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25 July 2014
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Antrim Armagh Down Fermanagh Londonderry Tyrone
Portrush Causeway Coast Rathlin Glens of Antrim Slemish Mountain
Portrush clipWatch Video Portrush map

Script

Key Points

As we take to the skies over the north Antrim coast, our first port of call is Ramore Head. This is the northernmost point of a basalt headland that's home to Portrush, which locals would argue is Northern Ireland's premier seaside resort.

Between May and September, the town's population swells to around 1.3 million, thanks to its popularity with visitors.

A couple of miles offshore are the Skerries, a chain of small islands that are noted for another large population - seabirds which live here or visit during the breeding season. Evidence from the Skerries was crucial to the theory that basalt is formed from cooled volcanic lava. It's a rich area for fossils, too.

The spectacular sea sculptures of the White Rocks have been carved from the area's unique chalk cliffs. The resulting features have equally dramatic names, like Elephant Rock or the Lion's Paw. A huge network of caves - some of them accessible only by boat - have been eroded by the powerful sea waves.

On a rocky outcrop at the end of the limestone cliffs is one of the most dramatically sited castles in Europe. Dunluce Castle was built in the Anglo Norman period, probably by Richard de Burgh, who was Earl of Ulster.

It stands a hundred feet above the sea.

A thriving merchant village that once stood around the fortress was burned down by Irish armies in 1641. Two years earlier, part of the castle, including the kitchens, fell into the sea.

The Skerries, a chain of small islands formed from cooled volcanic lava, are home to a large population of breeding seabirds.

The spectacular sea sculptures at the White Rocks have been carved out of the chalk cliffs by powerful waves.

Dunluce Castle, built in the Anglo-Norman period, stands 100 feet above the sea.



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