Editor’s note: This article was published before the coronavirus pandemic, and may not reflect the current situation on the ground.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And when that beholder is born-and-bred Northern Irishman Leon McCarron and the beauty in question is that of his beloved homeland, you can expect bias, not balance.

The west coast of Ireland is, quite rightly, heralded as a place of truly outstanding natural beauty. From the Inishowen peninsula in Donegal at the top all the way down to the jagged, pot-marked coastline of Kerry, it’s home to wild beaches, cliffs and vistas that would keep any traveler entertained.

And yet, I’ve sometimes felt the attention given to the west comes at the expense of another part of the country—which to my mind is every bit as special.

It’s true we all have certain biases when it comes to travel; places that mean more to us for one reason or another, or that we view through a particular lens that filters out the negatives and leaves only beauty. So here’s the disclaimer: I grew up on the north coast of Northern Ireland, and what you’re about to read will almost certainly include some immovable local pride.

If you’re willing to accept that, let me convince you that the place I know best in the world is worth your time.