Built on a peninsula, Portrush commands exceptional views to Donegal, Dunluce Castle and the Giants Causeway headland, it also has two very good beaches and excellent coastal walks. You'll find all the facilities you would need for a family vacation or a base to explore the surrounding area from. Within the town there are a selection of indoor venues which include Waterworld, The Dunluce Centre, The Coastal Zone, 'Barry's Amusements' and a choice of restaurants, cafe's and bars.
A 3km stroll along Curran Strand (East Strand) will bring you to the spectacular White Rocks where you can continue by footpath to
Dunluce Castle. On the outskirts of the town you will find Ballywillan Old Church.
An ancient sand dune system separates the beach from the Royal Portrush Golf Course, midway along the beach lies a deep hollow between the dunes and the golf course - it is here, in 1103, that Magnus Barefoot, the King of Norway is believed to have been killed during a battle with Irish clans. The stretch of water between Curran Strand and the Skerries, a ring of small uninhabited islands, is known as the Skerry Roads and for centuries it has offered sheltered anchorage to shipping. The town is recorded as being granted to Richard de Burgo in 1305.
It derives its name from Portros, Portross or Portrossce, the meaning relates to its location, Port of the Promontory. The area is known to have been the site of human settlement for over 1500 years. Shortly after the last ice age some ten thousand years ago, the promontory was an island surrounded by bog land, peat deposits are sometimes exposed on Mill Strand (West Strand).
Evidence of early settlements were also uncovered near Curran Strand (East
Strand) car park and Causeway Street. The town later had a church and castle of strategic importance, nothing remains of either, they were both ransacked and partly destroyed by
General Munro during the 1641- 49 conflict in Ireland.
The large harbour was home to the lifeboat 'Katie Hannan' which was wrecked on Rathin in January 2008. She arrived in Portrush in September of 2000 and is named after the late Mrs. Katrina Hannan of London who bequeathed a share of her estate to the Royal National Lifeboat Institute. This 'Severn' class lifeboat was the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, with a range of 250 nautical miles and a speed of 25 knots she is well able to cover the often rough waters of the north channel and western approaches.
The lifeboat station was founded in 1860 and to date has saved over three hundred lives and received eight silver and one bronze medals for bravery. The original harbour nestles behind the shelter of Ramore headland and is still used today for berthing small tenders and open rowing boats.
info from: Northern Ireland North Coast Web Site - Coleraine Council - Causeway coast route