Ben Lowry: Fond memories of Ballycastle and Helen’s Bay

Northern Ireland’s best place to live is Ballycastle, says the Sunday Times.

Helen’s Bay, pictured right last May. With fine summer weather already back this year, crowds will soon flock to its beach again
Helen’s Bay, pictured right last May. With fine summer weather already back this year, crowds will soon flock to its beach again

Then Londonderry.

Then Helen’s Bay. (See link below).

I have warm memories of going to Ballycastle as a child every August for a family tennis tournament week that was held there every year.

It is for sure one of the finest locations in NI (a joy of that annual week was a day trip to Barry’s, so it is good news that Portrush will retain the attraction, now called Curry’s. The town would be diminished if the site was filled with more flats).

Londonderry has a beautiful centre and a striking location on Lough Foyle. There is complaint about lack of infrastructure but that is not so surprising when you consider that it is in fact a small city. Compactness is part of its charm.

It has easy access to Donegal and the Antrim coast. Also a road to Belfast that is getting better this very year with the new Dungiven bypass.

But Helen’s Bay has a special place in my heart. I grew up on a less fashionable part of the Bangor railway line but had friends who lived in Helen’s Bay, The train station gave me independence from a young age to visit them, and I have been fond of the village since.

With fine weather back, crowds will soon flock to its beach.

Ben Lowry (@BenLowry2) is News Letter editor