The popular Jordanstown Loughshore Park is the first stop on the Causeway Coastal Route if you’re tackling the trail from the Belfast side.
Just a short 10-minute drive from Belfast Ferry Port, Jordanstown Loughshore Park on the shores of Belfast Lough attracts visitors from all over Ireland.
It’s the first stop on the Coastal Causeway route, and you can get warmed up for the walk to Hazlebank Park at the outdoor gym while the children make use of the up-to-date playground.
Some quick need-to-knows about Jordanstown Loughshore Park
Although a visit to Jordanstown Loughshore Park is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Jordanstown Loughshore Park is the first stop on the Antrim Coast Drive, sitting on the shores of Belfast Lough in Newtownabbey. It’s 5 miles north of Belfast on the A2. The Park is approximately half an hour from Belfast Airport and a mere 10 minutes from the Ferry Port.
There’s a free car park at Jordanstown Loughshore Park, another at Hazlebank and yet another at the War Memorial. If you’re looking to walk the Coastal route, you can start at any of these points. The car park is open 24 hours.
3. Causeway Coastal Route
Stretching 190km between Derry and Belfast, the Causeway Coastal Route also has a further nine routes that loop off the main trail. The scenery varies from magnificent ocean views to towering mountains. Each route is different, giving unique glimpses into local life away from the hustle and bustle.
4. Café Barista
This small café is famed for its toffee ice cream, so if you’re looking for coffee, don’t be put off if you see a queue snaking out the door – it’s probably for the ice cream! Overlooking the Lough, it’s a gem of a place to relax and enjoy the view.
What to expect from a visit to Jordanstown Loughshore Park
If you’re debating a stop-off at Jordanstown Loughshore Park, here’s a little sense of what to expect when you arrive.
Although you wouldn’t spend hours here, it’s a great little place to stretch the legs and soak up some views.
1. The views
Whether it’s walking or cycling you like, you can travel for miles enjoying the fabulous views along this part of the Causeway Coastal Route. Jordanstown Loughshore Park is renowned for its magnificent views of Belfast Lough and across to County Down.
You can sit for hours, people watching as the boats come and go, or enjoy the Eider ducks as they march along the lake’s edge. When night falls and the stars illuminate the water, you can feel you’re in a place far, far away. Just remember to bring a jacket – it can get a bit chilly by the shore.
2. Decent sized playground
With a caravan park in the area, there will be lots of children making full use of the playground. It’s suitable for children aged 3-12, but some of the installations are pretty high so be aware if you have an adventurous climber.
The area is split into two spaces, one for toddlers and the other for older children. There’s also an open grass area which is great for kicking a ball or flying a kite, and if you’re feeling a bit energetic yourself, there’s an outdoor gym. August 2021 sees the addition of a Big Wheel, which is moving from Antrim Town.
3. Live events during summer
The impressive bandstand created by Skelton Rainey is a favourite among all visitors. Featuring jazz musicians cut from sheet metal, they provide the backing for bands performing here on summer Sundays. The kite flyers and amateur footballers on the green space make way for the Shoreline Festival at the end of August.
Things to do near Jordanstown Loughshore Park
One of the beauties of Jordanstown Loughshore Park is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Belfast.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Jordanstown Park (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Carrickfergus Castle (7-minute drive)
Built by the Norman John De Courcy in 1177, Carrickfergus Castle is one of the finest persevered castles in Northern Ireland. Besieged by the Scots, locals, English and French over the centuries and continued to play a military role until 1928. Check out the tour – it’s well worth the hour.
2. Belfast Zoo (10-minute drive)
Belfast Zoo covers 55 acres and is home to 150 animal species. A family of 5 can avail of the £38 family discount, and there’s a great play area for the children. You can rent an audio guide, but all the species are well explained on signs.
3. Cave Hill Country Park (15-minute drive)
Featuring a host of archaeological and historical features, Cave Hill is Belfast’s most prominent natural attraction. Home to Belfast Castle, an eco-trail, gardens and walking trails for all fitness levels, the Cave Hill Country Park must be on your itinerary. Watch out for Napoleon’s Nose, supposedly the inspiration for Gulliver’s Travels.
4. The Gobbins (20-minute drive)
Reasonable fitness is required for a visit to the Gobbins where you’ll walk along the two miles of tubular and suspension bridges, caves, a staircase and tunnels, but the exhilaration and views are exceptional. The history of this feat of engineering is well told by the guides, and safety is paramount.
FAQs about visiting Jordanstown Park
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from where is there to visit near Jordanstown Park to how much does the parking cost.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Is there parking at Jordanstown Park?
Yes – there’s free parking at Jordanstown Loughshore Park. There’s more parking at Hazlebank and even more at the nearby War Memorial, too!
What is there to do at Jordanstown Loughshore Park?
You can head for a stroll, soaking up the surrounding views of Belfast Lough, take the kids to the playground or attend one of the live events during summer.
What is there to see near Jordanstown Park?
As the park is the starting point for the Causeway Coastal Route, there’s plenty to see and do up along the coast. You’re also close to the city, which is home to endless attractions.
Norah is a writer and self-publisher of fiction and non-fiction. She adores the excitement of unknown places and together with several locations in Ireland, has, over 21 years, made her home in London, The Hague and New Zealand, returning to Ireland with her Kiwi rescue dog Barney, in tow.