Gliding, Bellarena

The Ulster Gliding club at Bellarena is one of the finest soaring sites in UK and Ireland thanks to the conditions afforded by its location beneath the cliffs of Binevenagh on the Magilligan Peninsula. From the end of Drumnahay Lodge’s lane, turn left and it’s literally less than 2mins drive away. Formerly and for a significant period 1978-1993, the club occupied a rented site on our farm at Drumnahay. Then in 1993, they were able to acquire their own premises a short distance away which marked a new stage of development and expansion of the club. The club offers training of trial lessons of 1 or 2 day courses. It is a sport that can be enjoyed by all ages. Taking up gliding does not mean you have to become a racing or aerobatic pilot. Many people just enjoy the novelty and thrill of seeing the world from a different perspective whilst acquiring or improving on their basic flying skills. Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned forever skyward, for there you have been and there you long to return” Leonardo da Vinci quoted in the Ulster Gliding Club’s mission statement to inspire all those would be- gliding enthusiasts.
Gliders are able to use the same air currents that birds use and the aircraft have been designed with the kind of aerodynamic efficiency that enables speeds up to 170 mph. Distances of over 200miles have been covered from Bellarena in one day with heights up to 20,000ft.

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Hang-gliding and para-gliding. Bellarena

The same conditions afforded by the location at Bellarena, under the cliffs of Binevenagh is also very favourable for hang-gliding. From Gortmore Viewing Point at 853 ft, the summit of Binevenagh (accessed from The Bishops Road), often hang-gliders can be seen hovering over Magilligan point. They make a very colourful spectacle against the already magnificent scenery, inspiring awe in many passers-by at the skill and nerve of the participants.

Mr Bob Rodwell
tel 012477 58777 or 015047 50301
Mr Bertie Kennedy tel 01232 832648

Angling. River Roe at Myroe

The river Roe one of the finest angling rivers in the area is less than 3 mins away. At the end of Drumnahay Lodge’s lane, turn right and continue until you come to Swan’s Bridge, Myroe. Turn right as if to go over the Bridge. There is a very picturesque picnic site here with tables and thatched gazebos. The river can be accessed here and includes a pathway for disabled fishermen. The River Roe rises in the Sperrins and flows for over 50 kilometers through Dungiven and the Roe Valley. It is a medium spate river that offers good runs of brown trout, sea trout and salmon. The season runs from 20th May to 20th October.
Licences are available from the following outlets:
SJ Mitchell, Newtown Square, Limavady. 028 77722128
Pets r Us. Connell St Car park, Limavady 028 77766347


Roe valley cycles, Limavady It is possible to hire bikes for touring or racing for a daily, weekly or weekend fee. Kid’s bikes are also for hire. The Bishops road starting at Downhill, travelling over Binevenagh mountain towards Limavady is a favourite route for mountain biking, but only for the fittest. It is possible to enter the Bishops road by taking any of the small roads from Magilligan and Bellarena that lead towards the mountain.

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The nearest golf club to Drumnahay Lodge is a small golf course at Benone, near Benone Complex which is about 5 mins away, turning left out of the Lodge lane. Castlerock golf course is much larger. The Championship Mussenden Links is a 6700 yard par 73 and its fine points include seaside routing, firm fast greens and the backdrop of stunning scenery wherever you look.
There is also a 9 hole Bann course closer to the sea. It is recommended you start with this one in the morning, then after a nice lunch at the Clubhouse you will be ready for the challenge of the championship course in the afternoon.
For golf enthusiasts, RoyalPortrush will need no introduction. This is a about a 30mins drive from Bellarena that takes you beyond Coleraine (A2,) then following signs for Portrush a small coastal town, about 3 miles further. The legendary Royal Portrush Golf Club has two Championship courses, the renowned Dunluce course and the small valley course. Both command impressive views across the North Atlantic with breathtaking views of Scotland and Donegal.
Golf World magazine regularly rates RoyalPortrush in the World’s top twenty golf courses. Quite an accolade!

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Sea Shed – Coffee & Surf

To experience the true beach culture on the Causeway Coast check out the Long Line Surf School in Benone. Long Line Surf School provides lessons to teach the skills and techniques of surfing and stand up paddle boarding (SUP). The owners of Longline Surf School also run two cafes: the Boardwalk Cafe located within the Benone Complex and the Sea Shed coffee bar and surf rental shop at the end of Benone Avenue, literally on Benone beach. The Boardwalk offers breakfast, lunches, coffee and pastries. There is a spacious interior, sofas to relax on, a play area outside and various activities such as crazy golf to keep the kids amused. The Sea Shed offers the most superb speciality coffee and cakes. Although the seating area is limited, there are plenty of garden seats outside to enjoy the seaside experience.

