Saturday 20th January 2018
Portrush to The White Rocks – 6.2 miles
After a week of snow we awoke to treacherously icy footpaths, so reluctantly we had to cancel our planned walk to Loughermore Forest! Instead we quickly formed a “Plan B” and headed to Portrush for a beach walk, and amazingly the footpaths in Portrush were walkable – the benefits of salt air!
We parked up and headed towards the harbour and Ramore head. The tide was well in as we passed the West Bay, and we wondered if we’d have any beach to walk on! The harbour was almost deserted apart from the lifeboat and beyond the harbour walls the snow covered Donegal hills jumped out. There were posters up congratulating the four local “Home to Portrush” rowers who had successfully rowed 3,000 miles in the Atlantic Challenge and we stopped to read about their phenomenal achievement.
It was calm around Ramore Head with barely a breeze. I love looking down on Portrush from this vantage point – great views looking back towards the West Bay and round the coastline to Magilligan Point and Donegal; and then in the opposite direction looking towards the Skerries, the East Strand, the White Rocks and the Giant’s Causeway. We are so lucky to have such beautiful beaches on our doorstep and all too easy to take them for granted! The swell of the sea was mesmerising at the ‘wash tub’ and we could easily have stood hypnotised by the rhythmic movement of the waves crashing in and out, creating lots of froth just like a washing machine.
There weren’t too many walkers about but, as we approached The Arcadia corner and the East Strand, we encountered a few ‘ParkRun’ runners – Portrush was one of the few park runs which wasn’t cancelled due to the icy conditions.
There were also a few brave early morning surfers out having caught the best of the high tide and thankfully the tide was on the turn as we joined the beach.
The East Strand is a popular spot for families and dog walkers all year round and there were plenty of them about this morning. To be honest all the dogs were very well behaved and the worst encounter was almost getting a shower bath from a beautiful labrador as he came out of the sea with his ball … that was so funny as his owner looked on mortified!
At the White Rocks there were plenty of surfers about enjoying the conditions. Surfing has definitely become a very popular pastime in the past few years which is great news for the north coast.
Our return journey was straight forward rounded off with coffee & treats at KoKo’s. It’s hard to beat a beach walk – it definitely awakens the senses – so despite last minute change to our plans we still managed a very enjoyable walk to kick start the new year.