local history of Castlerock.
Practical Information for Your Visit
Directions to Castlerock
Getting to Castlerock is relatively easy. It is situated within the Coleraine Borough and is easily accessible by road. Public transport, including the railway station, connects Castlerock to the rest of Northern Ireland.
Experience Castlerock’s People
Although Castlerock is a small village with a lively and diverse population. From families that have called this place home for decades to newcomers drawn by the lure of seaside living, everyone has found a place in this closely-knit community. There are an ever-increasing number of 2nd homes in Castlerock as it offers a more affordable option than its neighbours across the Bann. However, this does mean that there are more options when it comes to places to stay. The locals are friendly, and you’ll know them from the 2nd homers as they’ll be the ones who say hello to you when you pass them.