Benone Beach: when to visit, what to see, and things to know

One of the most incredible golden strands in Northern Ireland, Benone Beach is a must-visit if you’re in the country. Here is everything you need to know about Benone Beach.

Located in Limavady, County Derry on the north coast of Northern Ireland, Benone Beach stretches for an impressive seven-miles along the Causeway Coast.

Stretching from Lough Foyle and Magilligan Point in the west to Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne in the east, there is plenty to see along this beautiful golden strand.

You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped onto the white sandy beaches of Australia during your time at Benone Beach for its white sandy shores backed by Umbra dune grasslands give it an appearance that is unrivalled throughout Ireland.

So, if you fancy sinking your toes in the sand or making the most of the surf, from when to visit to what to see, things to know, and more, here is everything you need to know about visiting Benone Beach.

When to visit – open all year round

When to visit Benone Beach.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Benone Beach is open all year round for visitors so when you choose to visit depends entirely on what you want to get out of your trip.

If you want to spend the day sunbathing, surfing, swimming, and building sandcastles, then visiting during the spring and summer is your best bet.

With the weather in Ireland reaching mid-to-high twenties in the summer months, you can make the most of the sunshine at Benone Strand.

Plus, where safety is concerned, there is a lifeguard on duty during the high season from the end of June to the start of September.

However, if your main priority for heading to the beach is for a peaceful walk by the sea, then avoiding the high season is probably your best bet as Benone Beach can get very busy during the summer months.

What to see – incredible views

Incredible views out towards Donegal.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

The views from Benone Beach are out of this world. To the east, you can see the incredible Mussenden Temple sat atop the cliff looking down at the beach below.

To the north-west, you can see Donegal and the incredible Inishowen Peninsula stretching out into the Atlantic Ocean. While looking across the water, you can see as far as Scotland on a clear day.

Looking inland towards the South, you can enjoy fantastic views of the cliffs that tower over the beach, including the magnificent Binevenagh.

While you’re at the beach, it’s also worth exploring the Umbra, an Ulster Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve comprising impressive sand dunes, water dunes, and small hazel copse.

The Umbra is home to a vast array of wildlife including butterflies, moths, bees, rare orchids, adders tongue, moonwort, skylark, mistle thrush, and more.

Things to know – useful information

Things to know about visiting Benone Beach.
Credit: Tourism Northern Ireland

Regarded as one of the best beaches in Northern Ireland, Benone Beach has been a multiple-time recipient of the European Blue Flag Award, most recently receiving the award in 2020.

Further, in 2017, Benone Strand was also announced as Northern Ireland’s first fully inclusive beach after extensive works were carried about by the Mae Murray Foundation and the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

Benone Beach is also home to a hive of activities from jet skiing to surfing, body boarding to kitesurfing, and many more.

The tourist complex also offers a wide range of facilities from a coffee shop to surfboard and wetsuit hire, a caravan park and camping grounds, as well as tennis courts, pools, a bouncy castle, indoor games room, activities area, a café, and shops.

Where to eat – plenty of tasty options

Waves Coffee Shop has lots of great things to eat.
Credit: Facebook / @wavesbenone

Benone Beach and tourist complex is home to the Waves Coffee Shop and Bistro and the Sea Shed coffee and surf shack, which are perfect for a quick bite to eat without travelling too far from the shore.

However, if you fancy heading away from the seaside, the Causeway Coast boasts a wealth of amazing options nearby.

Angler’s Rest Bar and Restaurant is less than a mile from the strand and offers traditional food and drinks, as well as seasonal live music. Offering a variety of pub classics, this is a great place to go for a hearty meal after a day at the beach.

Where to stay – fantastic accommodation

Where to stay near Benone beach.
Credit: Facebook / @benone.touristcomplex

You can book to stay the Benone Caravan and Leisure Park, which is home to 127 touring caravan pitches, six glamping lodges, and 20 camping pitches.

However, if a hotel is more your style, the nearby town of Portstewart is home to a number of great options including Me & Mrs Jones or Magherbuoy House Hotel.

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