Derry’s largest coastal resort, PORTSTEWART, like its near neighbour Portrush, is full of Victorian boarding houses. Of the two, Portstewart is decidedly more sedate and has always had more airs and graces: the train station is said to have been built a mile out of town to stop hoi polloi from coming. In terms of sheer location, though, Portstewart wins hands down. Just west of the town is Portstewart Strand, a long sand beach firm enough to drive on – which the locals delight in doing – with some of the best surfing in the country. It’s a grand place, too, if you hit fine weather and feel like getting out your bucket and spade. The best way to take the sea air is the bracing cliffside walk, which runs between the beach and the town, passing battlements and an imposing Gothic mansion, now a Dominican college.

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