A much-loved holiday destination in Northern Ireland, Portrush sits on a mile-long peninsula that juts right out into the Atlantic Ocean. The town is home to sandy beaches, lively nightlife, a good tourist infrastructure and plenty of family-friendly attractions and the stunning views over the coast of Ireland, the hills of Donegal and over to Scotland will really get visitors' pulses racing. The surrounding region is ideal for exploring on foot, by bicycle or even on horseback and there is plenty of scope for adventure sports activities in and around Portrush. There are restaurants in every price range in the town, along with accommodation that ranges from self-catered chalets and campsites to small hotels and guest houses. The town's railway station provides connections to Belfast, Derry and other locations across Northern Ireland.
Things to See and Do
Arguably the most popular holiday spot in Northern Ireland, Portrush is a town that is geared around tourism. Quiet during the winter low season, it buzzes with activity during the summer, when visitors flock to the the town to enjoy the beaches, the tourist attractions and family-friendly entertainment and, of course, those panoramic views. The Royal Portrush Golf Course is one of Northern Ireland's most popular courses and Portrush is also a favourite destination for surfers. During the high season there is a busy calendar of events here – from chopper bike rallies to air shows and surf championships – and live music happenings such as the North Coast Folk Festival have helped put Portrush firmly on the musical map. Visitors shouldn't miss the chance to call at Dunluce Castle, which sits on a craggy rock looking out to sea. The surrounding green fields make a great place for a picnic on sunny days. Those of drinking age will enjoy a visit to the oldest licensed whiskey distillery at Old Bushmills – and yes, tours of the 400-year-old distillery do include the chance to try a wee dram!
Family Friendly Destination
Kids are well catered for with attractions such as a giant waterpark and numerous amusement arcades, as well as those glorious beaches. Fishing is also popular in Portrush and it's possible to organise boat trips out into the Atlantic to catch your own fish supper. Bowling, swimming and cycling are further popular active options in Portrush and there are several places offering surf equipment rental and surf classes.
Drinking and Dining
There are plenty of places to enjoy a bite to eat in Portrush and, as you'd expect given the coastal location, fish is a local speciality. Eating fish and chips as you take a stroll along the beachfront is an experience not to be missed and it's also a very budget-friendly dining option! There are lots of takeaway pizza places, burger joints and traditional coffee shops selling sandwiches and snacks, as well as some more formal dining options. The restaurant at the centrally located Ramada Hotel is a smart place to eat and is open to non-guests and there are a number of traditional inns serving delicious food, while many of the town's wine bars double as restaurants.
The bars, restaurants and nightclubs to be found in Portrush town centre are extremely lively during the summer high season, although things quieten down considerably off-season.
Whatever your reason for visiting Portrush, you'll find accommodation to meet your needs.
There are several large hotels in Portrush, including the Ramada and the Best Western-owned Magherabuoy House Hotel, on the outskirts of the town. Campsites and caravan parks can be found here in abundance and are great budget-friendly options for family holidaymakers. Small guest houses offer a warm welcome to visitors, while self-catering cottages offer plenty of space and privacy, as well as the opportunity to save a fortune on dining out.
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