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STAYCATION 2020 – TJ’s Favourite Beaches to Explore on N.Ireland’s North Coast

North Coast Location Ideas for Outdoor Adventures with Energetic Kids

Staycation 2020 in N.Ireland

Since my kids were little they have had the most phenomenal amount of energy. We discovered by toddlerdom that the only way to burn off that energy was to climb hills, roam through fields, explore forests and climb trees all day long.

Ten years, and zillions of adventures later I feel like I have developed quite the catalogue of AWESOME places to explore in N.Ireland. My friends know this about me and will often ask for ideas, so what better time than Staycation 2020 to make a series of Blog Posts letting you in on it all.

Ballintoy Harbour

The Harbour, the little beach, the hills to climb, the stunning views, the rocks to clamber on. Ballintoy Harbour has it all. It is more of a place to explore than relax and that is probably why we love it. Although it takes some extra caution and parental supervision than most spots it is truly awesome! and that’s without even being a Game of Thrones Fan! If you are one of those then even better lol


Whiterocks is without doubt an amazing place to hang out. Between the awesome waves, the stunning sand dunes, the lengthy beach and the phenomenal rock structures you can easily spend the entire day here. We go equipped with wetsuits, buckets and spades, picnics and a disposable BBQ for our smores. When the tide is out you can wander to the East side of the beach and check out all the funky mini caves and clamber all over the rocks.

White Park Bay (National Trust)

This place is perfection. Gorgeous views, and a huge expanse of beach with lots of space to be able to socially distance and let the children roam. We found that it wasn’t as busy as other north coast beaches. possibly because it is a bit of a trek from the car. But it is certainly a beautiful walk… oh! and did I mention the Cows? If you time it right you get to hang out with some beach loving cows lol

Runkerry Beach and Sandunes

We only discovered Runkerry Beach a few years ago. I really really love it. Such Diversity! The kids loved flying their kites on the beach on our most recent trip. We walked the length of the beach, up round the side of Runkerry House, up to the Headland and the gorgeous views towards the Giants Causeway. We even managed to spot a pod of dolphins off the coast. So beautiful! We then headed back behind the sand dunes and along beside the little railway line and the River Bush. So many gorgeous sights and plenty to keep the kids happy

Downhill Beach

There is something a little bit special about Downhill Beach. I think it is the view of the iconic Mussenden Temple from anywhere you set up camp on the beach.

Once you have stared at the temple for a while Downhill is the perfect location for a bit of Body Boarding. Though, obviously you do need to be careful of the waves and the riptides. The kids also got very excited about the trains zipping past the back of the mini sand dunes every so often.

Portstewart Strand (National Trust)

I have left the best for last…. our absolute family fave! Awesome sand dunes, excellent body boarding and views for miles! Absolute heaven! We have spent many a day here and will spend many more in the years to come. Childhood all wrapped up in the perfect package

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