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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

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