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Northern Ireland

We have 2 days reserved for Northern Ireland during our trip to Ireland in July 2010 We are thinking about making Portrush our base for those 2 days. (after one night at Westport). Would Portrush be the optimum location and any suggestions as to B&Bs there or in the vicinity?

Posted by
2876 posts


We went to Northern Ireland last summer & IMO Portrush would be a BAD place to make your base. It is wall-to-wall people and cars, a honky-tonk beach town with no charm at all. I would avoid it totally.

We found a terrific B&B, Whitepark House, not far from Giants Causeway. Made that our base and visited the Causeway, the rope bridge, Bushmill's, etc. We were there in August and all the attractions were CROWDED but still fun. Just go to if you'd like to check it out.

Posted by
180 posts

I would agree! We stayed in Portrush for 1 night last year, and that was really is a beach town (much like the New Jersey Shore) with a few restaurants, some arcades, etc. We wished that we had stayed at a B&B off the beaten path near Giant's Causeway. I would suggest doing one night there and then one night in Belfast.

Posted by
635 posts

I'm in the process of reading Rick's Ireland. So far, I can't see why I'd want to include it in a 10 day trip to Ireland. Any thoughts from those that have been?

Posted by
977 posts

I agree, avoid Portrush. We stayed in Ballintoy at Kinbane Farm B & B. All the Antrim Coast sites were easily accessed from here. Great place to stay. Perched on top of a hill overlooking Rathlin Island.

Posted by
655 posts

Consider Bushmills for your base location. Nice town, lots to explore along the coast. Tripadvisor will help you select a place to stay.

Posted by
588 posts

On a RS Ireland tour in Sept 2009, we spent one night in Westport. It is a nice town (regular town good shopping) but no attractions. It is a stopover place to sleep. We spent two nights in Portrush and stayed at the Ramada (best breakfasts). In Sept Portrush was a little quiet except for one of the restaurants where we ate dinner twice (excellent) and sorry I can't remember but PM me and I will look it up. Portrush was our base for going to Bushmills, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and Giant's Causeway (all great attractions but be prepared for walking). It was a great base but I think the town of Bushmill would be great too. I didn't care for Belfast and glad we didn't spend the night there. Belfast is only 50 miles or so from Dublin. Residents commute between the two cities. Hope this helps.

Posted by
484 posts

You might look into Portbradden and the small church there. It is in the area of Bushmills-Giants Causeway. Magnificent beach.

Dublin to Belfast is approximately 100 miles,not 50.

Posted by
333 posts

I wouldn't stay in Portrush, as another poster said, it's NI's version of the Jersey Shore.

My itinerary would be:

Belfast City 1 night-Antrim Coast 1 night-Derry City 1 night. Plenty of B&Bs and inns on the Antrim Coast. Depending on how much you like to hike (and the weather) you could stay an extra day on the Antrim Coast

Derry City and Belfast are a must if you care for Irish history. July (esp mid-July) gets into a high politics season in NI. No real reason to change plans but just I would try to avoid the towns with obvious political leanings.