Welcome to Portrush

Welcome to the home of Portrush online, our fun-loving seaside town that grew from a humble fishing village into the top-rated holiday destination for Northern Ireland locals and those worldwide. Portrush County Antrim has been the place to holiday since Victorian times. With our beautiful beaches, stunning scenery and fantastic food, we know you’ll love it.

The Causeway Coast Holiday Capital!

In Portrush, you can have both a peaceful or action-packed holiday with many attractions set in the spectacular Causeway Coast scenery, with something to please the entire family, all year round! Situated just a short drive along the coast road from world heritage site The Giants Causeway, overlooked by the famous Dunluce Castle and bounded by Royal Portrush Golf Club

Home to around 7000 people who call Portrush county Antrim home, with students from the University of Ulster Coleraine campus and visitors to the Port increasing numbers up to more than 50,000 in the summer months. 

Open Year Round

Portrush, or Port Rois in old Irish, is set on a mile-long peninsula sticking out into the Atlantic Ocean, with stunning blue flag beaches either side and a historically significant rocky edge for its northern tip to explore. Three main roads run parallel to each other to form the spine of the peninsula. Running in a one-way system, the first road is Kerr Street running from the train station to the Harbour, with the pedestrian area, Barry’s Amusements; the largest amusement park in Northern Ireland and Portrush Harbour. The next round is Main Street with its arcades, restaurants, cafes and shops heading from Ramore Head to East Strand. Mark Street runs along the centre and has many fantastic homes and B&Bs. All three roads lead to Ramore Head at the point of the Portrush peninsula.

Ramore Head is an Area of Scientific Special Interest. The original Portrush Rocks (not the painted versions you’ll find dotted around the town) were first “discovered” in 1799 by Reverend William Richardson and written about by the Royal Society.

This started a scientific debate between the Neptunes and the Plutonists that lasted for several decades. The Plutonists believed that all rocks came from volcanic magma, where the Neptunists thought the stones were formed from seawater. 

The trail around Ramore Head is an excellent place to take in the stunning clifftop views to Donegal and Inishtrahull Lighthouse, North to the Scottish Islands of Islay and east to Rathlin Island and the Giants Causeway. Ramore Head is also a great place to see various birdlife, including many breeding populations of kittiwake, black guillemot and eider.

Between Easter and mid-October, the recreational facilities, are open for tennis, bowls and a children’s Adventure Park. Ramore Head provides excellent enjoyment for the family, take a picnic and relax on the grass.

Portrush Harbour

Portrush Harbour, just a short walk down from Ramore Head was built-in 1827, however, dates as far back as 1468, and was used up until the second world war mostly for passenger steamers to an from Scotland. Now used primarily for fishing, leisure and home to the RNLI two lifeboats the William Burr and The David Roulston.  The Harbour is also home to many bars, cafes, and restaurants such as The Famous Harbour Bar. You can also take a fishing and food tour from here to watch the surfers, swimmers and fishing boats go by on one of the benches.

Portrush Town

A walk down Main Street you’ll pass historic iconic buildings such as the ‘The White House’, one of the world first mail-order stores with its first catalogue going out in the 1890s, The Belfast Bank Building, the Arcadia and the Londonderry Arms. There are lots to do from traditional bingo, slots and penny falls to excellent cafes and restaurants. The main street also links the Harbour and two of the three spectacular Portrush Beaches, West Strand & East Strand, leading onto White rocks beach and Royal Portrush Golf Club.

Our Beaches

Blue Flag Beaches of Portrush

East Strand-Portrush from the dunes of Royal Portrush Golf club
Barrys-Amusements Portrush image of the big dipper

Portrush county Antrim is the only town in the UK to have three blue flag beaches. There are only eight in Northern Ireland to have the award, the West Strand (Mill strand) and East Strand in town and White rocks on the coast towards Bushmills and Dunluce Castle. Each beach brings its own unique experience. 

Whiterocks-Beach-Portrush

West Strand Beach Portrush

West Strand starts in town at the Harbour and stretches to ‘under the railway bridge’ towards Portstewart. All along the beach, a 1 km walking and cycle path offer stunning views of the town and Donegal. Both ends of the Strand there are large car parks and toilets. 

This is a perfect beach for all water-related activities and well as walks for yourself and your dog!

West Strand

East Strand

East Strand Beach

The Strand is on the other side of the Portrush peninsula (Ramore Head). Behind the Arcadia This 2 miles long stretch of golden sands is perfect for swimming, walking (including dogs) and generally admiring the sweeping views. This golden sand stretch is also home to several international events such as the Portrush Airshow and has hosted large concerts.

The world-famous Royal Portrush Golf Club is prestigiously placed right next to the beach and ancient sand dunes. The Course was hoe to the 2019 Open Championship, the most extensive Open by attendances to be held outside of St Andrews.

Whiterocks Beach Portrush

Whiterocks Beach provides an entirely different vibe from the two ‘in town’ Strands. It is a continuation of the East Strand and is best known for its white limestone chalk cliffs between 142 and 65 million years old and Dunluce Castle views. The beach is accessed by walking, cycling or driving down the winding road to the shoreline car parks. This is a famous beach for surfing. Views from the cliff tops, beach and the Ocean are memorable. 

