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PLACES TO GO, THINGS TO DO

GORTMORE VIEW POINT

On a clear day breath taking views to Donegal in the West and the Scottish islands of Islay and Jura to the north east. It overlooks the townland of broighter where the finest gold treasure trove of the Irish Iron Age, was discovered on a February evening in 1896 known as the Broighter Hoard now in National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

Follow Mussenden Road (A2) signed as Causeway Coastal Route. When you descend into Downhill turn left onto Bishop’s Road as it rises steeply. Look for the brown & white signs for Binevenagh Scenic Loop and Gortmore. The viewpoint is approximately 2 ½ miles along this road.

11km stretch sandy beach (Blue Flag Award Beach 2015). Cars are also permitted on this beach throughout the year it stretches out to Magilligan Point in the West.

DOWNHILL BEACH

Near Castlerock in County Londonderry. Mussenden Temple perches on a 120 foot sheer cliff, to the west spectacular views over Downhill Beach towards Magilligan Point and County Donegal and to the east Scottish Islands of Islay and Jura Castlerock beach towards Portstewart, Portrush and Fair Head.

 

Built in 1785 the Temple formed part of the estate the Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol, it was built as a summer library and its architecture was inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, near Rome, and is amongst the most photographed buildings in Ireland.

 

DOWNHILL DEMESNE

CASTLEROCK BEACH

1km (0.7 mile) long stretch of beach between Downhill to the west and the Lower River Bann estuary known as the Barmouth to the east. Behind the beach sand dunes extend back upstream of the Bann estuary.

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Gortmore Viewpoint Bishops Road Limavady

Gortmore view in Snow

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Bishops Road

Bishops Road area in the snow

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DOWNHILL DEMESNE

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Downhill Beach October, Seacoast Road, Limavady

Mussenden Library seen from Downhill Beach

Sheep grazing at Mussenden in November

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Mussenden Library seen from Castlerock Beach

PORTSTEWART BEACH

Portstewart Beach opposite side of the mouth of the River Bann excellent beach and huge sand dunes cars still have access and permission to drive onto the beach- perfect for families who wish to picnic on the golden shores.  There is plenty of room for everyone.

Barmouth is a nearby nature and wildlife reserve offering an attractive habitat to migrant waterfowl, waders and nesting birds throughout the year.

 

NW 200 MOTOR CYCLE RACE

The dates have now been confirmed as May 10th -14th. Practice will begin on Tuesday, May 10th with practice and racing on Thursday, May 12th and the main race day on Saturday, May 14th. There will also be a full programme of festival events throughout the week. Further details will be announced on the official www.northwest200.org website and in the press.

 

 

NI INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW PORTRUSH

Sat 03 Sep 2016 and Sun 04 Sep 2016.

www.airwavesportrush.co.uk

 

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NW 200 Road Race Portrush

ROYAL PORTRUSH GOLF CLUB

The 36 hole course has two links courses, the Dunluce Links and the Valley Links. Portrush will host the Open Championship in 2019. Royal Portrush hosted the Irish Open in 2012. The Dunluce Links course is considered to be one of the best courses in the world.

Local Golf courses include Castlerock, Portstewart and Portballintrae.

 

 

WHITE ROCKS BEACH PORTRUSH

Located on the A2 coast road; Blue Flag Award again in 2015, a stunning location, with the limestone cliffs stretching from the beach towards Dunluce Castle. The limestone has taken on some interesting shapes over time they are well worth exploring as you cross the beach taking in the view of Dunluce castle to the East it is also possible to walk to Portrush along the beach.

 

White Rocks Beach Portrush, December

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Surfing White Rocks Beach Portrush, December

Whiterocks Beach looking towards Dunluce, December

DUNLUCE CASTLE

Really worth a visit built around 1500; the earliest written record of the castle was in 1513. Visitor information includes an audio visual tour of the castle. In the 17th century Dunluce was the seat of the earls of Antrim and saw the establishment of a small town in 1608. Visitors can explore the findings of archaeological digs within the cobbled streets and stone merchants’ houses of the long-abandoned Dunluce Town. The cave under the castle is also worth a visit.  Dunluce Castle also doubles as the House of Greyjoy in Came of Thrones and is thought to be the inspiration for Cair Paravel in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia.

 

Edward Lear wrote a Limerick:

There was an old man of Dunluce, who went out to sea on a goose: When he'd gone out a mile, he observed with a smile, "It is time to return to Dunluce."

Dunluce Castle South view

Dunluce Castle West View

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PORTBALLINTRAE

Small village with a harbour and beach to the east of Dunluce. There is a small railway which runs during the summer months from Bushmills along the back of the beach which takes you to the Giants Causeway 02820732844. Alternatively it is a pleasant 2KM walk the beach on the and path alongside the railway to reach the giants Causeway Visitor Centre.

