small town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Portstewart is a beach resort, historically in County Londonderry in Northern Ireland. The town is in Causeway Coast and Glens District, and in 2011 had a population of 8003. It was a small fishing village until it grew up as a resort in Victorian times, and is now encrusted by holiday homes. The beach is the main attraction, and a few miles east of town are the big tourist sights of the Causeway Coast.

The TIC[dead link] is on the Promenade.

Get in edit

From Belfast take the hourly train to Coleraine (heading for Derry) and change for the bus.

Bus 140a runs a triangle from Coleraine to Portstewart (15 min), Portrush and back to Coleraine; 140b is the reverse triangle. It's every 20 min M-F, hourly Sa, every two hours Sunday.

Change at Portrush for Bus 402 along the coast to Bushmills, Giant's Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Bridge and Ballycastle.

Goldline Express 278 runs in university term-time, with one bus Su-F from Monaghan via Armagh, Moy, Dungannon, Cookstown, Magherafelt, Garvagh, Coleraine and Ulster University to Portstewart and Portrush.

By road from Belfast follow M2 / A26 to Coleraine, bypass it on the ring road, then follow Cromore Rd north.

Get around edit

Walk everywhere, especially the Strand. See above for the triangle bus route 140.

See edit

  • 1 Portstewart Strand   is a two-mile spit with a sandy beach backed by grassed-over sandhills. Behind is the golf club and the River Bann, which flows out at the west end of the spit; there's no footbridge or ferry across to Castlerock. The Strand is the town's main beach (the Promenade beach is rocky except for one small corner) so it's a popular destination for kiddy-bathing. The area is owned by the National Trust: it's free to access dawn to dusk but you pay for parking, on the beach itself. Traditionally you could drive further up the Strand but that's no longer allowed, and in early 2021 you must pre-book your parking space to ensure distancing.
  • 2 Flowerfield Arts Centre, 185 Coleraine Rd BT55 7HU, +44 28 7083 1400. M-F 09:00-17:00, Sa Su 10:00-13:00. This has exhibitions, craft displays, resident artists, readings and the like.
  • Diversity Park is the large park and playground outside the Arts Centre, open in daylight hours.
  • Agherton Old Cemetery opposite Diversity Park has old gravestones and a ruined church. It was once the focus of Agherton or Ballyaghran village, which now lies beneath suburbs, with the modern cemetery east side of the main road.

Do edit

Portstewart Strand
  • The Anchor at 86 The Promenade is an entertainment complex including Anchor Bar, Anchor Bistro and Anchorage Inn, see Sleep.
  • 1 Portstewart Golf Club, 117 Strand Rd BT55 7PG, +44 28 7083 2015. This club has three scenic 18-hole courses, with a stiff Atlantic breeze bending your ball to vanish in the sand hills. The championship course is The Strand, 7118 yards, par 72 - major tournaments are regularly played here, such as the Irish Open. The Riverside is 5725 yards, par 68, and the Old Course is 4822 yards, par 64.    
  • The Ulster Way[dead link] circles the province. Locally the best section is the waymarked trail east along the coast to Portrush, Bushmills and Giant's Causeway; you could walk one way and ride the bus back. To the west you have to trudge for some miles along ratty roads before you regain the trail at Castlerock.
  • Northwest 200 is a motorbike race held in May on a triangular on-road circuit between Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart. The next is probably 5-11 May 2024, tbc.
  • Red Sails Festival is next held 23-29 July 2023.

Buy edit

  • Tesco is at 164 Coleraine Rd opposite Flowerfield Arts Centre. It's open M-Sa 08:00-22:00, Su 13:00-18:00.

Eat edit

Portstewart harbour
The Promenade is the main eating strip, with several fast food places.
  • Roughans Gelato, 67A Promenade BT55 7AF, +44 28 7083 2723. Daily 08:00-17:00. Popular ice-cream shop continues, though the cafe has closed.
  • Morelli's, 53 Promenade BT55 7AF, +44 28 7083 2150. Daily 09:00-21:00. A Portstewart institution, this ice-cream shop and cafe also does sandwiches, panini, pizza and trad Ulster breakfasts.
  • Villa (formerly Shenanigan's), 78 The Promenade BT55 7AF, +44 28 7083 6538. Daily 12:00-01:30. Bar and restaurant, family-friendly, gets good reviews.
  • Amici Restaurant, Portmore Rd BT55 7DA, +44 28 7083 4444. M-Th 12:00-14:30, 17:00-20:30 F Sa 12:00-14:30, 17:00-22:30, Su 12:00-20:30. Popular Italian restaurant with sea views.
  • Native Seafood and Scran is a cafe by the Anchor complex, open daily 09:00-20:00.
  • Harry's Shack is a popular seafood restaurant by the Strand car park, open daily 10:00-23:00.

Drink edit

  • Portstewart Arms, 2 Coleraine Road BT55 7JW, +44 28 7083 2046. M-F 11:30-23:00, Sa 11:30-00:00, Su 12:30-22:00. Friendly pub with TV sports, sometimes has live music.
  • And see above for Anchor complex, and see Bushmills for the famous local whiskey.

Sleep edit

Sculpture by the harbour
  • 1 Cul Erg House, 9 Hillside, Atlantic Circle BT55 7AZ, +44 28 7083 6610. This sea-front B&B gets great reviews for welcome and comfort. B&B double £120.
  • 2 The York, 2 Station Rd BT55 7DA, +44 28 7083 3594. Modern oceanfront hotel in town centre. B&B double £130.
  • 3 Anchorage Inn, 86 Promenade BT55 7AG, +44 28 7083 2003. Victorian pub with rooms, does good food. It's part of Anchor leisure complex, which has live entertainment. B&B double £120.
  • Me and Mrs Jones, The Diamond BT55 7EA (opposite Anchor complex), +44 28 7083 4950. Smart hotel and restaurant. B&B double £140.
  • 4 Cromore Halt Inn, 158 Station Rd BT55 7PU, +44 28 7083 6888. Smart modern place with motel-sized rooms. B&B double £100.
  • California Lodge, 3 Meadow Park BT55 7ST (facing Cromore Halt Inn), +44 7513 177102. Welcoming dog-friendly guesthouse. B&B double £80.
  • Lots more accommodation in Portrush 3 miles east.

Connect edit

Portstewart and its approach roads have 4G from all UK carriers. As of July 2022, 5G has not reached this area.

Go next edit

  • Portrush east along the coast is the start of the big tourist trail of Bushmills, Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, with Dark Hedges a few miles inland.
  • Castlerock is the next resort west across the River Bann.
  • Coleraine is a market town with the Iron Age fort of Moundsandell.

This city travel guide to Portstewart is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.