Portstewart in County Derry / Londonderry is a popular seaside destination famous for its inspiring sunsets. The song Red Sails in the Sunset, covered by the Beatles, was written about Portstewart -- which was once associated with the Victorian middle-class who took their holidays here.
Students and Holidaymakers
These days, the small town houses a large population of students, who attend the nearby Coleraine campus of the University of Ulster. During the summer, most of the students leave, and holidaymakers arrive.
Portstewart Promenade and Strand
- Portstewart's main street is situated along a pretty sea-front promenade
- The promenade overlookis Portstewart Strand -- a long, sandy beach, which is protected by the National Trust.
- Visitors can access the strand via a scenic cliff-top passage known as the Nun’s Walk.
- From the Nun's Walk, visitors can see the hills of Donegal, in the Republic of Ireland, across the bay. Portstewart itself is in Northern Ireland. (See: What is the difference between Ireland and Northern Ireland?)
The North West 200 Bike Race
- The world's fastest motorcycle road race, The North West 200, is held here every year
- More specifically, it is held in the area known as The Triangle, which encompasses Portstewart, Coleraine and Portrush
- The race typically attracts over 100,000 people, with bike fans from around the world attending.
Other Points of Interest
- Portstewart and its coastal environs are also popular with walkers.
- One popular 33 mile route known as the Causeway Coast Way follows the dramatic coastline from Portstewart to Ballycastle in County Antrim, passing through several major attractions. Read more.
- There are many fine golf clubs in the area, including Portstewart Golf Club, and Royal Portrush
- Portrush town itself lies four miles east of Portstewart
- Surfing and other adventure sports are becoming increasingly popular in Portstewart. Visitors will find a surf shop in the town, and surfing lessons are also available.
The promenade at Portstewart. Image: PhotomagBen