|Population||734 (2001 Census)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|
Portballintrae (from Irish: Port Bhaile an Trá, meaning "port of the beach settlement") is a small seaside village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is four miles east of Portrush and two miles west of the Giant's Causeway. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 734 people, a decline of 10% compared to 1991. It lies within the Causeway Coast and Glens District Council area.
Portballintrae was originally a fishing village; a cluster of whitewashed cottages nestled around the horse shoe-shaped Ballintrae Bay. Many of its earlier buildings have been restored and maintained. The original village houses were built in a line along the seashore and many old cottages still stand on the shore. Portballintrae has undergone rapid growth since the 1970s. However, there has been a steady change in its character, with almost all the recent dwellings completed acquired as second homes, and a considerable proportion of the older housing changing also to second homes. Considerably less than half of the dwellings in the village remain as permanent residences. House prices are high; a modest three bedroom bungalow would be expected to realise anything up to £300,000, those with sea views realise considerably more than this. It is thought that the majority of the housing and development issues were caused by overzealous local developers. In the summer of 2009, a new village hall was constructed by the sea-front car park complete with conference suite, IT facilities and a newsagents.
Off the coast of Portballintrae a team of Belgian divers brought up the greatest find of Spanish Armada treasure ever recovered from a wrecked ship. The Girona's recovered gold jewellery is on show in the Ulster Museum, Belfast.
Places of interest
- The ruins of Dunluce Castle sit on the edge of a cliff between Portballintrae and Portrush. The castle was the main stronghold of the MacDonnell chiefs of Antrim.
- Much of Portballintrae and its surrounding area is owned by the Macnaghten family of Dundarave House and Runkerry House. Runkerry, once the home of Lord Macnaghten has since been converted into a series of apartments.
- The Giant's Causeway Tramway runs through the sand dunes above the largest beach in Portballintrae, commonly known as Runkerry Strand, and Bushfoot Golf Club. This railway, popular with tourists runs between The Giants Causeway and Bushmills.
Portballintrae is classified as a small village or hamlet by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 500 and 1,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 734 people living in Portballintrae. Of these:
- 12.0% were aged under 16 years and 33.4% were aged 60 and over
- 48.9% of the population were male and 51.1% were female
- 1.0% were from a Catholic background and 96.5% were from a Protestant background.
- 2.1% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed
- Coleraine Borough Council
- Draft Northern Area Plan 2016