Why Visit Northern Ireland

25.10.2019
Why Visit Northern Ireland
 

It's hard to argue with the fact that the glorious United Kingdom is a fantastic holiday destination, offering plenty of incredible things it offers to see. And if you look at Great Britain's map, Northern Ireland probably won't be the first UK region you notice. Isolated from the rest of the country, this beauty shares the island (and partly the name) with its more in-the-public-eye neighbor, the enchanting country of Ireland, guilty of stealing Northern Ireland's thunder. So we decided to make things right and give it the attention it deserves! In this article, we've gathered some information about the best things to do in Northern Ireland, allowing you to get to know this incredible part of the UK a bit better and maybe even helping you plan a Northern Ireland tour of your dreams!

If you're still in two minds whether a trip to the UK is worth it, rest assured that this country has something for everyone. It has classy England with the Queen and her corgies, Big Ben, and the legendary red double-decker buses.

Marvelous Scotland, famous for bagpipes, kilts, and the "Harry Potter" bridge (as well as being the place where you should look for the best school of witchcraft and wizardry in the world) also seems like a great place to explore.

Or you can travel to mysterious Wales, the land of King Arthur with its seemingly impossible language and love for rugby. But the 4th part of the UK often goes unnoticed by travelers. Just as brilliant and full of personality, Northern Ireland somehow seems inconspicuous against a backdrop like this. And that's a crying shame, as this unique destination is a heart-stealer, offering lots to explore from Belfast to its gorgeous nature!

Bangor Marina, Northern Ireland
 

Top Northern Ireland Things to Do

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway

Opening the countdown of this country's "must-see" bests is one of the most famous Northern Ireland attractions, the Giant's Causeway which is, undoubtedly, an unforgettable sight! Just as the Fingal's Cave in Scotland of the same origin, this area of approximately 40.000 connected basalt columns, leading from the foot of the nearby cliff and into the sea, looks as magical as its name suggests. Exploring the fairytale sight is like stepping into another world and the mundane explanation of its origin, including the ancient volcanic eruption, doesn't seem quite right. If this is your case, we have another version for you.

According to the myth, it all started with a giant, Finn McCool. Once, the Scottish giant named Benandonner was threatening its Celtic neighbor which enraged Finn immensely.

 

Wishing to go and teach the Scottish neighbor a lesson, Finn started to grab handfuls of the Antrim coast and throw the rocks into the sea, forming a path that allowed Finn to safely cross the water. If you want to know happened next, stop by this unique Northern Ireland tourist attraction and ask the locals, they love the legend and will be happy to share it (or, if you are not fond of the idea of looking for cordial residents, a knowledgeable tour guide is always a great option).

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

If you're wondering what to do in Northern Ireland for a memorable pastime, we assure you that you won't regret spending some time in this marvelous location. This Northern Ireland rope bridge has of recent become one of the hot-spots of the region, attracting hundreds of travelers who are daring enough to cross the footbridge.

Available for a small fee, the 20-meter (66-feet) suspension bridge made of wattled rope is set up above the rocks and water at the height of 30 meters (98 feet), connecting the mainland with a small island. The walk may even be more thrilling as the bridge often slightly wobbles from side to side because of the wind. Apart from the heart-thumping experience of walking on the bridge and the jaw-dropping dramatic 360° views of waves crashing on cliffs, Carrick-a-Rede gained immense popularity after the nearby location was used during the filming of the Game of Thrones!

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland
 
Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

Dark Hedges (and Other GOT Filming Locations)

Speaking of which, if you're a fan of the legendary series, you probably know that more than half of it was filmed precisely in this part of the United Kingdom! Even if you're not in the loop with this HBO project, rest assured that the places chosen as filming spots won't disappoint you with their uniqueness and natural beauty.

Speaking of more notable Northern Ireland Game of Thrones locations, consider saving some time for the Dark Hedges. The fairytale-looking lane lined with old beech trees was used as a road from Winterfell. It has since won over the hearts of travelers and become a notable photo stop.

