Life is confusing enough without having to cope with two ‘East Strands’ within a kilometre of each other, but that’ s what Portush has, so we chose the nicer of the two.
This is a large, classic family beach just on the edge of the town. Despite its location it has that get way from it all feel to it and if you walk down the beach a few hundred metres you can be in a different world.
We hit East Strand on a good day with sunshine and clear water. There was a gradual wade in with just a few waves to keep young people happy. This is a surfers’ beach with plenty of young people taking lessons from the on site surf school. There is a plenty of room here for families and you can have a good 30 minute walk down the beach to nearby Whiterocks.
Facilities at East Strand are good with toilets and a large car park. There is a ramp which makes it accessible for wheelchairs and buggies. The beach itself is a bit open so a windbreak on a windy way would help.
Lifeguards are on duty in the summer, but check locally for details
On the A2 from the Giants Causeway and Bushmills direction come into the town of Portrush . Follow the signs for the town centre and then watch for a right hand turn which will take you into the car park.
West Strand is on the other side of the town, not as large as its neigbour but more sheltered with some protection from the harbour and cliffs at either end.
This is a very well maintained facility with toilets at either end and a nice promenade for strolling on. There is ramp access and even a small coffee shop at the harbour end. It was a dull day when we were there and , surprise, surprise, we were the only ones swimming. The water was choppy and we spent more time jumping the waves than we did doing the backstroke. We also felt a bit of an undertow so be careful you don’t go out too far.
West Strand has adequate parking and showers attached to the toilets. And for kids who get bored of the beach there is a fun fair just behind it.
Lifeguards are on duty during the summer- check locally for details.
Blue Flag beach.
On the A2 from the Giants Causeway and Bushmills watch out for the signposts for Portstewart which will bring you around the town. As you leave the town watch for a right hand turn signposted for the beach which will bring you under a railway bridge into the car park.