Portrush  (from Irish:  Port Rois  meaning “cape port”)  [2]  is a small seaside town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, on the County Londonderry border. The main part of the old town, including the railway station and most hotels, restaurants and bars, is built on a mile-long peninsula, Ramore Head, pointing north-northwest. It had a population of 6.454 people, as measured by the 2011 Census. During the off-season, Portrush is a bedroom community for the nearby campus of the University of Ulster in Coleraine. It neighbors the resort Port.

The city is known for its three sandy beaches, West Beach, East Beach and white stones, as well as Royal Portrush Golf Club, the only golf club outside mainland Britain which has hosted the Open Championship.

It was the base for  Katie Hannan  (this life boat was damaged in 2008 after running aground during a rescue on Rathlin Island, now based as a training boat for RNLI), a Severn class lifeboat and  Ken and Mary  , a D class coast by RNLI lifeboat. Lifeboats have operated from Portrush Harbour since 1860, and currently stationed there’s Severn Class William Gordon Burr  and D-class coaster David Roulston  .

Portrush is in the East Londonderry constituency of the UK Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly.


A number of flint tools were found during the late nineteenth century shows that the location of Portrush occupied during “Larnian” (late Irish Mesolithic) period,  [4]  Latest estimates to date to about 4000 BC.  [5]

The location of Portrush, with its excellent natural defenses, was probably a permanent solution around the 12 or 13 century. A church is known to have been on Ramore Head at this time, but no part of it survives now. From the records of the papal taxation in 1306, the Portrush Church – seems to have been quite wealthy – and by extension the village. The cape also held two castles, with varying periods. The first of these, Caislean an Teenie, believed to have been on top of Ramore Head, and probably destroyed in the late 16th century; the second, Portrush castle may have been built around the time of the Plantation of Ulster in the early 17th century. Nothing survives either castle.  [6]

As a result of the war the Three Kingdoms in the middle of the seventeenth century, became Portrush a small fishing village. It grew considerably during the nineteenth century as a tourist destination, after opening avjärnvägsBallyMena, Ballymoney, Coleraine and Portrush Junction in 1855, and at the turn of the twentieth century has become one of the biggest tourist destinations in Ireland, with a number of large hotels and guesthouses, including prominent Northern Counties Hotel. Like the city’s beaches and Royal Portrush Golf Club (opened 1888), the nearby Giant’s Causeway was a popular tourist destination, with the Giant’s Causeway Tramway – at that time one of the world’s longest electrified railways – building in 1893 to cater to travelers coming from Portrush.

The city’s fortunes peaked in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, and declined after World War II with the growth of foreign travel. It escaped any involvement in the Troubles until August 6, 1976, when a series of bombings of buildings burned and destroyed several buildings, but without loss of life.  [7]  In a second attack in April 1987, two officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was shot in the back by the provisional Irish Republican army while on foot patrol on Main Street.  [8]


Portrush is classified as a small town in the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)  [9]  (ie with population between 4,500 and 10,000 people). 2011 Census recorded that there were 6.454 people living in Portrush. Of these:

  • 18.89% were younger than 16 years, and 25.11% were aged 60 and over
  • 48.22% of the population were male and 51.78% were women
  • 20.8% listed their religion as Catholic, 50.8% were of Protestant denomination, and 14% said no religion.
  • 4.97% of the population aged 16-74 were unemployed.

For more information, see :. Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service  [10]

Tourist attractions

  • Attractions in the city include the “coastal zone” (formerly Portrush Countryside Centre),  [11]  Waterworld swimming complex, and, in the outskirts of the city, the ties between the Royal Portrush Golf Club, which hosted the 1951 British Open Golf Championship and Ballyreagh golf course. At the 1951 British Open Golf Championship young star Derek McLachlan won the hearts of the local crowd when he led the third day with 3 kind only to run out of bounds twice on the last day of the open and finished tied for 8th place.
  • There are two long sandy beaches in the city, the so-called Western and Eastern Beach. White Rocks and Curran Strand stretch on from the East Strand and are backed by sand dunes. The coast continues past Dunluce Castle to Giant’s Causeway (it was once possible to travel to these attractions from Portrush at the Giant’s Causeway Tramway). A 13-foot high bronze sculpture,  [12] inspired by local traditional sail boats, located at East Beach ( “for the people of the sea” by Cork-based sculptor Holger Lönze).
  • Portrush is home to one of Northern Ireland’s most famous nightclubs.Kelly complex consists of a multitude of bars and clubs and is Northern Ireland’s biggest nightclub complex.  [ Citation needed ]  There are nightclub Lush!  Like attracts many of the world’s top DJ and host BBC Radio 1 events.  
  • Portrush is also home to Barry’s Amusements, the largest amusement park in Northern Ireland. The actor James Nesbitt once worked in Barry.
  • The inserts, a collection of stones lying just off the coast, is an important habitat for several species, some unique to Northern Ireland.
  • Portrush parkrun is a free, weekly, timed 5 km runs along the East Strand beach to the White Rocks and back.  [13]


