Portrush West Strand Beach

West Strand Portrush from the air looking over the harbour and town

Portrush West Strand

West Strand looking west

The Portrush West Strand, on the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland, also known as Mill Strand or West Bay, stretches between the black rocks at West Strand Road and the South Pier Portrush Harbour and is a very popular resort beach in Northern Ireland on the north coast. As this magical beach is in very close proximity to all the action in the town centre and amusements nearby, Portrush has a great holiday feel around the year.

Portrush West Strand is Blue Flag certified, meaning the classically arching beach is beautiful, safe, and clean! There is a Lifeguard on duty each day during the season between July 1 and September 30, from 11 am until 7 pm.

West Strand Beach

West Strand Looking Back Towards Portrush

The West Strand Beach is perfect for diving, surfing, swimming, kite surfing, paddle boarding, and wind surfing, and well as for horse riding, walking, cycling, jogging, paddling, playing, or simply relaxing!

Taking a walk along the ancient sands of this stunning beach from the harbour to the rocks provides many different experiences. Starting the walk at the harbour will allow you to capture some of the famous exciting Portrush atmosphere and feel the ancient sands beneath your feet. At low tide you may be able to see the buried peat deposits buried below the beach, remnants of ancient trees at the northern end.

There are also several restaurants and pubs in the area that are very popular. Cycle or walk along the Promenade or simply get your feet wet in the water and moist sand on the shoreline. The Atlantic Ocean beckons on the one side of West Strand Beach, while on the other you will find, views of cute sea-front houses, paving, and parkland.  A raised walkway running along the eastern boundary beach, the Promenade has quite a few sets of steps allowing you to get down to the sand easily.

It is always exciting to walk past Barry’s Amusements, as you can often hear the high pitched squeals of delight coming from inside and you know what fun everyone is having inside. Once you’ve passed Barry’s, you can turn at Eglinton Street to move into the West Strand’s landscaped parkland, under the railway bridge off the Portstewart Road (A2).

West Strand Beach Entrance

Portrush West Strand Entrance

West Bay is also accessible by car, and at the bridge side (a black stone railway arch at the eastern boundary), and the west strand car park has enough parking as well as toilets at the adjacent car park. There is also disabled parking, disabled toilets, and disabled access to the promenade and from there to West Strand Beach and West bay.

The parkland has a huge grassy area to run with your dogs or children, although Portrush West Strand has summer dog restrictions. This is an idyllic place for a ‘park and read’ – you can immerse yourself in a great book while enjoying the ocean view.

West Strand Beach on the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland is very popular due to its beauty and location, especially during the hot summer months, when people move between all the different fun activities they can choose from at Portrush and the beach. This beach tends to be peaceful and relaxed at sunset, but fun-filled and vibrant during the day.

 Getting to West Strand Beach

Portrush West Strand Beach is is situated only a short walk from portrush train station, where there are hourly services to Coleraine, where you can get connecting trains to Belfast, Derry and Dublin. There is also a daily bus service that provide easy access to the busy seaside resort and the famous west bay beach

White Rocks Portrush

The east strand beach at Whiterocks Portrush along the Causeway Coastal Route is ideally situated adjoining East Strand, and between them, they form a 3 mile golden sandy beach, just outside the small town of Portrush. Whiterocks beach frequently attains the prestigious Blue Flag award, and the long wide beach, sweeping golden sands, giant sand dunes, and crashing ocean waves make this stunning natural location one of nature’s gorgeous playgrounds.

Portrush Coastal zone is also home to many coastal and marine exhibitions.

Portrush White Rocks Beach

The Whiterocks beach is safe and clean, and provides a vibe that is completely different from the two Strands in town. Whiterocks is an idyllic spot for people of all ages, and is well loved by water sports enthusiasts for boating, surfing, swimming, diving, paddle boarding, surf kayakers, horse riding, fishing, and many other types of watersports.

There are Lifeguards on duty at Whiterocks Beach in high season between June 21 and September 7 daily between 11 am and 7 pm, and on the weekends in May and June.

The east strand at Whiterocks Beach is accessed via a narrow access road from the A2. The drive winds down to the ocean, and there are a number of picnic and free car parking spots and a large car park on the way down. Shower and toilet facilities are available at the bottom. Whiterocks can be reached by taking a bus, biking, or walking.

Especially children fall in love with this beach as there are so many things to stir their instinctual love of nature and stimulate their imagination.

Running free and wild down the dunes, climbing on the black rocks at the edge of the ocean, building sand castles, swimming, throwing a Frisbee, just about anything is possible.

Whiterocks Beach

Magical experiences that we all treasure so much can easily be created right here at Whiterocks Beach on the Causeway Coast. The huge white limestone cliffs are covered with grass and are the origin of the beach’s name. They are truly majestic and at times run in double tiers. The rocky area continues around the coastline up to Dunluce Castle. Hunt around the sedimentary rocks below for caves that can be explored, or those that are not water sports enthusiasts simply relax and enjoy the views of the headlands that jut out into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Whiterocks Coastal park enjoys a stunning natural location with the majestic limestone cliffs stretching all the way from Curran Strand to Dunluce. These cliffs have formed any fascinating shapes of the years which are well worth exploring, including the wishing arch Elephant Rock. Apart from the elephant rock, there is also the Lion’s Paw and among the many caves and arches Shelagh’s Head the wishing arch can be found.

Panoramic views of the Islands of Scotland, Donegal and the Causeway Coast

The headlands and limestone cliffs at Whiterocks Beach offer spectacular views of the islands of Scotland, Donegal and the Causeway Coast, and have been designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI).

At Magheracross, a custom built area allows sensational views of Whiterocks and Portrush in one direction, and the Dunluce Castle in the other. This is a perfect setting to watch the sunset.

