Beach walks aren't just for warm summer days!
Northern Ireland’s Beaches are amazing places to visit in the summer when the sun is shining and the days are long, but the did you know that winter time can be an even better time to take a trip to the seaside?
Not only can you walk along the beach for miles without meeting another soul, you can also take in amazing 360 degree views, feel the blustery wind in your hair and watch surfers catch some big waves. Winter wildlife also makes an appearance in the dunes while children (and adults alike) can enjoy building sand castles. Just be sure to wrap up warm!
After a long breezy day on the beach, there’s only one thing that will finish the day off perfectly and that’s a hot drink…so listed below are a number of beaches that have café or restaurant facilities close by.
Benone Strand, Co. Derry~Londonderry
Stretching for over 7 miles from Downhill to Magilligan Point. This beach is a blue flag beach with amazing views along the North Coast, to Inishowen in Donegal and to Scotland.
Waterfoot Beach Walk, Co. Antrim
Located at the foot of the iconic Glens of Antrim, this short beach walk encompasses beautiful meadows and two play parks.
Murlough Beach, Co. Down
This wide flat sandy beach offers amazing views of the spectacular Mourne Mountains in the distance.
Killard National Nature Reserve, Co. Down
Situated at the mouth of Strangford Lough, opposite Ballyquintin. This walk offers beautiful coastal views, rock pools, rich wildlife including orchids and other rarities, and interesting rock formations.
Portstewart Strand, Co. Derry~Londonderry
This blue flag beach boasts glistening golden sand backed by a magnificent dune system. Stop by Lost and Found for a freshly brewed cup of coffee.
Crawfordsburn & Helen’s Bay Beach, Co. Down
A mixture of rocky shoreline and sand Crawfordsburn beach at 0.7km is a great escape just a short 20 minute drive from Belfast. Nearby Helen’s Bay beach is also another fantastic short escape situated along the North Down Coastal Path.
White Park Bay, Co. Antrim
This spectacular sandy beach forms a white arc between two headlands on the North Antrim Coast. Its secluded location means that even on a busy day there is plenty of room for a quiet stroll. One of the most natural coastline sites in Northern Ireland, the beach is backed back an ancient sand dune system. The site is also fossil rich with archaeological evidence everywhere.
Cranfield to Greencastle, Co. Down
This walk follows Cranfield Beach (blue flag) to the village of Greencastle. The walk is easy but the beach is rough and rocky in places. Not passable at high tide. Looking out to sea you can view Haulbowline Lighthouse, Blockhouse Island and Green Island. Seals may be seen on the rocky islands around Greencastle or swimming in the shallow waters of Mill Bay.
There’s no better way to get away from all the hype surrounding Christmas than to plan a lazy winter day on the beach during the festive period…it certainly beats scrambling around the shops to find last minute presents.