Bangor to Culmore Point
The coastline of Northern Ireland is one of the most interesting and picturesque in Europe, and it boasts one of the UK’s most famous landmarks – the Giant’s Causeway. Lying between the swell magnet beach break of Portballintrae and curving white sands of White Park Bay, this section of coastline was formed over 60 million years ago when an upwelling of molten, igneous rock came into contact with the cool sea, causing accelerated cooling and rock crystallisation. The results were these spectacular, tightly packed hexagonal stone columns, stacked together as low-lying stepping stones or towering high as columnar cliffs.
To the west, the coastline of Northern Ireland unfolds into a series of sandy bays with some good rocky reefs interspersed by tumbling headlands. Offshore, the horseshoe shape of Rathlin Island cuts out much of the swell bound for Ballycastle Bay, making this an ideal winter bolt hole when the big storms kick in.
West of Portstewart the coastline morphs into a huge section of golden sand backed by rolling dunes. This area, home to rare bird and orchid species, is the ideal place to take of your shoes, feel the sand between your toes and find an empty peak for the day.