We are ashamed to admit that this is the only swimming spot we have visited in Derry, but if you like your beaches wide and long you will enjoy a visit here.
The information notices at the entrance describe Benone as one of the largest dune systems in Ireland or the UK. Stretching from Magilligan point at one end to Downhill at the other, Benone must be nearly 10 kilometres of soft, but good to walk on, beach. With that length, there is plenty of room for walking, running and even horse riding.
And, of course, you can swim here as well. When we visited it was a bit windy but the water wasn’t too choppy. There was a gradual wade in and it does appear to be suitable for children.
The beach itself is quite open and a windbreak will help if you are planning to stay for a while.
Facilities at Benone are quite good. It’s a Blue Flag beach and there are lifeguards in the summer. As well as toilets there is also a tap for drinking water and a shower. The beach is wheelchair and buggy accessible, but unfortunately cars are allowed on as well. At the Magilligan end there is an army camp so don’t ignore the red flags and signs warning you about the firing range.
From Derry take the A2 to Limavady. You remain on the A2 after Limavady in the direction of Downhill. A couple of kilometres before Downhill watch out for a left turn signposted for a caravan park and the beach.