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Coronavirus: Temptation of Helen's Bay seaside trip proves too much for many during lockdown in Northern Ireland

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Hundreds flock to Helen's Bay, a local beauty spot outside Belfast. Photo By Justin Kernoghan

Hundreds flock to Helen's Bay, a local beauty spot outside Belfast. Photo By Justin Kernoghan

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Hundreds flock to Helen's Bay, a local beauty spot outside Belfast. Photo By Justin Kernoghan

The smell of the ocean, a fresh breeze on faces in the late May sunshine, sand between the toes - all the encouragement needed to plot a great escape.

And the temptation to break free of lockdown shackles, to blow off two months of cobwebs, proved too great for many families as they descended on Helen's Bay over the Bank Holiday weekend. Given an inch, there's always a danger of people taking a little bit more.

The beach along the north Down coastline regularly attracts families, dog walkers, cyclists, joggers and, despite government warnings that things are not yet back to normal, numbers were high.