County Antrim is home to some of the Emerald Isle’s finest landmarks, including the rugged landscapes of the Glens of Antrim and the mythical Giant’s Causeway.
Situated along the north coast of Northern Ireland, the Antrim coastal stretch has plenty of sandy strands to enjoy. Thus, these are the five best beaches in Antrim.
As it sits on the northeast corner of Ireland, a coastline stretching from Belfast city to neighbouring Derry is sure to include a litany of coastal treasures to include on your Irish itinerary.
5. Ballygally Beach – coastal walk and castle stay
Kicking off our list of the best beaches in Antrim is Ballygally Beach, a 300 m (984 ft) stretch of sand situation no more than 10 km (6.2 miles) from the town of Larne in County Antrim.
While it may not be the biggest beach on the coast, it is complemented by stunning views all around. Look far enough east, and you will see the shores of Scotland; far enough north, and you will catch views of the Antrim coast.
Ballygally Beach is perfect for a light early morning stroll to kick-start your day. And if you’re looking for a stay along the coast, then look no further than Ballygally Castle Hotel, just a 2-minute walk from the beach.
Address: 262 Coast Rd, Ballygalley, Larne BT40 2QX
4. Cushendall Beach – one of the best beaches in Antrim
Coming in at 250 m (820 ft) long and slightly smaller than our opening act on the list of the best beaches in Antrim is Cushendall Beach. This is another spot whose small stature is dwarfed by its huge potential.
Perhaps the beach’s most appealing fact is that it can be found just north of Cushendall town. This beautiful town is part of the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Cushendall Golf Club and grassy area flank the beach itself as the waves of the Atlantic Ocean make their way to and forth. In the background stands the imposing Lurigethan Mountain, capping off a truly exquisite scene.
Address: Cushendall, Ballymena BT44
3. Ballycastle Strand – for breathtaking views of Antrim and Scotland
As we countdown our list of best beaches in Antrim, coming in at number three is Ballycastle Beach. Found far in the north Antrim coast and a popular tourist destination on the Causeway Coastal Route, this beach is a must visit.
The beach is 1.2 km (0.74 miles) in length, and if you follow the sand eastward, you will be greeted to breathtaking views of Fairhead in the distance, a 5 km (3.1 miles) high cliff in the northeastern part of Antrim.
Better still, Rathlin Island is visible, and you can also see as far as the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland.
Earning the 2020 Seaside Award and enjoying Blue Flag status, Ballycastle Beach is another must-see on your Causeway Coastal route. Go for a walk, swim or surf, and end your day in the adjacent Ballycastle town.
Address: Ballycastle BT54 6JZ
2. Curran (East) Strand Beach (Portrush) – for the cherry on the top
Nestled on the east side of the coastal town of Portrush, the Curran Strand Beach comprises 4 km (2.5 miles) worth of golden sand backed by the internationally acclaimed Royal Portrush Golf Club.
Another recipient of the 2020 Seaside Award, the Strand is popular for watersport enthusiasts. The beach is also enclosed by a pedestrian walkway that makes it the ideal spot for a peaceful, picturesque walk.
One of Northern Ireland’s eight ‘Blue Flag’ beaches, the strand is one of the most popular on the Causeway Coast. It is essential viewing with the Portrush Arcadia, views of the North Atlantic Ocean, and the Skerries as the cherry on the top.
Address: Portrush BT56 8AF
1. White Park Bay – an ancient stretch on the Antrim coast
Taking the prestigious award for number one on the list of the best beaches in Antrim is White Park Bay. This ancient beach on the Antrim coast is permeated by fossil fuels and wildlife, too.
Enveloped by both sandy dunes and white cliffs, White Park Bay’s most prized possession is its seclusion from the outside world. Thus, offering a serene promise of peace and tranquillity.
In the care of the National Trust since 1938, the baby blue sparkle of the ocean water soon masquerades as golden sand and white waves. Thus, making it an obvious choice for the Causeway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
What sets this beach apart is that it’s just a ten-minute drive from the small town of Ballintoy. From here, you can take a boat from the famous Ballintoy Harbour to visit the iconic Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.
Address: 152 Whitepark Rd, Ballintoy, Ballycastle BT54 6NH