Those who're really interested in the subject may even add on a special Northern Ireland Game of Thrones tour to their travel plans.

 

Such day tours dedicated to the series can take you around numerous spots where the series were shot, including the property used for Winterfell - Castle Ward, and some unusual places such as the Inch Abbey, Ballintoy Harbor, and others.

Dunluce Castle

What is more, those who have spent sleepless nights, watching the HBO series repeatedly mentioned above, will recognize the imposing and magnificent Dunluce Castle as the Castle of Greyjoy.

Nestled on the steep basalt cliffs, the impressive fortress will make you fall in love with it the moment you lay your eyes on the castle. There is an interesting local legend, connected to the place. According to the story, one stormy night back in the early 17th century, the kitchen staff was preparing a meal for the masters of the castle when out of nowhere the rocks beneath the kitchen have eroded away and part of the castle, housing kitchen among other rooms, disappeared in the depth of the raging sea. The only survivor was a small boy, sitting in the kitchen's corner. Although the story is probably nothing more than a local myth, some visitors say that they saw a ghost of the cook, wandering around the empty rooms of the castle.

Dunluce Castle, Northern Irelans
 
Titanic Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Titanic Museum

The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name of the scenic city of Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital, is, most likely, the Titanic. Although James Cameron's most famous movie about the doomed ship is nothing but epic and the legendary scene with Leonardo DiCaprio will never stop being one of the saddest scenes in cinematography, nothing can match the scale of the real-life tragedy that shocked the world. And what is a better place to find out what had actually happened and how the seemingly "unsinkable" ship went down in less than 3 hours than the place where the record-breaking liner was built? So if you are wondering what are the best things to do in Belfast, the list of the possible answers won't be complete without visiting the famous Titanic Belfast (as well as without going on an unforgettable Belfast Game of Thrones tour which is a "must" even if you are not a particular fan of the saga).

 

With the sounds of the iconic Celine Dion song "My Heart Will Go On", playing in the background, visitors are welcome to explore 9 different exhibitions of the incredible museum, see the original construction plans, a huge scale model of the famous liner, a collection of unique photos taken by Father Francis Browne who was on board the Titanic when the disaster happened, hear an actual recording of the "SOS" message in Morse Code which Titanic was sending to the other ships, and plenty of other amazing things, telling the story of what was the biggest passenger ship in the world at the time.

Old Bushmills Distillery

The last (but not least) position in our "What to See in Northern Ireland" list goes to the Old Bushmills Distillery. Just as its closest neighbors, Northern Ireland prides itself on great whiskey. And it's no surprise, considering that in Irish Gaelic (the native language of Northern Ireland) the name for whiskey is "Uisce beatha", translating as the "water of life".

Although there are several countries, claiming to be the home of the best whiskey, including both the country of Ireland and Scotland in the UK, Northern Ireland boasts something you won't find anywhere else, the Old Bushmills Distillery. It's the oldest licensed whiskey distillery on the planet and the birthplace of the famous Irish Malt Whiskey, known for its honey flavor. Its recipe is a well-kept secret, as well as the brewing technology that has been passed on from generation to generation and carefully preserved over the years.

Old Bushmills Distillery, Northern Ireland
 

The owners are so determined to save the traditions and the famous taste that they still use water from the same St. Columb's Ril springs they used almost 400 hundred years ago! To find out more about the art of brewery you can go on a guided tour to this amazing Northern Ireland landmark with a memorable tasting of Bushmills whiskey as a highlight.

 

Hopefully, now you see what we were talking about at the beginning of this peace. Majestic Northern Ireland boasts just as much personality as other parts of the United Kingdom and deserves as much praise and attention as its renowned neighbors. The land of beauty and contrasts, this country is home to the magnificent landmarks, fascinating sights, and amazing people. If you have some questions left or as excited about Northern Ireland travel as we are, one of our travel specialists will be happy to land you a hand and help to plan a vacation of your dreams.

 
 

Related Content