Crusoes Coffee Shop

Crusoes Coffee Shop is situated in the seaside village of Castlerock. Opened in 2004, the owner Roger Robinson has realised his vision to create a relaxing and homely environment in which people can enjoy superb coffee, freshly prepared food and friendly service. In regular intervals, Roger organises evenings where great food is served while international or local artists play live music of high calibre.


Castlerock Community Association will be hosting a weekend of guided walks supported by the National Trust 17 Sept to 18th Sept, 2011. The routes will take you through Binevenagh’s Area of Outstanding Beauty. Hopefully these will be repeated. Check website below for more details at other times. Hill and Bog walks are on Saturday and Sunday setting off from the Peter Thompson Hall, Castlerock at 10am, duration 4-5hours. Walk and talks on Saturday at Downhill Demesne meadow and Glen walk; Forest walk on Sunday. Sets off from the Peter Thompson Hall11am, duration 2-3 hours There will also be a family walk on Sunday, suitable for children. Dogs are only allowed on the family walk and must be kept on a lead. Family walk departs from peter Thompson hall at 2.30pm Light refreshments are provided after the walk and there is the chance to view local exhibitions.
Contact:Paddy Baillie 07944049481

Most of the Local attractions listed provide opportunities for walking e.g. Glens of Antrim, Giant’s Causeway, Downhill House and Mussenden temple, Mountsandel Fort and Wood, Coleraine, Binevenagh Lake, Roe Valley Park, Limavady. For those who need more of a challenge, who want to maintain fitness and have the stamina, and enthusiasm to embrace a wilder version of nature, here are a couple of suggestions.

For further suggestions check and look for walks that are part of the Ulster Way.

Coastal Walks “off the Beaten Track”

Dunseverick to Portbraddan and Ballintoy Harbour

Another spectacular walk and one of my favourites is Dunseverick on the Causeway Coast, beyond the Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce castle. The walk starts at the ruins of Dunseverick castle, traversing cliff paths and meadowlands with sheep and cattle grazing peacefully, along some stony beaches and harbours until you reach the dramatic gaping chasm in the cliffs that is Port Braddon. You can continue further along Whitepark bay towards Ballintoy passing by some little beach villages that virtually hug the shoreline. This walk is over 2 hours long if you go all the way to Ballintoy harbour. Save some energy for the return. If you want a shorter walk you can make Portbraddan your Turning point, making the whole walk about an hour.

North Antrim Cliff Walk. Giant’s Causeway to Dunseverick

If you are looking for a longer coastal walk also off the beaten track, the north Antrim Cliff Walk (part of the Ulster Way) starts at the Giant’s Causeway car park and has as its destination the ruins of Dunseverick Castle. This is about 5 miles long.
If you can face the return, that’s great. If not there is an hourly shuttle bus in summer. From the Giant’s Causeway, following the Cliff top path. You will pass by a number of headlands with really striking and memorable names. The first one is Weir’s Snout after which you will come to the “Amphitheatre”, a bay only accessible to birds. This vantage point offers truly panoramic views looking back towards the Causeway.
The other headlands you will pass by are called Port na Spaniagh, the King and his Nobles, Plaiskin Head, Hamilton’s Seat, Benbane head, Bengore head, Portnabrock culminating in the largest bay of Port Moon. Dunseverick is one mile further on. This section opens up into farmland with grazing cattle and sheep being a common sight. This is an organic farm and is owned by the National Trust. Naturally you have to give way to the animals and make sure all dogs are on leads at all times.
Dunseverick was a royal site in the past with a history of resident Ulster Clans. The great road north of Tara ended here. The raiding Vikings and even St Patrick are associated with this sight.

Horse Riding

There are a number of riding schools to choose from within easy travelling distance. The closest one is at Myroe, not more than 5 mins away in the direction of Limavady.

Crindle Stables

The school is DARD approved (Department of Agriculture and Rural Development). Experienced instructors can provide riding tuition for people of all levels of ability and age groups from 4 years to senior citizens.
The school has 25 ponies to suit adults and children depending on experience and size. There is an indoor and outdoor arena where the lessons take place. This can be a great way to spend a day or two, whether you have rode in the past and perhaps wish to re-visit some happy memories or you fancy trying something new, immersing yourself in a rural pursuit as you are indeed in the country.
In the opposite direction, near Castlerock there is a riding school at Ballyhackett. At the crossroads leading to Castlerock (where the Hezlett House is situated) you will see a brown sign pointing in the opposite direction towards the mountain, indicating Hill Farm Riding Centre.
Address: Hill Farm Riding Centre, 47 Altikeeragh Road, Castlerock.
Tel 028 70848476



Belfast and the Best of Northern Ireland

by Rick Steves Europe


by Top Ten Archive