Coastal Walks For Summer Days In Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is blessed with hundreds of miles of scenic coastline where you can experience stunning views, secret caves and golden beaches. Now that summer is here, there’s no better time to head to the coast and explore. From the rugged cliffs of the Causeway Coast to wide sandy beaches at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, there are plenty of places to check out this August. Take a look at some of our favourite coastal walks sure to inspire your next adventure.
Crawfordsburn Country Park- Coastal Walk, Co. Down
The perfect retreat on a summers day, this popular walk overlooking Belfast Lough takes in the sandy beaches of Crawfordsburn and Helen’s Bay. Before reaching the beach, this walk ambles through a hay meadow which is full of wild flowers in the summer months. There is also a cafe, picnic tables and natural play area onsite.
Rathlin Island- Roonivoolin Walk, Co. Antrim
Take the route less travelled on Rathlin Island located a short boat ride from Ballycastle. Venture south to the RSPB Roonivoolin Reserve where you can enjoy amazing views of the coastline as well as wildlife such as seals, Irish hare and curlew.
Newcastle Way, Co. Down
This two-day, circular route offers a perfect coastal escape for those looking to explore rural County Down. The lowland terrain in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains makes it accessible to all fit walkers, while a combination of forest trails, quiet country lanes and long golden sandy beaches ensures constant scenic diversity.
Benone Strand, Co. Derry~Londonderry
Voted Northern Ireland’s ‘Favourite place to walk your dog’ in the 2018 WalkNI awards, this Blue Flag beach forms one of Ireland’s longest beaches. Popular throughout the year with dog walkers and those in search of the perfect wave, a walk here offers great views along the rugged North Coast, to Inishowen in Donegal and Scotland.
Lecale Way, Co. Down
Lecale Way extends from the heart of Downpatrick, taking in Strangford Lough and finishing in the seaside resort of Newcastle. Tower houses, castles and ancient monuments are dotted throughout its landscape and a wealth of wildlife can be discovered along the contrasting shores of Strangford Lough and the Irish Sea. An entrance fee to Castle Ward applies (National Trust Property).
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 quiet relaxation. White Park Bay which is free to access has been in the care of the National Trust since 1938 and it remains one of the most natural coastline sites in N Ireland. The beach is backed by ancient dunes and species rich chalk grasslands, which are carpeted in rare plants, including many orchids. The site is also fossil rich with archaeological evidence everywhere.
Waterfoot Beach Walk, Co. Antrim
This short route along Waterfoot Beach encompasses beautiful wildflower meadows, two play parks, a seasonal café and plenty of picnic opportunities.
Island Hill and North Strangford Nature Reserve, Co. Down
At low-tide a hidden walkway is revealed allowing you to access Rough Island. This walk around the island provides magnificent views of Strangford Lough and is an excellent view point for bird watching.
Killard National Nature Reserve, Co. Down
Situated at the mouth of Strangford Lough, opposite Ballyquintin. This walk features spectacular wildflowers and a rich array of wildlife along a pretty stretch of coastline.
If you explore any of these walks, make sure you take a picture and tag us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using #WalkNI.