The Strand Portstewart Beach

Widely regarded as one of the best beaches in Northern Ireland, Portstewart Strand is a long sandy beach perfect for sand castles, beach games, and picnicking. It stretches for two miles and is popular with walkers, surfers, horse-riders and bird watchers.

The views from this beach are stunning, including the Mussenden Temple, high on one of the nearby cliffs. This beach is the start – or end – of the Causeway Coast Way. Items dating back to the Neolithic age have been found in the area, as well as Roman and Bronze Age artefacts.

This National Trust-owned beach is in an Area of Special Scientific Interest, making it a haven for bees, butterflies, and wildflowers including the rare bee orchid. The impressive sand dunes, some of which are owned by Portstewart Golf Club, are some of the oldest and tallest in Ireland, some as high as 100 feet.

Dogs must be kept on leads between zones 1 to 10 to avoid spooking the cattle which graze within the dunes; dogs are allowed off lead past zone 10. Facilities are quite basic, although there is a food outlet right on the beach. Public toilets are also available. There is no lifeguard at this location.

Cars are allowed on the sand: there is a charge of around £7 as of 2021 (free for National Trust members).  A pedestrian only path leads from the town.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

Dogs restricted.

County Londonderry dog friendly beaches »


  • Kayaking/canoeing
  • Donkey rides
  • Jet-skiing
  • Wind surfing


  • Beach hut hire

Nearest town


OS grid ref.

NV 9892 9659

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Blue Flag AwardMarine Conservation Society Recommended

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