BUSHMILLS DISTILLERY

Dating back to 1608, the Bushmills Distillery is the oldest licensed distillery in the world.

Location : 2 Distillery Rd, Bushmills, County Antrim BT57 8XH.

Tours : Mon - Fri 9:15 AM - 4:45PM Sun 12:00 PM - 4:45PM

Contact : +44 (0) 28 207 33218, +44 (0) 28 207 33272, visitors.bushmills@bushmills.com

This is a very popular tourist attraction.

 

GIANTS CAUSEWAY

A must see with a world class visitor centre and excellent walks.

There is a direct route of under a mile from the Visitor Centre, leading directly to the world-famous stones.

Alternatively there is the clifftop trail with spectacular views of the world-famous Causeway Coast and North Channel.

A third path takes you around Runkerry Head the views are superb.

DUNSEVERICK CASTLE AND HARBOUR

The clifftop path from the causeway connects with Dunseverick Castle and further along Dunseverick Harbour. This area lies just over 4KM as you travel East along the A2. Not much remains of the castle although it is worth a stop to read up on the history and drink in the scenery.  The Harbour is a short distance from the castle down a road which is signposted and branches off to the left. There is an excellent clifftop path which leads from the harbour to Portbradden via a hole in the cliff about 1.5KM.

 

 

Dunseverick Harbour December Sunset

Path between Dunseverick Harbour and Portbradden

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Pictured between Dunseverick and Portbradden

Pictured between Dunseverick and Portbradden

PORTBRADDEN

A picturesque little hamlet with excellent views over Whitepark Bay. It can be accessed by the coastal path from Dunseverick  Harbour or by turning off the A2 before you reach Whitepark Bay.  The tiny ‘Church’ is in private ownership.

 

 

 

Irelands smallest church Portbradden

Bluebells on path to Portbradden

Portbradden

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WHITE PARK BAY

This is an excellent area for walking. There is a winding path down to the beach, once on the beach if you turn left you can walk towards Portbradden and then up over the Dunes back to the car park. If you turn right you can cross the beach and where the beach ends there are some rocks (no path) it is possible to walk through the rocks with care around the base of the cliff. Once round the base of the cliff a path will take you to Ballintoy Harbour.

 

 

 

 

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White park Bay in May

White park Bay on a calm day

Elephant Rock between White Park Bay and Ballintoy

Whitepark Bay with Bull Point Rathlin in background

Life is a beach

Between White Park Bay and Balintoy Harbour

BALLINTOY HARBOUR

Dramatic scenery and an excellent café (Rourke’s Kitchen). A great place to explore if you walk towards Whitepark Bay to the West you will see Elephant Rock. This harbour also featured in the Game of Thrones series.

 

 

 

 

 

Ballintoy Harbour in May

Ballintoy Harbour during a storm in January

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Face in the cliff at Ballintoy

Path from Ballintoy Church to Rope Bridge and Game of Thrones Stormlands

Ballintoy Harbour in May

Rourkes Kitchen Cafe Ballintoy

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LARRYBANE QUARRY

This long disused quarry has an industrial archaeology feel to it is a great 'amphitheatre' of white limestone. Although most of the quarry plant has been demolished pieces remain, the limekiln, an old limestone crusher and some winding gear on the islets offshore. It is worth a visit and leads to the caves along the bolder strewn shore in the direction of the rope bridge. The rope bridge is not accessible from the shore it is accessed from the cliff top path. The Quarry was one of the Game of Thrones film locations (camp of King Renly).

 

Sheep Island According to locals, the grassy thatch will 'fatten ten, feed eleven and starve twelve' when related to the number of sheep grazed there many years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

Caves beneath the path seen from Larrybane disused quarry

34.QUARRY

KINBANE CASTLE

The castle ruins are accessed by steps cut into the cliff in an area of breathtaking scenery.

A two storey castle was built in 1547 by Colla MacDonnell, brother of Sorley Boy MacDonnell, with a large courtyard with traces of other buildings, probably constructed out of wood. In 1551 the castle was besieged by English forces in the course of an expedition against the MacDonnell's. Another siege in 1555 by English forces, the castle was partly destroyed by cannon fire. Rebuilt afterwards, Colla MacDonnell died at the castle in 1558.

 

The hollow below the castle known as Lag na Sassenach (Hollow of the English) and it was allegedly during the 16th century that a garrison of English soldiers laying siege to the castle were surrounded and massacred. Fires lit on the headland as calls for assistance were answered by clansmen who came from all directions and surrounded the garrison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

35.PORTRUSHGOLF

Royal Portrush Golf Course