Beaches and Coastline

Beaches and Coastline

Photograph of a beach in Mid and East Antrim

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has a coastline that extends from Greenisland at the southern end of the Borough to Garron Point at the northern end, a distance of almost 100km. It includes all of Islandmagee where the eastern-facing Gobbins cliffs are 60m high and, further north, the even higher coastal 250m cliffs of Garron Plateau which in places are a dramatic black basalt on top of white limestone.

For guidance on tide levels you can visit the BBC Weather Tide Table page.

For guidance on weather forecasts you can visit the Met Office website.

Down at sea level is the Antrim Coast Road, winding in synchrony with the headlands for 40km. It was built 1832 – 1842 and the rock had to be blasted away to make way for it. We also have the gentle shallow tidal inflow to Larne Lough which habitat is a great attraction for an incredible array of migrating birds – a few examples are brent geese and redshank which come from the Arctic Circle, and goldeneye which comes from Northern Europe. For many migrating birds, it is a stop-over en route to further rich pickings at Strangford Lough. 

On a good day, the mainland of Scotland being only 40km away, is clearly visible. The lighthouses on The Maidens and at Whitehead keep the mariners safe and if you are really lucky you might be at the right place at the right time to see a pod of dolphins and porpoises leaping over the waves as they swim north or south on their travels. 
When this happens don’t be surprised to see dozens of cars stopped at the side of the road with all the passengers looking out to sea watching the delightful spectacle. Often the dolphins and porpoises look as if they are putting on a show for their audience, leaping completely out of the water again and again. Eventually they disappear from view, but move on to enthral others in another part of Northern Ireland.