On the most Northern tip of the island of Ireland, lies the beautiful seaside town, Portrush. Known for its breathtaking beaches, rugged Atlantic Ocean and iconic coastline, the town has been a tourist attraction since the Victorian era.
Boasting an abundance of natural beauty, we understand why people flock here from all across the globe to soak up the relaxed atmosphere and languish in ‘Portrush Time’. (A local concept that suggests a slower paced and relaxed atmosphere of a small town)
In this blog we give you some tips from the locals about what to do and see when visiting Portrush Northern Ireland.
Table of Contents
The History Of Portrush
- The Portrush area has signs of settlement dating back to 4000 BC. The evidence of settlement in its surrounding area dates back to the Iron Age and early Medieval period.
- Portrush was part of the territory of the Ulaidh people and kingdom.
- Portrush officially became a town in the 1600s. It began growing as a small fishing port and harbour from this point.
- In the late 1700s and into the Victorian era, Portrush became a popular tourist destination. Its beaches, scenic coastal location, and proximity to Giant’s Causeway made it appeal to travellers and holidaymakers.
- The construction of the railroad connecting Portrush to major cities increased the town’s popularity and brought many Victorian visitors during the 19th century.
- Portrush is a Peninsula, meaning its town centre operates on a one way system. (That’s why driving there can be so chaotic in the summer months)
- Portrush is also home to the Royal Portrush Golf Club, which hosted the 148th Open Championship in 2019. The town is world renowned for its stunning golf course, that overlooks the coastline.
Landmarks Of The North Coast
East Strand And The White Rocks
The East Strand is the largest of the two beaches surrounding the peninsula of the town. The white sands crawl along the coastline and culminate in the White Rocks, an epic huge cliff face. This stretch of beach is considered to be one of the most breathtaking spots in Northern Ireland. We have to say, we very much agree with that statement.
As the rough Atlantic ocean laps onto the shore of the beach, you can sit on the sand and soak up views of The Skerries islands in the distance. Gorgeous in summer and winter, this beach attracts families, surfers and tourists alike all year round.
Ramore Head And The Recreational Grounds
Ramore Head is one of the most Northern parts of the town. Like the White Rocks, this is an epic cliff face with an impressive drop to the wild Atlantic below.
The Head is the perfect place for a family walk and lies in close proximity to the town’s recreational grounds that just underwent an impressive refurbishment. Within the grounds there is a fantastic play park, where we recommend spending the afternoon and enjoying a lovely picnic while the kids play.
The West Strand is the second and smaller of Portrush’s iconic beaches, overlooking the cliff road leading to Portstewart and the hills of Donegal in the distance.
This beach offers close proximity to the town and the harbour, meaning it’s accessible to local amenities for families. It is nestled closely beside Currys Fun Park Portrush, making it the perfect spot to enjoy an ice cream after an adrenaline filled day enjoying the rides!
Best Places To Have Coffee & Cake
Ground Coffee Portrush
Ground Coffee is a bustling coffee Shop on the main street of Portrush, Northern Ireland. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, known for its delicious coffee, friendly staff, and cosy atmosphere.
In addition to delicious fresh coffee, Ground Coffee also offers a variety of food and snacks. Their menu includes everything from breakfast pastries to sandwiches and wraps. They also have a selection of cakes and pastries that are perfect for a sweet treat.
Ground Coffee is a great place to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee with friends. It’s also a great spot to people-watch and soak up the atmosphere of Portrush as it looks out over the hustle and bustle of the Main Street.
Other spots we recommend:
- Babushka: Cosy up beside the sea (West Strand) with delicious artisan coffee and yummy, wholesome food.
- Morelli’s: For delicious, local ice cream in every flavour you could possibly imagine.
Local Businesses To Visit
The Souvenir Shop
The Souvenir Shop is one of Portrush’s oldest family owned businesses. Dating back to 1887, it is still run and owned by the original family, the Rohdich’s. Originally opening its doors as a barber shop, it now stocks the most impressive range of curiosities.
This shop is a treasure trove of souvenirs, trinkets and high end jewellery, including gold and silver. Their stock is impressive as the shop is filled from floor to ceiling with quirky gifts and unique pieces, just waiting to be explored.
Pop in and see a part of the town’s history, in their gorgeous, cosy shop on the Main Street.
Starlight & Stone
Starlight & Stone is a boutique in the town centre, offering a curated collection from the owner of women’s clothing, accessories, and gifts.
This shop is known for its sustainability ethics, partnered with stylish, quality clothing. They source their clothing from a variety of independent designers and brands, ensuring that their customers always have something unique and special to choose from, that is also ethical and mindful of the planet.
You will find them, close to The Souvenir Shop, directly on the Main Street.
Blue Flea & Strawberry Lane on Dunluce Street
These two quirky havens are tucked away on Dunluce Street. Whilst they might be a short five minute walk from the town centre, they are well worth the trip.
Stepping inside both of these shops, you are greeted by a delightful array of locally sourced unique finds, handmade crafts, homeware, and gifts.
Blue Flea showcases a range of amazing and interesting Vintage finds from North Coast Auction Rooms, so you’re sure to pick up a unique part of Portrush history here. Strawberry Lane curates lots of one of a kind, unique items ranging from art prints to plant pots.
Both shop’s warm and inviting atmosphere reflects the passion and creativity of its owners, who carefully curates each item, making these shops one of a kind and not to be missed when in Portrush.
The Royal Portrush Golf Club is boasts historic legacy. Founded in 1888, it has been the site of numerous prestigious players and competitions over the years.
It has two courses that both look out over the absolutely stunning views towards the White Rocks and Skerries’ Islands. A must visit for all golfing enthusiasts.
Portrush is also home to a number of surf schools that offer lessons for all ages and abilities. So whether you’re a first-time surfer or looking to improve your technique, Portrush has something for everyone.
There are many schools to choose from and that cater to a wide range of groups and needs. Check out Portrush Surf School, Alive Adventures and Troggs Surf Lessons to see which one best suits your requirements.
In addition to its world-class surfing, the town also offers a vibrant surf culture, home to a number of surf shops such as Troggs and Woodies that cater to the surfing and skateboarding community. If you’re seeking a great place to experience the best of Northern Irish surfing culture, Portrush is the place to be.
This amazing seaside gem is the perfect place to visit for anyone seeking a captivating blend of natural beauty, rich history, and charming local attractions. From its stunning coastline and dramatic cliff sides to its captivating historical sites and vibrant local culture, Portrush offers an unforgettable experience for families and solo travellers alike.
Come and experience the glorious North Coast of Ireland.
This post first appeared on Travel Blog, Culture And Travel Vlogs From ConnollyCove, please read the originial post: here