Downhill Beach is the start of a 7 mile beach which stretches from the base of the cliffs below Mussenden Temple to the far western point of the Causeway Coast at Magilligan Point including Benone Strand. Watch out for trains heading along the coast and through the tunnel in the cliffside.
Downhill Beach is West (and below) Mussenden Temple and is a beautiful golden sandy beach with a celebrated grasslands and sand dune system. You can either park just off the road at the bottom of the hill or drive unto the beach under the tunnel. This Blue Flag award winning beach is one of Ireland's longest, stretching all the way to Lough Foyle at Magilligan Point, seperated byBenone Strand by the Umbra Burn, a minor river.
There are rocks that children love to climb towards the mountain railway tunnel, this adds to the family fun appeal of Downhill Beach.
This beach is popular for beach angling
Walking up towards Mussenden Temple will bring you to where the train coming from or going to Coleraine passes through the mountain tunnel. This is a heightened sensory experience and kids and adults love it, with or without the train! A walk towards Mussenden Temple high on the cliff top takes you close to the west side of Tunnel Brae. If you're lucky enough to see a train coming speeding out from the tunnel, you won't forget it, it is a tremendous experience. Views up to the Mussenden Temple high on the cliff edge are sensational from the beach!
Between Downhill Beach and Benone Complex and there is an Ulster Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve: The Umbra. This protected area demonstrates a 'large undisturbed sand-dune system of dune grasslands, wetter dune slacks and a small hazel copse.'
You can view butterflies, moths, bees, rare orchids, adderstongue, moonwort, skylark, mistle thrush plus many more species of insects, plants and birds. Tread lightly other beings live underfoot! The minor river Umbra flows across Benone bathing beach.
You can read more on the website for Ulster Wildlife: www.ulsterwildlife.org
Benone Strand is a great beach for adventure sports such as jet skiing, kite surfing, gliding and surfing. You can fish, canoe, cycle, swim and walk all year round. There is a Life Guard on duty during high season and the Benone Tourist Complex offers great holiday facilities for Guests and Day Visitors.
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