Portrush (from Irish: Port Rois, meaning “promontory port”) is a small seaside resort town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, on the County Londonderry border. The main part of the old town, including the railway station as well as most hotels, restaurants and bars, is built on a mile–long peninsula, Ramore Head, pointing north-northwest. In the off-season, Portrush is a dormitory town for the nearby campus of the University of Ulster at Coleraine. It neighbours the resort of Portstewart.
The town is well known for its three sandy beaches, the West Strand, East Strand and White Rocks, as well as the Royal Portrush Golf Club, the only golf club outside of mainland Great Britain which has hosted the Open Championship.
Portrush is in the East Londonderry constituency for the UK Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly.
Portrush was occupied during the “Larnian” (late Irish Mesolithic) period; recent estimates date this to around 4000 BC.
The site of Portrush, with its excellent natural defences, probably became a permanent settlement around the 12th or 13th century. A church is known to have existed on Ramore Head at this time, but no part of it now survives.
The promontory also held two castles, at varying periods. The first of these, Caisleán an Teenie, is believed to have been at the tip of Ramore Head, and probably destroyed in the late 16th century; the other, Portrush Castle, may have been built around the time of the Plantation of Ulster in the early 17th century. Nothing survives of either castle.
Following the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in the mid-seventeenth century, Portrush became a small fishing town. It grew heavily in the nineteenth century as a tourist destination, following the opening of theBallymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine and Portrush Junction Railway in 1855, and by the turn of the twentieth century had become one of the major resort towns of Ireland, with a number of large hotels and boarding houses including the prominent Northern Counties Hotel.
As well as the town’s beaches and the Royal Portrush Golf Club (opened 1888), the nearby Giant’s Causeway was a popular tourist destination, with the Giant’s Causeway Tramway – at the time, one of the world’s longest electrified railways – built in 1893 to cater to travellers coming from Portrush.
The town’s fortunes peaked in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and declined after the Second World War with the growth of foreign travel. It escaped any involvement in The Troubles until 6 August 1976, when a series of bombings of properties burned out and destroyed several buildings, though with no loss of life. In a second attack in April 1987, two officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary were shot in the back by the Provisional Irish Republican Army while on foot patrol on Main Street.
Portrush is a nice summer village full with nice restaurants hotels and casinos and a beautiful sunset.