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  • Availability is mainly in the summer vacation period (June, July, August, September), when students clear their rooms
  • Rooms typically become available two to three months in advance, so please revisit the website within that period if nothing is available now

Visitor accommodation in Coleraine

Not just for students - anyone can book!

  • Staying in university accommodation in Coleraine is a convenient and affordable way to visit this small town in Northern Ireland
  • With modern ensuite rooms, it is a comfortable and cost effective alternative to staying in a hostel or cheap hotel
  • Centrally located rooms are mainly available in the summer vacation period, and all are just a short drive from the famous Giant's Causeway

Coleraine Visitor information

Coleraine is a large town near the mouth of the River Bann in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, situated at the lowest bridgeable point of the River Bann, where the river is 90 metres wide. It is 55 miles (88.5 km) northwest of Belfast and 30 miles (48.3 km) east of Derry. Championship golf courses, scenic countryside and a host of leisure facilities and attractions are all on the doorstep and the town boasts an attractive town centre, a marina and the prestigious Riverside theatre.

Coleraine is the main town of the world famous Causeway Coast, which attracts over two million visitors per year. During the day is a busy town, but at night it is relatively quiet, with much of the night life in the area located in the nearby seaside towns of Portrush and Portstewart. The town square is called 'The Diamond' and is the location of the Town Hall. St. Patrick's Church of Ireland is also situated nearby. Although the population of the town is only about 24,000, Coleraine has a large catchment area. The town also has the advantage of being near some of the most extraordinary landscape in the whole of Europe.

In 2002, Coleraine won the Best Kept Town and Ulster in Bloom awards. In 2003, it was selected to represent Northern Ireland in the prestigious Britain in Bloom competition. The world famous Giant's Causeway is a twenty–five minute bus ride away. The distillery village of Bushmills is well served by buses from the town and there is a narrow-gauge steam train running in the summer from Bushmills to the Giant's Causeway. The east side of the town is distinguished by Mountsandel Forest, which contains the Mount Sandel fort, an ancient site which has been claimed as the oldest site of human settlement in Ireland.

Accommodation in Coleraine’s university residences

Coleraine is the location of a University of Ulster campus and houses the university's administration buildings. It is the original campus of what was originally the New University of Ulster and is noted as a world-class centre of research for biomedical sciences. Casual accommodation is available during the vacation periods for guests. It should be understood that these residences are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, the properties do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.

Getting to Coleraine

City of Derry Airport to the west, Belfast International Airport to the south and George Best Belfast City Airport to the south–east are all relatively accessible from Coleraine. 

Northern Ireland Railways runs from Londonderry railway station along the scenic shore of Lough Foyle, with great views of the Inishowen in County Donegal as well as the Atlantic via Coleraine to Belfast Central railway station and Belfast Great Victoria Street railway station. Coleraine railway station is an important junction for the line to Portrush railway station connecting the busiest seaside resort in Northern Ireland. Coleraine railway station and Portrush railway station are near the Giant's Causeway where connecting Ulsterbus run. Ulsterbus also run connections from Portrush railway station to Portstewart as well as Coleraine railway station.

History of Coleraine

Coleraine has a long history of settlement. The Mesolithic site at Mount Sandel, which dates from approximately 5935 BC is some of the earliest evidence of human settlement in Ireland. The Tripartite Life of Saint Patrick records how the town got its name. When Patrick arrived in the neighbourhood, he was received with great honour and hospitality by the local chieftain, Nadslua, who offered him a piece of ground on which to build a church. The spot was next to the river Bann and was overgrown with ferns, which led to the area being called Cúil Raithin ("nook of ferns"), which was later anglicized as Colrain, Colerain and Coleraine. The town was one of the two urban communities developed by the London Companies in County Londonderry (hence, Londonderry) in the Plantation of Ulster at the start of the 17th century.

The slightly skewed street pattern of Coleraine's town centre is legacy of that early exercise in town planning, along with traces of the lines of the ramparts that provided the Plantation town with its defences. With some industrialisation, the expansion of the river port, and the development of the railway, the town expanded significantly throughout the 19th century and into the early part of the 20th century. Coleraine steadily expanded after the Second World War. The population doubled due to major industrial development on extensive suburban sites, the decision to site the New University of Ulster (now known as the University of Ulster) in the town, the expansion of commerce and the development of sporting and recreational facilities. Since 1980 growth has continued but at a slightly more modest pace.

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