Belfast Telegraph

We've magnificent coast is our proud boast

By Linda Stewart

We've been having a summer heatwave and chances are you've been hitting the beach.

But if you're starting to get bored with stretching out your towel on the sand, now might be the perfect opportunity to drink in the amazing sights on Ulster's stunning coastline.

This week we published a striking image of a girl watching baby dolphins frolicking in the shallows off Portrush at sunset, just one example of the rich wildlife frequenting our shores.

Add to that a wealth of historical remains dotting our cliffs and shores, with everything from Carrickfergus Castle and Dunluce to Europe's oldest tidal mill, built by the monks at Nendrum in Co Down and dating back to 619AD.

So it's the perfect opportunity to dig out your binoculars and start spotting the fascinating features along our coastline.

Dr Jade Berman of Ulster Wildlife explained why there is so much to grab our interest out there.

"Northern Ireland is at the crossroads of a marine superhighway where the mixing of the cooler waters from the north and the sub tropical waters from the Gulf Stream meet, providing a home to a wide range of sea creatures," she said. "This is why we get ocean giants such as basking sharks coming to take advantage of our plankton-rich waters. We can watch them on clear, calm days, especially from high up, such as Malin Head or Tor Head.

"We have really diverse sea life and if you take to time to go down to your local coast you never know what you may discover. There is plenty to see and do all around our coasts."

And should the weather turn inclement, Ulster Wildlife is bringing its ocean giant inflatables – life-size sharks, whales, dolphins and seals – to Foyle Shopping Centre from July 27-29 and to Newry from August 1-4.

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