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Ballyholme Beach, Bangor

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Ballyholme Beach is now Bangor's largest sandy beach following the transformation of the marina area throughout the 1990s. Depending on the tide, bathers can walk out to sea for several meters before the water reaches their waists, although the area has in recent years become renowned for leisure pursuits somewhat more adventurous, shall we say, than paddling. Yes, Ballyholme is Bangor's wind-surfing paradise. (Charles Dickens once stopped off for a swim in the bay on a reading tour of Ireland. It is sadly unclear whether he himself surfed or not). The beach is still ideal for families and has a plentiful supply of sandcastle-building materials. Just behind the beach is a large grassy area for further fun and games.