This short route along Waterfoot Beach encompasses beautiful wildflower meadows, two play parks, a seasonal café and plenty of picnic opportunities.

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Walk Route

Waterfoot Beach Walk

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  • Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

    Antrim Coast & Glens

    Mana at 10:31 pm
  • County Antrim

    Distance 1.8 miles

    OS Map Sheet 9

    Terrain Grass, beach, boardwalk

    Nearest Town Glenariff

    Route Shape Circular

    Grid Reference D241255

    Route Type Beach, Coastal, Parkland & Grassland

    Route Description

    On leaving Waterfoot carpark, veer left along the path and continue to walk along the mown grass path, looking out towards Red Bay Castle which projects out onto the headland just north of Glenariff. Once you reach the beach, turn right and continue to walk along the beach front and past the caravan park until you reach an opening in the sand dunes. Follow the boardwalk to the left, passing by species rich grasslands. Feel free to walk through the wildflower meadow and try to spot the Yellow-rattle flower and Small Copper butterfly. This conservation area is accessible via a kissing gate and access is restricted in Winter when cattle are here to graze the meadows. A short distance after this you will see a ball court and a play park comprising of balance beams, climbing net and a tunnel. In this area there is also seasonal café, selling hot drinks as well as a selection of sandwiches and traybakes. Continue to follow the path along the coast where you come across another playpark and carpark.  Depending on tide levels, you can take a left down onto the beach and walk back along the coast to the start point or retrace your steps along the coastal path.

    Point of Interest

    Species rich grasslands, views of Glenariff, beach

    Getting to the start

    From Ballymena, take the A43 Cushendun Road. Continue through Martinstwon, Cargan and passing by Glenariff Forest Park. When the road drops down to the coast, turn right following signs for the A2 to Larne. You are now in the village of Waterfoot, turn left after 100m into the car park where the walk starts.

    Public transport

    Translink –

    Dog Policy

    All dogs must be under control


    “Toilets Seasonal Cafe Picnic tables Play park”

    Accessibility Grade

    Grade 4

    • The path may not be hard and firm in all weathers with loose stones (not bigger than 10cm) with occasional tree roots and pot holes and will be at least 80cm wide for its entire length.
    • The path gradients and cross slopes will be greater than 6°.
    • Obstacles such as steps or stiles are to be expected and surface breaks may be larger 75mm in width.
    • There will be a clear head height of greater than 2.10m for the entire length of the route.
    • Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.