Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway

Why Visit Northern Ireland

It's simple. It's got everything - stunning scenery and one of Ireland's greatest scenic drives (the Causeway Coastal Route), great outdoor venues like the Mourne Mountains and Marble Arch Caves Geopark, iconic attractions like the Giant's Causeway and a rope bridge 100 feet above sea level that spans a 20-meter chasm from coast to island.  
There's the incredible filming locales from the hit show Game of Thrones and the timeless city of Belfast - home of the Titanic and the world's best interactive attraction about the doomed ship - Titanic Belfast. There's the hip and vibrant Cathedral Quarter with all of its lively bars and contemporary restaurants. Join one of the city walking tours that focuses on The Troubles - the 20th century conflict between the Republicans (those supporting a united Ireland and primarily Catholic) and the Unionists (those sympathetic to England and primarily Protestant). And then there's the walled city of Derry where the city walls were built in the early 1600s. Take a stroll along the top of the wall for great views of the city. If you're going to visit Northern Ireland, don't rush your itinerary. Take your time and thoroughly experience and enjoy it. This is one of my favorite spots on the island. I love it here!

Northern Ireland's best things to See and Do

Dunluce Castle

built on the towering coastal cliffs by the MacQuillan family around 1500, the dramatic history of the castle is matched by tales of a banshee and how the castle kitchens fell into the sea one stormy night in 1639

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Mussenden Temple & Downhill Demesne

the temple, built in 1785 as a summer library, is perched dramatically on a 120 foot cliff top above the Atlantic Ocean; its architecture was inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli near Rome; its one of Ireland's most photographed scenes

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Game of Thrones

the Kings Road, the Haunted Forest, Winterfell, Robb's Camp, the Dothraki Sea and Slaver's Bay are just a sample of the GOT filming locales you can visit; join a tour and experience GOT life for yourself; see what happened to the Kings Road trees felled by one of Northern Ireland's biggest storms; it's stunningly beautiful and so much fun

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Ulster American

Folk Park

follow the trail of thousands of emigrants from the well-trodden pathways and thatched cottages of Ulster, to boarding a full-scale emigrant sailing ship experiencing the cramped quarters where hundreds of people lived during their 12-week Atlantic crossing to the log cabins and ingenious solutions created on the American frontier

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The Glens of Antrim

from the County Antrim town of Larne along the Causeway Coast, rugged cliffs stretch north for 80 miles, broken only by nine deep green glens (or valleys), each with its own unique character - waterfalls, a trail that skirts a sheer plunging gorge; a white-knuckle cliff road skirting remote Fair Head; spend a few days in the glens to fully appreciate their beauty

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Carrick-a-Rede

Rope Bridge

take the exhilarating rope bridge to Carrick-a-Rede island and enjoy a truly magnificent cliff top experience; the 30-metre deep and 20-metre wide chasm is traversed by a rope bridge (suspended almost 100 feet above sea level) first erected by salmon fishermen in 1755; visitors bold enough to cross to the rocky island are rewarded with fantastic views across to Rathlin Island as well as amazing flora, fauna and bird life

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Bushmills Distillery

in the small village of Bushmills, settled on the banks of the river, you'll find the oldest working distillery in Ireland - a place where family & friends have worked for over 400 years with the philosophy that hand crafting small batches is the way to produce beautifully, smooth tasting Irish whiskey; discover how the whiskey is crafted on one of the distillery's tours

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Mourne Mountains

the Mourne Mountains are one of Ireland's most popular and challenging outdoor regions; located near the coastal town of Newcastle, there's hillwalking, mountain biking, GOT sites, one of the world's best golf courses and more

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The Walls of Derry

built during the period 1613 to 1618 as defenses for early 17th century settlers from England and Scotland, the 12 to 35 foot thick walls form a 1.5 km long walkway around the inner city; there are seven gates and 24 cannons on the well-preserved walls that make for a relaxing and photogenic stroll around the city

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Mount Stewart House

this 18th century mansion, located on the shores of Strangford Lough, is Northern Ireland's much loved family home. Tour the recently renovated 1920s to 1950s era mansion and the world renowned gardens with names like the Italian Garden, the Shamrock Garden and more. Later, stroll around miles of new walking trails and discover a landscape lost in time

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One of Northern Ireland's best highlights

Giant's Causeway

Explore the geological phenomenon of 40,000 basalt stone columns formed by volcanic eruptions over 60 million years ago. Discover the legend of the giant Finn McCool. Search for distinctive stone formations like the Camel, Wishing Chair, Harp & Organ.

Scenic drives

The Causeway Coastal Route

Belfast & the Causeway Coast
Voted #1 region in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel for 2018

after driving this route & exploring the sites along the way, you'll understand why

This 200-mile route is a kaleidoscope of natural landscapes, imposing cliffs, bubbling mountain streams and gushing waterfalls. This stunning slow coastal route starts in Belfast and takes you to the remarkable Gobbins Cliff Path, through the gorgeous Glens of Antrim, towards the famous Giant's Causeway and the magnificent Mussenden Temple. Days are lazily spent driving along unique coastal seascapes, eating fresh seafood and exploring pretty seaside villages.

.........this is my favorite drive!!!

Outdoor activities

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Mourne Mountains
Hiking/hillwalking
This is one of Ireland's most popular locations for hiking with 7 peaks over 2,000 feet high. Do one or do them all in a day. It's called the Seven Sevens - an 18 mile 8,100 foot test of endurance and mountain skills. 
Mountain biking
One of the top spots for mountain biking in Ireland with trails at Rostrevor, Castlewellan & Tollymore - exhilarating single track descents, skills course, all ages & abilities
Sailing, canoeing & kayaking
Crest the waves of the Irish Sea with Newcastle Yacht Club; sea kayaking, canoeing, yachting & banana boating with East Coast Adventure based around Carlingford Lough; cruise the lakes of Castlewellan at the Life Adventure Center are just a few of the options
Horse riding
Fancied the idea of riding through the surf on a beautiful beach or trekking leisurely along woodland paths? Then you've come to the right place.
Fishing
With a huge network or rivers and loughs, the Mournes are one of the last refuges for truly wild trout, Salmon and pike.
Mourne Mountains
Royal County Down Golf Club
Royal County Down Golf Club
Golfing
Northern Ireland has some of the best golf courses in the world.
  • Royal County Down Golf Club (see photo) is rated one of the world's top 5. It's located in Newcastle with the Mourne Mtns as a backdrop.
  • Royal Portrush Golf Club, located on the Causeway Coast, was the site of the 2019 Open Championship - one of golf's "majors"
  • Portstewart Strand Golf Club, also located on the Causeway Coast, is dubbed the "sleeping giant".
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Stairway to Heaven Walk - Cuilcagh Mountain
Marble Arch Caves Geopark
(mountain parks, lakes, forests & rugged uplands)
Hiking/hillwalking
Extensive network of high quality walking trails with rambling country lanes, winding forest tracks, breathtaking mountain walks and tranquil lakeshore paths
Cycling
The spectacular landscapes of the Geopark can be explored along one of the many cycle routes that range from short (1 to 16 kms) to long (over 90 kms)
Canoeing
The Lough Erne Canoe Trail is a 50 km trail, with 10 access points, that spans the Upper and Lower Lough Erne
Fishing (Angling)
Fish for salmon and trout (wild brown, rainbow and brown) in addition to other types on the many rivers and lakes in the park