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Northern Ireland


Beautiful coastal scenery in Northern Ireland

If you are looking for a Self-catering holiday cottage by the beach in the UK, Northern Ireland might just be perfect for you, not too far away but still with the feeling of being abroad. The main gateway into Northern Ireland is Belfast the country's capital. Ferries operate from many British regions such as Fleetwood in England, Stranraer in Scotland and from the Isle of Man. You can also fly to Belfast's international airport from many airports in Britain.

Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is described as an extension of the British coastline with its large bays, secluded beaches, stunning cliffs and its many varieties of habitat. With over 200 kilometers of amazing coastline and diverse beach, Northern Ireland is a wonderful destination for a beach getaway, water sports holiday or fishing. Much of the land is ranked as an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' and boasts an abundance of wildlife, activities and industry.

Antrim is one of Northern Ireland's prominent counties, boasting the wonderful sights of the Giant's Causeway, an amazing icon of Ireland and a World heritage site. You can also discover the wonderful Girona wreck off the coast of the Giant's causeway, sunk in 1588 during the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the Girona's canon is now to be found at Dunluce Castle in Antrim. The county of Londonderry is also a great place to visit, its dramatic coastline is home to Portstewart Strand and the popular seaside resort of Portrush. Portstewart strand is a beautiful area of golden beaches and fantastic sand dunes, well worth a visit.

County Down is also well known for its abundance of wildlife and historical heritage. Strangford Lough has some great Neolithic and Victorian influences as well as a selection of archaeological associations. It is a conservation area and is recognised around the world for the great natural importance.

Northern Ireland also boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Its land formation enables long stretches of golden sand and some amazing sand dunes. Many of the beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag award which has categories of cleanliness, quality of bathing water and safety features. Listed to the right are the beaches awarded the Blue flag as of 2011.

Northern Ireland is also popular for its fantastic dining experience and retail therapy. With an amazing selection of shops and boutiques on offer, from high street stores to small family run shops Northern Ireland can provide for your shopping needs. In terms of eating out, there is a huge variety of restaurants, many of which award winning. Northern Ireland creates some amazing produce due to its mild climate, delivering the perfect ingredients to cater for your favourite dishes, presented at a high quality. Lough Neagh is Europe's greatest source of eel, Bushmills Whiskey has been produced in Antrim for over 400 years and the Comber Potato is grown in county down with finally the best venison meat in the world found here also!

Click to discover cottages near the beach in Ireland.


County Down's amazing coastal beauty


Facts: Northern Ireland


  • Comber potatoes grown in County Down have been granted protected geographical indication status.
  • Seaweed is collected from the coast to fertilise the soil.
  • Ballygally Castle in Antrim is said to be one of the most haunted places in Ireland.
  • The Irish Academy of Engineers has recommended a tunnel be built under the sea linking Ireland and Wales.
  • In olden days, often a pig was allowed to live in the house with an Irish family on a farm.

Blue Flag awarded Beaches 2011:

  • Magilligan/Benone, Londonderry
  • Downhill, Londonderry
  • Portstewart Strand, Londonderry
  • Portrush West Strand, Antrim
  • Portrush East Strand, Antrim
  • Whiterocks, Antrim
  • Tyrella, Down 
  • Ballyronan Marina, Down