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Portrush Nature Reserve

The Coastal Zone, 8 Bath Road, Portrush, County Antrim, BT56 8AP
Portrush Nature Reserve

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Portrush National Nature reserve is a beautiful location which hides a tale of heated debate around the very origin of rocks. This particular site holds a lot of historical importance due to its role in the development of geological science.

Visitors can look for fossils in these rocks, as they have helped to unlock the secret of how basalt is formed. However, further study of the rock and fossils have revealed it is not basalt, but sedimentary shale which had been baked hard by molten lava. This nature reserve has generated a lot of interest all over the world because of its contribution to the evolution of geologic thought.

For curious visitors, this area definitely has more than geology to offer as the rock pools nearby provide a fun opportunity to look for crabs, anemones, gobys, limpets and starfish up close. They may also be able to watch for seals hauled out on the Skerries opposite the reserve and harbour porpoise may be glimpsed chasing fish just off shore. The best time to visit would be during spring and summer for rock pooling and all year round for fossil viewing.

Close to Portrush's scenic beaches and right by town centre, it makes for a brilliant day out on the coast.

In order to safeguard this reserve, removal of samples of rock or fossils is probibited.

Getting There:
Follow signs for Portrush, drive round the town and follow route for landsdown carpark. Follow the road round until you see the Coastal Zone. The Nature Reserve is behind the building along the sea edge.

For walks around this area, check out


Attraction Facilities

  • Open Mondays
  • Open Sundays

Establishment Features

  • Toilets

Parking & Transport

  • On site parking

Provider Preferences

  • Free (parking charges may apply)


Add Portrush Nature Reserve to your Itinerary

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Call direct on:

Tel+44 (0) 28 7028 3600

Map & Directions

Opening Times

* Coastal Zone Visitor Centre:
19 April to 30 September 10:00 - 17:00 daily

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