Northern Ireland

Portstewart named ‘best place to live’ in north ahead of Donaghadee and Belfast’s Ormeau Road

Three NI locations are included in 2024 edition of annual Sunday Times guide

Police in Portstewart seeking man who made suspicious approach to young teenager
Portstewart in Co Derry is the 'best place to live' in Northern Ireland according to a new list published by the Sunday Times.

Portstewart is the best place to live in the north, according to a Sunday Times guide.

The newspaper publishes its Best Places to Live guide each year, with Portstewart on the north coast topping the list for Northern Ireland.

Also featured in the list are Donaghadee in Co Down and the Ormeau area of south Belfast.

Donaghadee topped last year’s locations for the north, which also included Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh.

Donaghadee in Co Down has been named the best place to live in Northern Ireland by the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide. Picture by Jonathan Campbell
Donaghadee in Co Down has been included in the Sunday Times Best Place to Live guide for the second year running. PICTURE: JONATHAN CAMPBELL

Other locations to be included in the guide in previous years include Holywood, Co Down, Magherafelt, Derry city and Ballycastle.

Portstewart’s community spirit praised

Praising Co Derry’s Portstewart, the Sunday Times judges said: “Year-round community spirit is the beating heart of Northern Ireland’s most graceful seaside town.

“Beach cleans, litter picks and the volunteers behind the annual Red Sails festival are just a few examples of the local pride that’s always on display. The two-mile sandy beach is at the centre of life here, but there are also decent shops, cafés and restaurants and an interesting cultural scene at the Flowerfield Arts Centre.”

Portstewart Strand beach is now safe for bathers, DAERA has confirmed. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Portstewart Strand beach. PICTURE: MARGARET MCLAUGHLIN

Donaghadee a scenic and sociable hotspot

Meanwhile, the guide describes Donaghadee as a “scenic and sociable hotspot on the Ards peninsula”, adding: “The sense of community is as strong as the town is charming with its lighthouse, multicoloured houses and a centre packed with useful independent shops and friendly cafes, pubs and restaurants showcasing local produce.”

South Belfast’s Ormeau Road

The Ormeau Road area is dubbed “Belfast’s most liveable neighbourhood” in the guide, which states: “Importantly, the schools are great, and nowhere in the city can beat it for outdoor space. Dogs and kids can let off steam in Ormeau and Cherryvale Parks, while cyclists and joggers can canter along the towpath.”

The Ormeau Road in Belfast was named the second best place to live in Northern Ireland in The Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide. Picture by Hugh Russell
The Ormeau Road in Belfast. PICTURE: HUGH RUSSELL

The full UK list features 72 locations and guide editor Helen Davies said: “These are all places where you can feel grounded as well as upwardly mobile: they have a mature sense of community, lively, supportive high streets and an eye to the future, whether that is eco-friendly measures, transport and regeneration, or imaginative inclusion of new housing.”