Portstewart: Northern Irelands Hidden Getaway

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Exploring Portstewart: A Hidden Gem on the Northern Irish Coast

Portstewart Strand Looking Back over Portstewart

Portstewart in Northern Ireland is a classy tourist destination on the north coast with a gorgeous harbour, a spectacular beach, the championship Portstewart golf club, a promenade, great cafes, parks, restaurants, outdoor swimming pools, and ice cream parlours, as well as a children’s pleasure beach and dunes to explore.

Portstewart has many places to relax while watching the world go by and is one of the major tourist attractions on the Causeway Coast. This seaside Port on the north Antrim coast was well-loved in the Victorian era and retained its public appeal and heritage.

Not many golf clubs in the British Isles have 3 courses, but Portstewart County Londonderry is one of them.

Portstewart a Peaceful Haven

Portstewart is a beautiful Seaside Town on the north coast of Northern Ireland in the county of Londonderry, and there is plenty to do for the whole family. This gorgeous holiday destination gets many visitors who love to spend time on the Causeway Coast but are looking for a more peaceful sanctuary. The relaxed atmosphere provides a pleasurable escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.

Despite the peaceful atmosphere, there is a lot to do in Portstewart for both adults and children and in the summer months, parking space close to the town centre is at a premium as the locals flock in to spend some time at the Promenade.

Portstewart Crescent

Portstewart Crescent Beach & Lower Promenade

Portstewart Crescent is just off the Promenade and has recently been refurbished. There is a fair amount of parking close by. The outdoor play area provides hours of fun and offers a boating lake, paddling pools, paddle board, fountain, park, shops, karting, bandstand, and cafes. There is also a viewing area with plenty of outdoor covered seating.

The first fountain of its kind in Europe comprises 33 small water jets arranged in three rows of 11. The water pulses to the beat of the music, creating a captivating light, water, and music show.

Dining and Entertainment in Portstewart

Portstewart has many eateries. On the Portstewart Promenade, the well-known Morelli’s serves award-winning ice cream that is absolutely delicious and is available in many mouth-watering flavours. A Knickerbocker Glory is impressive. Morelli’s is open daily from 9 am until 10 pm, and hot food is served until 8 pm. Morelli’s was founded in the early 1900s and is very popular with visitors to Northern Ireland and locals.

The Anchor Complex is the centre of the Portstewart nightlife scene, and it features the Aura Nightclub, Anchor Bistro and Anchor Bar, often visited by tourists and locals alike.

Dancing is available upstairs at the Havana Night Club, or you can enjoy a drink in the bar and dine in the restaurant at Shenanigans on the Promenade.

The Flowerfield Arts Centre is the first Arts Centre established in Northern Ireland, hosting great concerts and creative events.  The Arts Centre has art exhibitions annually and offers a substantial range of arts and crafts courses for children and adults. These include dying, jewellery making, calligraphy, weaving, and much more. It is set in a Victorian Mansion that has a colourful history and was built in 1855.

Old O’Hara Castle

Built-in 1834, O’Hara Castle now functions as Dominican College, and the building provides an impressive backdrop as you look out over the golden dunes to the Atlantic Ocean from the Portstewart Promenade. The waves crashing over the black rocks are a truly impressive sight.

The cliff path forms part of the Causeway Coast Way, and it can be taken from Dominican College to the Portstewart Strand. It provides some of the most stunning coastal views in the world. Soak up the fantastic vistas of the River Bann estuary, the beach, Donegal, Lough Foyle, and Scotland in the distance.

Portstewart Strand

Portstewart Strand At Sunset From St Patricks Well

The strand at Portstewart lies on the Atlantic Ocean and is 2 miles long. This Golden Sand Beach is Blue Flag certified and is one of Northern Ireland’s finest beaches. The prestigious Blue Flag award is earned by beaches that meet the highest standards for safety, water quality, and environmental information and education.

Portstewart Strand’s Western boundary is at the River Bann estuary, while the Portstewart Golf Club forms the Eastern boundary. The National Trust runs Portstewart Strand, one of Northern Ireland’s most visited.

Its inherent beauty and pristine waters make Portstewart Strand perfect for swimming, paddle boarding, surfing, and fishing. You can also jog, take a stroll, ride horses or take a walk with your dog. It is simply amazing to wander through the dunes.

Access by car is right at the beach, making things much easier, especially if you have kids. You can set up your picnic supplies from your car’s boot,

bring any gear you want without lugging it around, and even enjoy a covered siesta with priceless views.

Although you must pay to bring your car to the beach in high season, it’s well worth it. National Trust members get parking for free.

The shop also sells beach-related equipment, hot drinks, and ice creams. The Mussenden Temple, another attraction on the Causeway Coast, can be seen from Portstewart Strand, standing high and majestic on the awe-inspiring cliff.

Portstewart Strand Dunes

Kids Sliding Down One of the Portstewart Strand Dunes

The dune between Portstewart Strand and Portstewart Golf Courses Strand Course is a precious habitat with way-marked trails starting at Harry’s shack with long walks heading northwest along the two-mile stretch of dunes to the Atlantic mouth or Barmouth. This important nature conservation site is one of the holidaymaker’s best-kept secrets of the strand Portstewart.

The dunes are a perfect place for lazy picnics, where you can sit among the dunes watching wading birds on the Bann while wild pansy flowers dance and enjoy the panoramic views of Mussenden temple perched on a Ricky outcrop with the Inishowen headland as a backdrop.

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.