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How our local famous faces made most of summer sun

‘I’m so happy I picked this year to stay here, it was wonderful’

Paul Clark, UTV Live presenter, lives in Belfast with his wife Carol. They have two grown-up sons .

For the first time ever I managed to get four weeks off together this summer, and what a summer to pick. We had three bases during this time - the first one was at home, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There is nothing better than sitting in your own back garden in the sunshine and reading a good book and drinking a cup of coffee. It was bliss.

Walking about my hometown of Belfast during the time I was off, I felt like I was on holidays, as everyone was in such a good mood and out and about enjoying the weather. There was a definite feelgood factor.

We normally go to France every year, but this year we decided to have a staycation, and I am so glad we did.

I always say a holiday is as much a state of mind as it is a state of place.

After the time at home, we spent a week in Donegal. I have conversational Irish and was able to practise this when we were away, as we were on the edge of the Gaeltacht area.

Our final week was spent in Castlerock, where my wife has some friends from her university days who have a house, so we had a great week up there with them.

I like to chill out and spend time in Northern Ireland whatever the weather, but this year it was just that extra bonus.

With the weather being so good there is nowhere like home, and this was the perfect place to be this summer.

I travel a lot for work, but time around I didn't even have to get on a plane.

I felt so fortunate that I picked this year to be at home. It was wonderful."

‘The good weather made the season last and feel longer’

Pete Snodden (38), Cool FM presenter, lives in Bangor with his wife Julia and their two daughters Ivana (7) and Elayna (3).

This has been the best summer I can remember. It was amazing. I definitely have withdrawal symptoms and post-summer blues now it is over.

This is usually the start of the favourite time of the year - between September and Christmas - but this year I am really missing the summer now that it is the old back to school routine. The good weather just made the summer last and feel longer.

We are very fortunate in that we have a caravan on the north coast, so we were able to spend a great deal of time up there.

We spent our days on the beaches and the girls enjoyed trips to Barry's and eating out in various local restaurants.

We spent most of the summer outside and had BBQs and great fun in the garden.

We also spent a lot of time in Bangor - just simple pleasures such as going down to the seafront and eating ice cream.

We had a fantastic summer as a family and there is nowhere I would rather have been than in Northern Ireland.

We made some amazing memories with the girls."

‘We got into the clubhouse and saw the players’

Khara Pringle (45), photographer, lives in Newtownards with her daughter Aryia (6).

For the first time in a long while, we didn't go abroad on holidays this year. I decided to take Aryia over to London to see the tennis at Wimbledon, and she had an absolute ball.

We went to the men's semi-final and the men's final, and she sat through a 20-game final set. She was mesmerised. She was the youngest spectator in the audience, but she plays tennis and loves it.

We got into the clubhouse and saw all the top players. It was the experience of a lifetime and something she will remember for ever.

We also went shopping in Brick Lane and did all the vintage shops and went to the V&A Museum. It cost a fortune over five days and we could have been away on a two-week holiday, but it was so worth it. At home, we enjoyed the fabulous weather and went to places like Cloughey Beach, Kearney coastal walk, Mount Stewart and Greyabbey.

We had days out and explored hidden gems.

It was a very special summer. I worked a lot, but the good weather meant I was able to do things after work and spend time with Aryia.

When you have kids and the weather is so good you, really focus on them and the things they want to do."

‘We caught fish and cooked it for meals... it was wonderful’

Noel Thompson, (62), BBC NI and Radio Ulster presenter, lives in Belfast with his wife, Sharon. They have two grown-up sons, Matthew and Patrick.

This truly has been an amazing summer. I spent a lot of it out and about and walking up mountains, and the weather made it so memorable. For the first time in my life, I made blackberry jam, from berries I picked in the Mournes.

I have to say that for a first attempt, it was a great success. They were growing wild and were massive, so we picked loads of them.

I didn't know what to do with them and then decided I had always wanted to try my hand at jam so I would make some. It was delicious.

As well as being out and about in Northern Ireland, we also went over to the highlands of Scotland to visit my son's fiancee's family. We had a great few days over there and climbed Ben Nevis.

We caught fish during the day and cooked it at night for our meals. It was wonderful and so tranquil and relaxing.

We also had a lot of friends and family visit us over the summer, and the weather just made getting out and about and doing things easier.

I would say, though, that I did find it a little hot on occasions and had to go inside to cool off."

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