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Our excursion of the north coast’s recreational beaches begins at Magilligan Point on the Foyle estuary and ends at Ballycastle, close to Fair Head at the northern entrance to the Irish Sea. (See the centrefold map for beach locations).

Magilligan forms the western third of an 11km (7 mile) long unbroken plain of sand stretching from the mouth of Lough Foyle to the foot of Mussenden Temple. Magilligan’s beach and dune system is one of the most studied coastal landforms in the region and from Point to Temple is protected as an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Access: From Point Road (B202) and adjacent to Ferry Terminal. Much of the beach to the east of the Point is under the control of the MOD. Red flags mark off the areas of restricted access. Pedestrian only. Note: Rich diversity of shells. Abundant life beneath the surface of sand. Bathing inadvisable.

4 J.A.

Beaches .... an islands treasure  

An environmental guide to the recreational beaches of the North Coast by Coleraine Borough Council