Portstewart is a beach resort, historically in County Londonderry in Northern Ireland. Those counties have been abolished so the town is now in Causeway Coast and Glens District, and in 2011 had a population of 8003. It was a small fishing village until it grew up as a resort in Victorian times, and is now encrusted by holiday homes. The beach is the main attraction, and a few miles east of town are the big tourist sights of the Causeway Coast.
The TIC is on the Promenade.
From Belfast take the hourly train to Coleraine (heading for Derry) and change for the bus.
Bus 140a runs a triangle from Coleraine to Portstewart (15 min), Portrush and back to Coleraine; 140b is the reverse triangle. It's every 20 min M-F, hourly Sa, every two hours Sunday.
Goldline Express 278 runs in university term-time, with one bus Su-F from Monaghan via Armagh, Moy, Dungannon, Cookstown, Magherafelt, Garvagh, Coleraine and Ulster University to Portstewart and Portrush.
By road from Belfast follow M2 / A26 to Coleraine, bypass it on the ring road, then follow Cromore Rd north.
Walk everywhere, especially the Strand. See above for the triangle bus route 140.
- 1 Portstewart Strand is a two-mile spit with a sandy beach backed by grassed-over sandhills. Behind is the golf club and the River Bann, which flows out at the west end of the spit; there's no footbridge or ferry across to Castlerock. The Strand is the town's main beach (the Promenade beach is rocky except for one small corner) so it's a popular destination for kiddy-bathing. The area is owned by the National Trust: it's free to access dawn to dusk but you pay for parking, on the beach itself. Traditionally you could drive further up the Strand but that's no longer allowed, and in early 2021 you must pre-book your parking space to ensure distancing.
- 2 Flowerfield Arts Centre, 185 Coleraine Rd BT55 7HU, ☏ . M-F 09:00-17:00, Sa Su 10:00-13:00. This has exhibitions, craft displays, resident artists, readings and the like.
- Diversity Park is the large park and playground outside the Arts Centre, open in daylight hours.
- Agherton Old Cemetery opposite Diversity Park has old gravestones and a ruined church. It was once the focus of Agherton or Ballyaghran village, which now lies beneath suburbs, with the modern cemetery east side of the main road.
- The Anchor at 86 The Promenade is an entertainment complex including Anchor Bar, Anchor Bistro and Anchorage Inn, see Sleep.
- 1 Portstewart Golf Club, 117 Strand Rd BT55 7PG, ☏ . This club has three scenic 18-hole courses, with a stiff Atlantic breeze bending your ball to vanish in the sand hills. The championship course is The Strand, 7118 yards, par 72 - major tournaments are regularly played here, such as the Irish Open. The Riverside is 5725 yards, par 68, and the Old Course is 4822 yards, par 64.
- The Ulster Way circles the province. Locally the best section is the waymarked trail east along the coast to Portrush, Bushmills and Giant's Causeway; you could walk one way and ride the bus back. To the west you have to trudge for some miles along ratty roads before you regain the trail at Castlerock.
- Northwest 200 is a motorbike race held in May on a triangular on-road circuit between Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart. The 2020 and 2021 races were cancelled so the next is probably 8-14 May 2022, tbc.
- Tesco is at 164 Coleraine Rd opposite Flowerfield Arts Centre. It's open M-Sa 08:00-22:00, Su 13:00-18:00.
- The Promenade is the eating strip, with several fast food places.
- Roughans Gelato, 67A Promenade BT55 7AF, ☏ . Daily 08:00-17:00. Popular ice-cream shop continues, though the cafe has closed.
- Morelli's, 53 Promenade BT55 7AF, ☏ . Daily 09:00-21:00. A Portstewart institution, this ice-cream shop and cafe also does sandwiches, panini, pizza and trad Ulster breakfasts.
- Villa (formerly Shenanigan's), 78 The Promenade BT55 7AF, ☏ . Daily 12:00-01:30. Bar and restaurant, family-friendly, gets good reviews.
- Amici Restaurant, Portmore Rd BT55 7DA, ☏ . M-Th 12:00-14:30, 17:00-20:30 F Sa 12:00-14:30, 17:00-22:30, Su 12:00-20:30. Popular Italian restaurant with sea views.
- Portstewart Arms, 2 Coleraine Road BT55 7JW, ☏ . M-F 11:30-23:00, Sa 11:30-00:00, Su 12:30-22:00. Friendly pub with TV sports, sometimes has live music.
- And see above for Anchor complex, and see Bushmills for the famous local whiskey.
- 1 Cul Erg House, 9 Hillside, Atlantic Circle BT55 7AZ, ☏ . This sea-front B&B gets great reviews for welcome and comfort. B&B double £120.
- 2 The York, 2 Station Rd BT55 7DA, ☏ . Modern oceanfront hotel in town centre. B&B double £130.
- 3 Anchorage Inn, 86 Promenade BT55 7AG, ☏ . Victorian pub with rooms, does good food. It's part of Anchor leisure complex, which has live entertainment. B&B double £120.
- Me and Mrs Jones, The Diamond BT55 7EA (opposite Anchor complex), ☏ . Smart hotel and restaurant. B&B double £140.
- 4 Cromore Halt Inn, 158 Station Rd BT55 7PU, ☏ . Smart modern place with motel-sized rooms. B&B double £100.
- California Lodge, 3 Meadow Park BT55 7ST (facing Cromore Halt Inn), ☏ . Welcoming dog-friendly guesthouse. B&B double £80.
- Lots more accommodation in Portrush 3 miles east.
As of March 2021, Portstewart has 4G from O2, but you may struggle to get a signal from other carriers. 5G has not reached this area.
- Portrush east along the coast is the start of the big tourist trail of Bushmills, Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, with Dark Hedges a few miles inland.
- Castlerock is the next resort west across the River Bann.
- Coleraine is a market town with the Iron Age fort of Moundsandell.