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Portstewart Strand and Barmouth Wildlife Reserve:
Sweeping along the edge of the North Coast, this two-mile stretch of golden sand is one of Northern Ireland's finest beaches and affords views of Inishowen headland and Mussenden Temple perched on the cliffs above. It is an ideal place for lazy picnics, surfing and long walks into the sand dunes, where wild pansy flowers dance in the breeze and common blue and dark green fritillary butterflies abound.
Its precious habitat is an important nature conservation site with way-marked trails. Nearby, the Bann Estuary is a sanctuary for waterfowl and wading birds like curlew and redshank. Exploring the hide on the west side of the River Bann also provides endless opportunity to witness the spectacle of birds.
This area of natural beauty and of scientific interest is owned and managed by the National Trust.
A year round mecca for holiday makers, Portstewart Strand holds the prestigious Blue Flag award for the management, cleanliness and quality of water and it is also one of the few remaining beaches in Ireland where cars still have access and permission to drive onto the beach-perfect for families who wish to picnic on the golden shore, activities such as surfing, swimming, horse riding and scenic walks on the way marked nature trails with excellent views of the North Coast.
Portstewart Strand is an inclusive beach, run in partnership with Mae Murray Foundation, which allows people of all ages and abilities to take part, have fun, and be included. Inclusive beaches offer free beach equipment loan schemes including all-terrain wheelchairs and mobility aids. Membership is free and available via the Mae Murray Foundation.
Barmouth is a nearby nature and wildlife reserve offering an attractive habitat to migrant waterfowl, waders and nesting birds throughout the year. Bird hides offer excellent opportunities to spectate the views and local wildlife and have facilities for disabled visitors. Keys to bird hides are available from The National Trust North Coast Office at Hezlett House on (028) 7084 8728.
Portstewart is just over an hour away from Belfast by car and the local area has excellent transport links to Portrush, Coleraine, Giant's Causeway and Belfast. Contact Translink Telephone on (028) 9066 6630 www.translink.co.uk
- Open Evenings
- Open Mondays
- Open Sundays
- Picnic Area
Parking & Transport
- On site parking
- Free (parking charges may apply)
Admission charged for parking when facilities open
National Trust Members Free