Even as Northern Ireland has opened up it’s doors to tourists, there are still hefty parts that few visitors are likely to have seen. Whiterock and the adjoining area of Sketrick is surely one of them. Situated 15 miles from Belfast, and at the end of a ‘B’ long road, this remote coastal settlement is stunningly positioned next to the highest concentration of islands on the Ards Peninsula.

Scenically this means it’s atypical of other seaside villages in Northern Ireland. Where Portaferry and Donaghadee have only open water or sea ahead, the off shore view here is sprinkled with a host of different sized isles and islets.

One of them, Sketrick Island, is joined to the mainland by a small causeway – and it’s here that the 15th century ruins of Sketrick Castle is found.

Elsewhere the scene is made up by small yachts and private rowing boats.

Like anywhere, a radiant weather day can make all the difference. But if you get it, there aren’t many more quietly pleasing locale’s in County Down.

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