Beachfront Seafood and Favourite B&Bs in Portstewart

Harry's Shack, Portstewart, Northern Ireland (Image: Sharon McAuley)

Seafood restaurant Harry’s Shack has quickly become one of the most popular dining spots in the Northern Ireland town of Portstewart. (Image: Sharon McAuley)

Quick tips for pandemic-weary golfers who have dreamed of playing the links of Northern Ireland ever since the 2019 Open at Royal Portrush.

(Last updated April 2021.)

There are few things I like more than fresh-caught seafood—especially when it’s served in a beachfront restaurant not more than a solid five-iron shot from one of the world’s great links.

Harry’s Shack, in the lively Northern Ireland town of Portstewart, serves everything from pork belly bites to prawn tails (in shell) to the whole grilled catch of the day. The décor is informal and the wait staff young and exuberant. If it weren’t for the lilting Irish accents, you might think you’ve been suddenly transported to a surfside resto in California.

It’s the perfect relaxing end to a day spent playing Portstewart Golf Club, just off the beach to the rear of Harry’s, or Royal Portrush Golf Club, in the neighbouring town of Portrush. Both communities anticipate a post-pandemic rush of golf tourists who watched the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush on television and have been eager to visit ever since.

If you go, try to book a room as far in advance as you can in Portstewart, my favourite of the two towns. Two B&B’s I’ve stayed at and loved are Strand House and Saltwater House, both ideally located down the street from Portstewart’s clubhouse.

Also be sure to make time to explore the shops, bakeries and eateries on Portstewart’s charming waterfront main street. And an essential walk, should you find yourself there on one of Northern Ireland’s rare sunny days, is along the winding coastal path leading to three kilometres of glorious white-sand beach known as the Portstewart Strand.

Just be careful not to wear yourself out for your next round of golf.