Phil Davidson is Wildlife and Countryside Advisor for the National Trust and has more than 30 years of experience working in the Northern Ireland countryside, working in nature conservation management and wildlife interpretation.
Asked to name Northern Ireland's five best beaches, he recommends...
Portstewart Strand, County Londonderry
Sweeping along the edge of the North Coast, this two-mile stretch of golden sand is one of Northern Ireland's finest beaches and offers views of Inishowen headland and Mussenden Temple perched atop the cliffs. It is an ideal place for lazy picnics, surfing, slacklining and long walks into the sand dunes where wild pansy flowers dance in the breeze and common blue and dark green fritillary butterflies abound. Visit this month to see beautiful orchids in the dunes.
White Park Bay, County Antrim
This spectacular sandy beach forms a white arc between two headlands on the North Antrim Coast. Its secluded location means that even on a busy day there is plenty of room for quiet relaxation. The beach is backed by ancient dunes that provide important habitats for birds, animals and plant life.
Murlough Nature Reserve, County Down
Murlough National Nature Reserve is an extraordinarily beautiful dune landscape overlooked by the rounded peaks of the Mourne Mountains. It is a fragile 6,000-year-old sand dune system looked after by the National Trust and managed as Ireland's first Nature Reserve since 1967. It is an excellent area for walking and bird watching due to its spectacular location at the edge of Dundrum Bay and the Mourne Mountains. The views are spectacular at any time of the year.
Whiterocks Beach, County Antrim
The limestone cliffs of the White Rocks stretch from Curran Strand to Dunluce Castle. It is a perfect stopping-off place after a stunning drive along the Causeway Coastal route, and just a stone's throw from the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. These soft, sedimentary rocks have been carved through centuries into a labyrinth of caves and arches. A truly beautiful beach to spend some time.
This is a real hidden gem. Situated on the Irish Sea coast of the Ards Peninsula, a long narrow road takes you through green drumlins where you reach the charming village of Kearney with its sandy beach. The village dates back to the early 18th century and stunning walks will take you along the coastline with rare plants such as yellow horned poppies. From here you will be able to look across to the Mull of Galloway and Isle of Man on a good day.
Give us your view by leaving a comment below...
More Tele recommends: