Northern Ireland Travel Guide

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland - © Petr Brož

The Northern Ireland Travel Guide outlines a range of local attractions and useful tourist information for visitors. In the past the political troubles overshadowed how the country was viewed by the rest of the British Isles and the rest of the world. With the troubles hopefully now firmly behind them, Northern Ireland is once again being viewed by many as a potential place to visit. Visitors will find a scenic and vibrant country that offers a range of attractions for visitors.

Overview and Attractions

Northern Ireland is located to the north of the Republic of Ireland making it close by for visitors from the rest of the UK and an ideal bank holiday or weekend break destination. It has plenty to see and do for tourists and for those who stayed away during the troubles you will find there is plenty of warm friendly hospitality. Currently Northern Ireland is doing rather well for itself, with a booming economy and investment on regeneration. There is an impetus in arts and culture and along with the other Celtic nations in the UK great pride in the country. Tourism is increasing too; new visitors to the country are enjoying the local hospitality and new climate of optimism.

Northern Ireland is made up of districts that have plenty of open spaces to enjoy and relax. Cities such as the capital Belfast are known for its restaurants, nightlife and shopping. Given the open spaces it is perhaps not surprising that Northern Island is a favoured destination for golf. The city of Belfast is great for either a city break or longer stay, Belfast has the excitement and entertainment of a large city whilst also being at the gateway to the countryside, a place to relax and unwind. Belfast has accommodation to suit all budgets from basic to luxury. Belfast is famous for the restaurants and bars; it also has some fashionable clubs. A visit to a traditional Irish pub is popular among visitors where you can hear traditional music too. The Titanic was born here and this is portrayed at the Ulster Museum and the Transport Museum. The city has its fair share of parks meaning there are plenty of places to go to relax.

County Antrim has a great coastline, beaches renowned for surfing and wonderful scenery. A scenic drive along the coast is popular here and with the spectacular landscape on show, you are unlikely to be disappointed. To the north of the county there are historic castles and museums, there are also outdoor pursuits. One of the most famous is The Giant’s Causeway, recognised as a world heritage site where you will see stunning rock formations.

The Causeway has over forty thousand many-sided columns of basalt of different heights with each of these slotted next to each other, this stretches across the shore and forms a pavement. It has been described as eight wonder of the world since the 18th century and offers visitors a stunning natural sight. It is one of the most visited attractions in the country.

The Giant's Causeway is one of the many attractions for visitors to the beautiful Causeway Coast. Family friendly resorts such as Ballycastle; if you like nightlife there is Portrush to enjoy. Whilst fans of surfing, beaches and castles for example Dunluce Castle are well catered the coast is a golfers paradise, there are many top class courses around with the best known being Royal Portrush.

The Glens of Antrim provide a coast road where you can see views of Scotland. Glenariff is known for the sheer beauty of the waterfalls, with Cushendall the capital of the Glens a vibrant place for dance and music. The Glens are synonymous for their festivals, such as the Heart of the Glens festival at in August. Other towns have their festival weeks in July; it is always worth doing some research to confirm dates of the festival if you wish to see them during your trip to avoid disappointment.

Fermanagh Lakelands has a long and distinguished history. The Devenish Island round tower is here as is Enniskillen Castle, it is now a museum complex. There are more castles to see at Tilly Castle and Castle Balfour in this historic area. Fermanagh also has a garden trail to follow, including the grand stately homes at Florencecourt and Castle Coole. There are nature routes such as Lough Navar Forest and Castle Caldwell Forest. As one would expect in an area famous for water, there are attractions in this area too. You can Island-hop with the waterbus or hire a boat if you so wish. You can explore the Marble Arch caves.

Londonderry which is also known as Derry dates back to the 6th century, is a historic place, it enjoys its place at the centre of culture and it known for its creativity. A trip through the streets of the only completely walled city in the British Isles and feel the sense of history. The locals are warm and friendly and a trip to the city is well worth it.

The Sperrin Mountains are where you can see highlands and river valleys. They are held in high regard by walkers, there are number of great places to go camping and enjoy the area. The region is sparsely populated, however from June onwards; hill walking festivals are a big attraction in the area. The area is a magnet for a range of people from all walks of life including archaeologists and sky gliders. A visit to the Ulster American Folk Park and you will be able to trace the story of Northern Ireland's emigration to the new world.

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