Castlerock is a seaside village in County Londonderry, with a population of 1287 in 2011. It's best known for Mussenden Temple perched on its cliffs.
Trains run hourly from Belfast Great Victoria Street via Lanyon Place and other Belfast stations, Antrim (for International Airport), Ballymena and Coleraine, taking 90 min to Castlerock, then another 30 min to Londonderry. Change at Coleraine for trains to Ulster University and Portrush, and for buses along the Antrim coast to Bushmills, Giant's Causeway and Ballycastle.
1 Castlerock railway station is in town centre close to the beach.
Everything is within walking distance of the railway station.
- 1 Barmouth is the breakwater channeling the outflow of the River Bann. The breakwater on the other side is at the end of Portstewart Strand but there's no river crossing.
- 2 Hezlett House, 107 Sea Rd BT51 4TW, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 10:00-17:00. Built around 1691, this thatched cottage is one of the oldest buildings in Ulster.
- 3 Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne, Mussenden Rd, Castlerock BT51 4RP. Daily 10:00-17:00. Wacky ruined estate on a headland, built in the late 18th century for the Lord Bishop of Derry. It's within walking distance of the village but most visitors park on A2 either at Bishop's Gate (small but free) and walk up through the woods, or at Lion's Gate (charges) and enter via the Walled Garden, which is more accurately a walled lawn with toilets. On the headland you first reach the mausoleum to the bishop's brother, then the vast shell of the mansion: this was fire-damaged in 1851, restored, then abandoned and largely dismantled in the 1950s. (A visitor of 1812 reckoned he'd "never seen so bad a house occupy as much ground.") The temple teeters on the edge of a cliff, which has been stabilised to prevent it tumbling to the shore way below. It's modelled on Bramante's Tempietto in Rome, which is in turn based on the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli. Also nearby is a Belvedere. Lion's Gate parking £5, NT free.
- Bertha's Bar & Grill, 6 Sea Rd (north side of railway station), ☏ . Daily 12:00-23:00. Dog-friendly eating place and bar.
- Crusoes, 29 Sea Rd, ☏ . Daily 09:00-17:00. Cafe and fish & chips takeaway south side of railway station.
- See Bertha's above. Village Tavern is on the main road in Articlave 2 miles south of Castlerock.
- Castlerock Holiday Park next to the railway station normally offers camping and tourer caravan pitches. In 2021 it's only available for static caravan longs lets.
- Downhill Beachhouse, Mussenden Rd BT51 4RP (100 yards east of railway station), ☏ . Normally a hostel, but 2021 it's only available for exclusive self-catering lets.
- 1 Carneety House, 120 Mussenden Rd BT51 4TX, ☏ . Friendly B&B on main road, handy for motorists.
As of May 2021, Castlerock has a 4G signal from all UK carriers, though coverage from Three is patchy at the edge of town. 5G has not reached this area.
- Derry is a must-see historic city, with its ancient walls intact.
- Portstewart east across the estuary has another fine beach.
- Coleraine has Ulster University. It's short of sights, but you go that way for Bushmills and Giant's Causeway along the Antrim coast.