Downhill beach in Northern Ireland, is a huge, beautiful, sandy beach. We found it whilst looking for a beach you could drive onto as we had someone with us who couldn’t walk far. It was also close by to Limitless Adventure Centre so we visited the beach for a picnic lunch after our fun morning driving hovercrafts and powerturn buggies.
You can access the beach in your car by driving through the tunnel to the right of the toilets at the entrance to the beach. You then follow the roped off “road” and park up on the sand.
Downhill beach is one of three beaches that together are 7 miles long, making it one of the longest in Northern Ireland and meaning that despite the cars parked on the sand there was plenty of space.
Downhill beach has a blue flag award and when we visited there were lifeguards on duty. The sea was shallow near the edge and despite it not being the best weather, some of us even paddled for a while.
There are two tunnels at the end of the beach leading to Castlerock: ‘Downhill Tunnel’ which is 307 yards long and ‘Castlerock Tunnel’ which is 668 yards long. We didn’t have time to explore these but they make the beach a little more appealing to adventurous kids.
Overlooking the beach, on top of the cliff, is the Mussenden Temple. The Mussenden Temple was originally built as a library by Earl Bishop at Downhill, to honour his niece Fridewise Mussenden He built it to look like a temple in Italy . There was a fire below it which was kept burning to keep the books from getting damp. Nowadays the books are long gone and it sits empty yet dramatically on the cliff edge.
Both the Mussenden Temple and Downhill beach featured on the TV series, Game of Thrones, making this a great beach to visit for Game of Thrones fans.
So whether you are looking for an impressive view, a Game of Thrones tour, an accessible beach picnic, a swim in the sea or a family adventure you will find it at Downhill beach in Northern Ireland.
Downhill Beach with an autistic child?
Beaches are great for sensory seekers with more sand and water than you could ever need.
Close supervision would be needed, especially so for children who wander or run. There is the obvious water danger and this beach is very big.
There are toilets in the car park at the entrance to the beach.
There is parking directly on the beach making easy access and storage etc but also meaning there is the added danger of cars driving on the beach.
If you wanted to visit the old temple above the beach, be aware this is on a cliff edge.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you would like to read more then feel free to follow my blog or like my Facebook page which I keep up to date with new posts as they are written. You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter @KidsOnTour1 and now on Youtube – subscribe to my channel for upcoming videos!