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Popular with holidaymakers of all ages and home to one of the best beaches in the whole of Ireland, the upmarket Victorian seaside resort of Portstewart caters for just about everyone, from surfers and golfers to families and couples looking for a romantic getaway.
Sitting to the north of County Londonderry overlooking the Atlantic, there are lots of three star hotels in and around the resort and, if you choose to stay in one of them, you’ll be able to explore the area confident in the knowledge that you won’t be breaking your budget. Many are in great locations in the town centre or close to the beach and all provide an affordable, comfortable place to stay.
The undoubted star of the show in Portstewart is a glorious two-mile stretch of beach that features in the top 10 list of tourist attractions in Northern Ireland. It is a massive hit with surfers looking to take on the wild waves of the Atlantic and children armed with buckets and spades. Enclosed by a long, crescent-shaped promenade and rocky headlands, Portstewart Strand runs between the town and the mouth of the River Bann. It attracts more than 180,000 visitors every year and features zoned areas for watersports and a visitor centre operated by the National Trust, which owns and manages the beach. It is also the proud holder of a coveted Blue Flag, which recognises its excellent water quality, high standards of cleanliness, safety and user-friendly facilities.
Portstewart Strand is a designated Area of Special Scientific Interest, with a dune system which was formed about 6,000 years ago. In places the dunes reach heights of up to 30 metres and Neolithic pottery, bronze pins and Roman jewellery have all been found in the area. They also provide a home to many species of rare butterflies and orchids which can be viewed from waymarked trails.
A coastal path running across the clifftops provides the best views of the ocean. The route runs from Portstewart to Barmouth, where the Bann flows out into the Atlantic, taking in an imposing Gothic mansion and a series of historic battlements en route. The river is a haven for nesting birds, wildfowl and waders and beyond Barmouth lie Castlerock, the Mussenden Temple and two more fine beaches - Benone Strand and Magilligan Strand.
County Derry is home to some of the best courses in Northern Ireland. If you like the challenge of a top quality links track check out Castlerock Golf Club or Portstewart Golf Club, which boasts a championship standard course, while Royal Portrush Golf Club is the only one in Ireland to have hosted the Open Championship.
With their attentive staff and extensive facilities, the three star hotels in and around Portstewart offer comfortable and affordable accommodation and will provide you with the perfect base for exploring County Derry’s many and varied attractions.