The draw is the Antrim coastline and its stunning beaches, but now the seaside town that serves them is getting a long overdue facelift
The kids are stripped to their undies and on a continuous loop ferrying water from the rock pools to the beach. They top out castles built with buckets and spades bought hastily at the seaside shop. Parents have been caught on the hop by the outbreak of high summer in April and are sitting shielding their eyes from the white-sand glare next to a pile of discarded coats, hats, gloves and jumpers. This is Portrush on the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland, where even in summer the average high is a breezy 19C and shapeshifting clouds offer more shade than light.
In celebratory mood, we bundle them off to Morelli’s parlour for scoops of sea-salty caramel ice-cream and giggle-inducing knickerbocker glories. After a spin on the dodgems at Barry’s Amusements and games of “shove penny” at the Sportsland arcade, we sit on the beach eating off trays from Mr Chips on scruffy Main Street.