- 3 May 2023
Downhill Beach: A Stunning Blue Flag Beach in Northern Ireland
Downhill Beach is an 11km/7 mile stretch of golden sand and rolling waves located in Castlerock, Co. Derry. The beach is a popular destination for families looking to spend a day in the sun and is renowned for its water sports and scenic walks. With the Blue Flag Award frequently attained, visitors can enjoy clean water and pristine sands. However, note that there is no seasonal RNLI Lifeguard Service operating at the beach this summer. Please exercise due care and caution when visiting this beach. The nearest lifeguarded beaches are at Benone and Castlerock.
In addition to sunbathing and swimming, visitors can explore the sand dunes and nearby Mussenden Temple ruins. The beach and dunes, together with Benone and Magilligan beach and dunes, is an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The area is home to unique flora and fauna, providing opportunities for nature walks and bird sightings.
Facilities at the beach include on-beach free car parking, toilets at the beach entrance, and the opportunity for horse riding (restrictions apply 1st May – 30th Sept, permitted before 11am and after 7pm). Dogs are also allowed on the beach, but restrictions apply between 1st June - 15th Sept.
Game of Thrones fans will recognize Downhill Beach as the filming location for Dragonstone, where the Seven Idols of Westeros were burned and Melisandre proclaimed: “For the night is dark and full of terrors.”
Castlerock, the nearest town to Downhill Beach, is a small coastal town with accommodation, pubs, restaurants, and rail and transport links. Visitors can also explore nearby seaside resorts such as Portrush and Portstewart.
Make sure to add Downhill Beach to your itinerary when planning your Northern Ireland trip, for an unforgettable day out in the sun and sand!