Portstewart Strand has been named as the Best Blue Flag Beach in the UK.

The stunning two-mile stretch of beach in Derry, has scooped the prestigious award after securing a whopping 43% of the public vote.

An internationally recognised award granted by the Foundation for Environmental Education, the Blue Flag is considered the gold standard for beaches.

The strand fought off competition from 11 other beaches, including the scenic Minnis Bay in Kent and Swanage in Dorset, to win the prize.

A Blue Flag indicates the beach meets certain standards for water quality, environmental education and information, safety and services.

Beach supervisor for the National Trust, Gill McIlmoyle, told Irish News: “I was out on the beach every day asking people to vote for us.

“I was so proud that Portstewart Strand was the only beach in Northern Ireland to be nominated for the award and I was determined that our wonderful beach would win.”

Around 150,000 visitors travel to the beach each year, which is one of only ten Blue Flag beaches in Northern Ireland.

The International Blue Flag Awards recognised 10 of Northern Ireland’s beaches as “world class” for their facilities and water quality back in June.

Northern Ireland’s Top 10 World Class Beaches

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Castlerock, Co Londonderry

Cranfield Bay, Co Down

Crawfordsburn, Co Down

Magilligan, Benone, Co Londonderry

Magilligan, Downhill, Co Londonderry

Murlough Beach, Co Down

Portrush West, Co Antrim

Portstewart Strand, Co Londonderry

Tyrella, Co Down

Whiterocks, Co Antrim

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