Antrim and Newtownabbey keen to promote open water swimming

Open water swimming is one of the activities suggested by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council to encourage more residents to exercise.

Fisherman's Quay, Carrickfergus. Image by Google.
Fisherman's Quay, Carrickfergus. Image by Google.

The council is keen to encourage greater physical activity among all age groups through sport and “non-traditional routes” which have been outlined in response to a pre-consultation survey by the Department for Communities prior to a ‘Strategy for Sport 2020-2030’.

Parkrun and ‘couch to 5k’ runs have also been suggested. All parkruns are currently suspended due to the Covid pandemic (read here).

In East Antrim, Fisherman’s Quay in Carrickfergus is a popular location for open swimmers including the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Councillor Peter Johnston, a Knockagh DUP councillor.

Antrim and Newtownabbey’s draft response also notes the impact of Covid-19 on mental health and the role of physical health in helping with mental health,  current and post-pandemic and impact on programmes and facilities.

Meanwhile, a cycling circuit of Lough Neagh is to become officially known as the Loughshore Trail; a route connecting Toomebridge and Coleraine will become known as the Lower Bann route. A route which cuts through the borough from Belfast to Larne will be known as the East to North West Coastal Route. All are mostly on-road.

A traffic-free route will link Lisburn, Belfast and Jordanstown.

The council says: “These routes are deemed important to local tourism and are significant in distance and scale.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter.


A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Thank you.