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Downhill Beach

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Downhill Beach is part of an 11km/7 mile stretch of sand and surf offering a wealth of activities including water sports, scenic walks and facilities for that perfect family day out. Downhill is a Blue Flag Award Beach 2015. Cars are permitted on this beach throughout the year.

Downhill is an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) and is also a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) offering opportunities for nature walks and sightings of bird life amongst a backdrop of cascading waterfalls, extensive sand dunes, and the prominent Mussenden Temple, one of the most photographed buildings in Northern Ireland. The Temple offers breath-taking views of the North Coast and dramatic 18th century ruins waiting to be explored.

This stretch of beach is one of the most scenic in Ireland and visitors can enjoy views to counties Donegal, Antrim and Londonderry.

Facilities include:

  • free car parking
  • Lifeguard Service (July and August 11am-7pm daily)
  • dogs allowed (restrictions apply 1st June - 15th Sept)
  • horse riding (restrictions apply 1st May – 30th Sept, permitted before 11:00 and after 19:00)
  • toilets

Did you know?

There are two tunnels between here and Castlerock, ‘Downhill Tunnel’ 307 yards and ‘Castlerock Tunnel’ 668 yards long. On the 8th June 1846 the removal of the short section of rock at Portvantage between the two tunnels, involved 3,600lbs of gun powder and was referred to as ‘The Great Blast’. This event attracted great crowds to the area and concluded with a banquet for 500 specially invited guests in one of the tunnels!