Heritage Railway Path
This short circular walk near Bushfoot Golf Club in the north coast resort of Portballintrae takes in stunning coastal scenery against the backdrop of the River Bush, Runkerry Strand, the Giants Causeway and Bushmills Heritage Railway.
This walk can easily be extended to provide coastal off-road access to the Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site.
There are other walks of different lengths and degrees of difficulty, all starting at the Council’s car park on Bushfoot Road. All of the walks offer fantastic coastal scenery along this beautifully rugged section of the Causeway Coast.
Distance 3 miles
OS Map Sheet 4
Terrain Variety of coastal walks
Nearest Town Portballintrae
Route Shape Circular
Grid Reference C934422
Route Type Coastal
The starting point is the Council’s car park on Bushfoot Road, adjacent to Bushfoot Golf Club.
Leave the car park and proceed inland along the laneway towards the Heritage Railway line. Take care crossing the railway line and turn left onto the shared use path (Part of National Cycle Network Route 93).
The railway has been built to the Irish narrow gauge of three feet (0.915m) and runs for 2 miles along the track bed of the former Giant’s Causeway Tram. The tramway opened in 1883 and was hailed as the world’s first commercially run ‘hydro-electric’ powered tram system. It originally ran from Portrush to Bushmills with a later extension added to the Giants Causeway. The tramway ran for 65 years before finally closing down in 1949.
Proceed along the path towards the River Bush. Take care crossing the golf course – observe the warning signage and give way to golfers. Having crossed the Bush, after about 100m turn left onto a sandy track and proceed over sandy grassland keeping the river to your left.
Follow the boardwalk along the edge of the river and follow the path towards the wooden footbridge, known locally as the Threequarter Footbridge. Having crossed the bridge follow the path for approx. 100m and then turn left along the signed public footpath. Follow this path to the golf club car park and proceed to the starting point in the adjacent Council car park.
The Bushmills & Giants Causeway Heritage Railway
Follow signs for Portballintrae. When approaching the village from Bushmills along Ballaghmore Road, turn right into Bushfoot Road (signed for Bushfoot Golf Club). At the end of this dead-end road turn right into Council’s car park (walks start point). The car park on the left is Bushfoot Golf Club’s private car park.
Translink – journeyplanner.translink.co.uk
Refreshments and toilets available in Bushmills and Portballintrae
- There may not be a formalised path, and variable, single file trails are to be expected.
- Gradients and cross slope could be expected to be steep and not limited.
- Obstacles and surface breaks of greater than 75mm measured across the line of the path to be expected.
- Overhanging branches are possible. Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.