  • Portrush hosted an annual air show in early September.  [14]
  • The RNLI raft race is a popular annual event. This is a popular game show where contestants must build a raft that can travel from West Strand beach in Portrush Harbour. The race has been on Northern Ireland News broadcasts in several years. The event is a great credit to the RNLI’s popularity in the region.  [15]
  • The North West 200 is a motorcycle race that runs through Port, Coleraine and Portrush each May, a prolonged tourist attraction that has attracted audience of over 150,000 in recent years.  [16]  The late brothers Joey Dunlop and Robert Dunlop have been regular winners at the races : they hold the record for most wins, thirteen and fifteen respectively.


The following schools in Portrush:  [ citation needed ]  

  • Portrush Primary School  : an elementary school with a nursery unit at Crocnamac Road. The school educates about 250 students aged 4-11.Portrush Primary founded 1959th
  • Carnalridge Primary School  : back in 2010 by ex-student and professional golfer Graeme McDowell.  [ Citation needed ]  
  • Mill Strand Integrated Primary School  .
  • St Patricks Primary School  .


  • LGBT Activist Mark Ashton lived here.  [17]
  • Golfer Darren Clarke, winner of the Open Championship 2011, live in Portrush.
  • Fred Daly, golfer, winner of the 1947 Open Championship
  • Golfer Graeme McDowell, who was the first Irishman to win the US Open, born in Portrush.


  • Royal Portrush Golf Club. The only place outside of mainland Britain to host the British Open. 2011 British Open champion Darren Clarke is the resident professional clubs, and live in Portrush.
  • Portrush Hockey Club
  • The Northern Ireland Milk Cup uses Parker Avenue in Portrush as one of the venues for the tournament, and many teams stay within the city itself.
  • All three Portrush beaches often used by water sports enthusiasts, especially surfers and bodyboarders
  • Coleraine afford to maintain tennis courts, bowling greens and a playground on Ramore Head.
  • Fishing is popular from land or at sea, Causeway Lass fishing boat available for rent at the harbor.


Portrush railway station was inaugurated December 4, 1855 and closed for freight September 20, 1954. The station is the last stop on the Coleraine-Portrush railway line, where travelers can connect with trains to Derry, Belfastoch outside.  [18]

Portrush is a busy seaside resort, with a frequent train service run by Northern Ireland Railways contact with Ulsterbus services related to Bushmills and the Giant’s Causeway.

See also

  • List of RNLI stations
  • Stewart


  1. Jump up ^ Dunluce Castle NI US Department of the Environment.Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  2. Jump up ^ placental Database of Ireland
  3. Jump up ^  “Portrush chapel, Ireland”. Wesleyan Juvenile Offer. London.Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society  VII : March 31, 1850 is taken.Nineteen November 2015.
  4. Jump up ^ JSTOR 25506293, p. 244; JSTOR 25513788, p. 238-242
  5. Jump up ^ JSTOR 25800527, p. 249
  6. Jump up^http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/CentreforArchaeologicalFieldworkCAF/PDFFileStore/Filetoupload,274001,en.pdf
  7. Jump up ^ Cain: Chronology of the conflict, 1976
  8. Jump up ^ Cain: Chronology of the conflict, 1987
  9. Jump up ^  “Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency website.”
  10. Jump up ^ Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service website.
  11. Jump up ^  “Education in the coastal areas Portrush”. UK: DOENI.Retrieved 19 August 2014.  External link to (help) | publisher =
  12. Jump up ^  “East Strand Portrush artworks website”.
  13. Jump up ^  http://www.parkrun.org.uk/portrush/.  Missing or empty (help) | title =
  14. Jump up ^  “Northern Ireland International Air Show website”.
  15. Jump up ^  “Portrush Royal National sea rescue site.”
  16. Jump up ^ BBC News
  17. Jump up ^ Doward, Jamie (21 September 2014). “The real triumph gay communist behind the hit movie Pride”. The Guardian.
  18. Jump up ^  “Portrush station” (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways.Retrieved 28 August of 2007.