- 3 May 2023
White Park Bay
Discover the Tranquil Beauty of White Park Bay
Escape to the serene beauty of White Park Bay and experience a hidden gem on the North Antrim Coast, rich in history, flora, and fauna. This secluded sandy beach is surrounded by ancient dunes and species-rich chalk grasslands, making it a haven for wildlife. Visitors can enjoy lazy summer days, picnics, and long walks, and even spot some of the most photographed cows in Northern Ireland.
White Park Bay is a spectacular sandy beach that forms a pristine white arc between two headlands on the North Antrim coast. It's a secluded location that ensures even on busy days, there is ample space for peaceful relaxation. The beach is unsafe for swimming due to dangerous rip currents, but visitors can enjoy lazy summer days, picnics, making sandcastles, and long walks.
The beach is backed by ancient dunes that provide a range of rich habitats, a haven for wildlife, with diverse habitats that house butterflies, orchids, birds, otters, and sea life. Visitors can also explore the area's history by looking out for fossils and archaeological evidence, making it a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts.
To get to the beach, visitors can take a winding rough laneway, starting and ending at point D014436. Along the way, they can look out for the remains of an 18th-century "hedge school" that once educated young gentlemen, including Lord Castlereagh. The beach is also grazed under a nature conservation management agreement, which helps maintain a short grass sward, rich in wildflowers, thanks to the resident rabbit population.
While exploring White Park Bay, visitors can look out for diving gannets, sandwich terns, and ringed plovers – a small wader bird that nests in the area. For more adventurous walkers, an additional trail extends beyond the chalk headland to Ballintoy Harbour and a quaint tea room, adding another mile to the journey. Visitors should be cautious of high tides along this section.
Nearby attractions and activities include exploring the charming town of Ballintoy and its picturesque harbor, visiting the iconic Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, discovering the historic ruins of Dunluce Castle, experiencing the thrilling Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and immersing oneself in local culture at the nearby towns of Ballycastle and Bushmills.
In addition to the nearby attractions mentioned earlier, visitors to White Park Bay can also explore the nearby town of Ballycastle. This charming town is located just a short drive from the beach and is home to a range of attractions and activities, including the Ballycastle Museum, which offers exhibits on the town's history and culture.
For those interested in outdoor activities, Ballycastle is a great place to start. The town is located along the Causeway Coast Way, a scenic walking trail that runs along the coast from Ballycastle to Portstewart. Visitors can also enjoy a range of water sports, including kayaking, surfing, and paddleboarding, at Ballycastle Beach.
Another nearby attraction is the Rathlin Island, which is located just off the coast of Ballycastle. Visitors can take a ferry to the island and explore its rugged coastline, historic landmarks, and diverse wildlife, including puffins, seals, and dolphins.
Overall, White Park Bay and its surrounding area offer a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors to explore. Whether you're interested in history, culture, nature, or outdoor activities, there's something for everyone in this beautiful part of Northern Ireland.