The closest place to get some food is at the Royal Court Hotel, which is located across from the access road to the beach and overlooks the Whiterocks.

They have a restaurant and licensed bar that serves snacks and meals daily.

Getting to White Rocks

White Rocks is only a short drive along the magnificent coastal drive past Royal Portrush Golf Club, home to the Open championship, from Portrush County Antrim. Car parking is a available in the small main car park and Portrush whiterocks car park.

You can also walk along east strand to curran strand to dunluce castle, where you will see the lion’s paw are headlands of distinguishable forms which rise out along the north coast.

East Strand Portrush

East Strand Beach Portrush in the sun looking over the town

East Strand Portrush, bordering the Whiterocks, starting at the Arcadia and merging into Curran Strand heading out to the Causeway headlands, boasts more than two miles of soft golden sands, which are backed by an extensive dune system hosting the Royal Portrush Golf Course. Landscaped gardens, curved walkways, and play and seating areas will allow you to soak up the East Strand’s atmosphere and make this a premier Northern Irelands causeway coast destination. The East Strand Beach received the Seaside Award in 2021.

The Beach Is Popular With Visitors and Locals Alike

Located on the eastern side of the Portrush Peninsula, Curran Strand or Portrush East Strand is a Blue Flag Beach and is one of the most popular along Northern Irelands Causeway coast. This golden sandy beach is perfect for sand and water activities of all types.

Walking (including with dogs except with summer restrictions), swimming, bodyboarding, surfing, horse riding, diving,  jogging, fishing, or kayaking can all be done on East Strand. From June 21 until September 7 daily between 11 am and 7 pm a seasonal RNLI Beach Lifeguards Service is offered at the east strand site.

Eight of the beaches in Northern Ireland have been awarded the ‘Blue Flag’ and the three Portrush beaches all qualify. Enjoy the amazing views stretching across the North Atlantic Ocean and including the Skerries, a small group of rocky islets only a few miles offshore and along the causeway coast.

The 1920s Arcadia building

The East Strand beach entrance can be accessed at Arcadia via the great steps leading from Main Street to a rocky outcrop with a small sandy bay. The historic Arcadia building, built in the 1920s, overlooks the bay.

This landmark, unique to Portrush, has served as a fashionable ballroom that opened in 1953, a popular Victorian seaside cafe, and today thrives as a Gallery, Cafe, and Well Being Centre. Pilates, Yoga, Dance Classes, and Tai Chi for children and adults are offered, while there are also regular musical concerts and art exhibitions.

Old photographs from the 1800s depict this stretch of the East Strand being used as a Ladies Bathing Beach.

Enjoy The Curvy Pedestrian Promenade With Its Undulating Walkways

The Promenade with its undulating walkways can be reached via a leisurely stroll past the play area and pool. The Promenade leads to the East Strand toilets with disabled access, East Strand Car Park, and Watersports Centre. With the easy-to-manage steps from Main Street, the magical new lighting provides a glowing after-dark experience.

The manicured gardens and parks, combined with the ‘To the People of the Sea’ public art, offer an inviting welcome to Portrush East Strand beach and have introduced an abundant, clean, and upmarket feel to this historic area. The car park is located off Causeway Street and is the main beach access, providing more than 600 parking spaces. World-class facilities are also available at the Watersports Centre.

Parkrun On The East Strand Portrush Beach On Saturday Mornings

The Portrush Parkrun is one of many in Northern Ireland and is held on the East Strand beach every Saturday at 9.30 am. The run is free and timed, and runs along East Strand beach to the Whiterocks and back. The course starts on the beach at the Watersports Centre. This is the first beach Parkrun globally that is run entirely on sand.

In June every year, the Causeway Coast Triathlon takes place at East Strand Portrush and goes all the way to Bushmills.

Spectacular Golf In A Magical Setting At Royal Portrush

The world-renown Royal Portrush Golf Course is located behind the sand dunes. Not only does this keeps the area behind the beach beautifully ‘green’ and in pristine condition, but it also provides a spectacular game of golf. The ruins of Dunluce Castle overlook the Royal Portrush Dunluce Links Course, home to the open Championship Golf are located behind the sand dunes.

Facilities at East Strand Portrush

East Strand Portrush has a wealth of facilities as you would expect for a coastal resort on the North Coast of Northern Ireland

Car Parking

There is a large car park to cater, there is disabled parking concrete access ramps for access to the sandy beaches and their golden sand. Near the car parking area there are outdoor cold showers disabled toilets and a range of shops.

Food and Drink

There is a range of coffee shops restraints along the eastern extremity of the town centre.


The Strand is only a short walk up the grass bank adjacent to 55 Degrees North Restaurant to West strand and the Portrush Train station, where there are hourly train services to Coleraine, where you can change for trains to Belfast, Derry/Londonderry and Dublin. There is a also daily bus service that stops here.


East Strand Beach Portrush in the sun looking over the town

West Strand
Sandy beach with promenade walk from harbour alongside the town
West side of Portrush

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East Strand
Long sandy beach with adjacent car park. Leads to Whiterocks beach
East side of Portrush

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Blue Flag Beach with unique white rock cliffs and formations
3 miles east of Portrush, near Dunluce Castle

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White Park Bay
Sandy beach with unique white rock cliffs and formations
11 miles east of Portrush, near Dunseverick Castle


Portstewart Strand
Blue Flag Beach protected by the National Trust, with a view of Mussenden Temple in the distance.
4 miles west of Portrush, on west side of Portstewart


Downhill Beach
Beautfiful beach leading to Benone Strand
Downhill, west of Castlerock

Benone Strand
Blue Flag Beach with unique white rock cliffs and formations
Benone, 15 miles west of Portrush, west of Castlerock