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Larne revealed as Northern Ireland's hottest new holiday destination

Competitors take part in the Premier Power Larne Half Marathon as they run past the Black Arch tunnel along the Antrim coast road. Picture by Bill Smyth 

THE north's hottest new holiday destination has been revealed as Larne.

Dismissed as "grim" by travel guides in the past, the Co Antrim port town has recently seen a huge spike in demand from people seeking a getaway.

Holiday rental website www.holidaylettings.co.uk said Larne tops a list of seven destinations in Northern Ireland enjoying a big rise in popularity.

The town showed a 138 per cent year-on-year increase in enquiries.

Although a potential base to explore the Glens of Antrim, which attracts huge numbers of visitors each year, Larne has never been viewed as a holiday destination.

The mainly unionist town has made headlines in recent years after the council erected a huge 26-foot crown on a roundabout, with the structure being described by nationalists as “cheap and tacky”.

But Jack Johnson of holidaylettings.co.uk said more people are choosing to take a break in lesser known locations in the north.

“There’s so much to see and do, from the busy streets of Belfast, to the natural beauty of the countryside and exhilarating coastline,” he said.

"But this year travellers have got a real taste for some off-the-beaten track places too."

Mr Johnson urged homeowners in Larne and across the north to consider to letting their properties out to potential holiday makers.

Other unlikely destinations attracting a surge in inquiries in 2016 include Ballymena, which has seen a 127 per cent jump, and Ballynahinch with a doubling of interest.

Dromore, Ballygally, Irvinestown and Donaghadee make up the top seven.

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