Whiterocks Beach

Entertainment in Portrush

Barry’s Amusements is probably Portrush’s most famous attraction, one of Ireland’s largest amusement parks. Barry is ideally situated between Portrush Railway Station, The Harbour and overlooking Mill Strand. Barry’s has been entertaining families since 1925 and is still thriving, providing hours of entertainment for all the family with the thrills of a ghost train, helter-skelter, cyclone, hobby horses, dodgems and roller coasters.

Portrush Airshow

The Airwaves: Northern Ireland International Airshow’ is a two-day flagship air event held annually in September in the seaside town of Portrush The fantastic air displays on each day by the likes of the Red Arrows, Lancaster Bombers, and even aerial fireworks display plenty of entertainment on the ground in Portrush County Antrim.

North West 200

Each May the town hosts part of the famous Motorbike Road Racing event, The Nw 200, established in 1929, held on a 9 mi (14 km) street circuit known as the Triangle between the towns Portstewart, Coleraine and Portrush. The Course is one of the fastest globally, with average speeds of 120 mph (190 km/h) and top speeds over 210 mph (340 km/h). The NW 200 is the largest annual sporting event in Northern Ireland, with the race weekend attracting over 100 riders and 150,000 visitors worldwide.

Live at the beach with Kellys Portrush held on East Strand

Portrush Nightlife

This lively spot is the hub of local nightlife for the area. Kelly’s is ‘Northern Ireland’s Premier Night club’ based just outside of Portrush town on the coastal road across from Royal Portrush Golf Club. It has a lot to offer with numerous nightclubs, including ‘Lush’ Nightclub, which plays host to world-famous DJs. There is also the Deerstalker Hotel, Bar and Grill.

In the summer months, the town is filled and has an upbeat holiday vibe, as families flock there. Portrush County Antrim is definitely quieter in the winter months, but you’ll still find the holiday atmosphere even in the colder weather. 

Royal Portrush Golf Club

Portrush County Antrim is most definitely Irish home of golf, with Royal Portrush golf course taking centre stage as the 2019 Open Championship home and the 2012 Irish Open. The world-famous Dunluce Links Royal Portrush Championship Golf Course is prestigiously placed right behind the East Strand beach with ancient sand dunes overlooked by Dunluce Castle ruins from where it takes its name. However, within a 20-minute drive, there are nearly a dozen more courses including championship courses at PortstewartBallycastle and Castlerock that are well worth a round.

Golf Courses Near Portrush

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Portrush Golf Club

Guide to Royal Portrush Golf Club Royal Portrush Golf Club Courses taken from whiterocks with Portrush & donegal in the background Table of Contents Add …

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Ballycastle Golf Club

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Portstewart Golf Club

Table of Contents Add a header to begin generating the table of contents Scroll to Top The magnificent, rugged scenery of Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal …

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Bushfoot Golf Club

Guide to Bushfoot Golf Club Bushfoot Golf Club is a 9-hole golf course located in the town of Portballintrae, near Bushmills, Country Antrim, North Ireland. …

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Castlerock Golf Club

Guide to Castlerock Golf Club Castlerock Golf Club is one of North Ireland’s best-kept secrets. The original course, named Mussenden Links, dates back to 1901 …

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Gracehill Golf Course

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Roe Park Golf Course

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Attractions Near Portrush

Check out some of the amazing places near Portrush

The Giants Causeway

Just a few miles along the coast from Portrush lies the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Irelands only world heritage site. This fascinating place is home to over 40000 interlocking hexagonal basalt columns that rise from the sea. There is an excellent visitor centre at the Causeway operated by the National Trust. Here you can find out about and experience flora and fauna, the geology, the history and even the myths surrounding the Causeway. If you are lucky, you can see Portrush from the end on a clear day.

The-Giants-Causeway-near-Portrush-and-the-Dark-Hedges-compressor
Dunluce-castle-to-see-portrush

Overlooking Portrush from the east, just along the Coast is Dunluce Castle. Perch on a rocky outcrop Dunluce castle has starred in many blockbusters but most recently in the HBO Series Game Of Thrones. The castle has spectacular views over Portrush, the Causeway Coast and the Atlantic Ocean.

Mussenden Temple & Downhill

Heading West from Portrush along the North Coast road is Mussenden Temple. The Temple is located in the stunning surroundings of Downhill Demesne on the North Coast of Ireland, not far from Castlerock in Co. Londonderry and only 15 minutes drive from Portrush. The Temple itself sits precariously on the edge of towering 120ft cliffs overlooking Loch Foyle and the Atlantic Sea towards Donegal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Downhill Beach Strand with Mussenden temple

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

This is a question that comes up all the time and the answer is, obviously, Portrush is better! It has more of everything great about the Causeway Coast such as the three world-class beaches, two world-class Golf Courses, Two Train stations, Two harbours and multiple historical buildings. This is not to forget renowned restaurants and cafes, a nightlife that people travel from all over the north of Ireland for and of course the amusement arcades. So yes, Portrush is better than Portstewart.

Yes, dogs and their owners are allowed on Whiterocks Beach Portrush. They are allowed on all the Beaches in Portrush, however, during busy times they should be kept on a lead or at least in the designated areas clearly marked on signage. 

The distance between Belfast and Portrush is 51 miles and it takes around an hour and 10 minutes to drive. You can find out more ways to get to Portrush from Belfast, Derry or Dublin here