27 Finest Issues to Do in Northern Eire

Planning a visit to The Emerald Isle? We have rounded up our picks for greatest issues to do in Northern Eire that can assist you plan your journey.  

However first a couple of fast information about Northern Eire. Northern Eire is a part of the UK and is separate from the Republic of Eire.

On Could three, 1921, Eire was cut up in two after the Irish Conflict of Independence, the place all however six counties gained independence from Britain.

The six counties have been part of the UK ever since and it’s a fascinating place to go to as Northern Eire has its personal distinct identification from each Britain and Eire.

Northern Eire is small a small land, with a inhabitants of only one.eight million folks and an space of solely 14,130 km². (Canada is 9.9 million sq. km). However it packs an enormous punch!

You possibly can put quite a bit right into a Northern Eire Street Journey exploring the whole lot from well-known Recreation of Thrones Filming Areas to unbelievable images websites and taking over nice adventures in Europe’s highest tides!

Locations to Go to in Northern Eire

  • Causeway Coast – Big’s Causeway, Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge, Ballintoy Harbour, Portrush, Torr Head Drive (detour), Outdated Bushmills Distillery
  • Recreation of Thrones – Fortress Ward, Darkish Hedges, Marble Arch Cave Geo Park, Dunluce Fortress,
  • Belfast – Black Taxi Tour, Segway Tour, Titanic Museum, Crumlin Gaol, Carrickfergus Fortress,
  • London-Derry – Murals and Medieval Partitions, Mussenden Temple
  • The place to Keep in Northern Eire – Belfast, Big’s Causeway, Causeway Coast, Loch Erne

We didn’t know we’d crossed the border till the pace restrict modified whereas driving by means of Eire.

One minute we had been within the EU, the subsequent we had been on British soil in Northern Eire. There aren’t any borders and we did not see a welcome signal. We solely observed when the pace restrict modified from km to miles.

Our Euros had been now not wanted. Stopping on the ATM to top off on British Kilos, we had been now able to discover the perfect issues to do in Northern Eire’s six counties.

The Better of Northern Eire

map of the best things to do in northern ireland

map of northern eire vacationer points of interest

Get your interactive map of our picks for the perfect issues to do in Northern Eire and take it with you.

Renting a automotive to drive alongside the causeway coastal route is an ideal approach to discover all there may be to see and do in Northern Eire.

Additionally learn: Issues to do in Dublin

Half 1 – The Causeway Coastal Route

Things to to in Northern Ireland

The Finest Issues to do in Northern Eire

The Causeway Coast spans from Belfast to London Derry with most of Northern Eire’s most well-known vacationer points of interest.

It’s thought of probably the greatest highway journeys on this planet, and we advocate taking your time to go for hikes, take boat journeys and luxuriate in all the superb Northern Irish hospitality.

Whereas there are a lot of well-known websites to see, additionally it is a surprising drive that’s value visiting simply to get out of the automotive to absorb the excessive seacliffs and breathtaking coast.

1. Big’s Causeway

giants causeway | northern ireland things to do

The gorgeous Big’s Causeway

All we ever heard about when going to Eire was “Have you ever visited the Giants Causeway?”

It was really an annoying query.

Is one thing actually that spectacular that everybody has to continually ask about it? Properly, the reply is sure. It’s spectacular.

The Giants Causeway is likely one of the most extraordinary locations to go to in Northern Eire. It was shaped by an enormous lava circulation frrom a volcano that erupted thousands and thousands of years in the past.

The basalt columns had been completely shaped because the lava dried, creating symmetrical hexagonal pillars within the type of a staircase.

The columns are so completely shaped, it’s straightforward to imagine the legend that the large’s causeway was really constructed by the Big Fionn McCool.

Useless to remain, the Big’s Causeway is the primary issues to see in Northern Irelan d.

Tip: Keep on the Causeway lodge to discover the stones in Peace. All tour buses arrive at mid day, however you may go to the centre from daybreak to nightfall. We explored at each dawn and sundown and every time we shared the Giants Causeway with solely two different folks.

2. Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge

Deb Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge

Deb strolling the bridge

As soon as upon a time, fishermen walked throughout a precarious rope bridge to cross over to the island of Carrick a Rede to fish for salmon.

It was harmful and tough, however the salmon had been loads.

Right this moment there aren’t many salmon within the space, however the Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge has remained a well-liked vacationer cease.

The Bridge has been rebuilt and is a straightforward and protected cross, however some folks discovered it to nonetheless be fairly a thrill.

When you aren’t afraid of heights, it is not a really thrilling stroll. we did not care a lot for the bridge itself, however it was the views from the island which might be well worth the journey.

It takes you out from the mainland letting you look again to the coast having fun with lengthy view of the excessive cliffs.

Watch our video: The Better of Northern Eire’s Causeway Coastal Route

three. Ballintoy Harbour

things to do in northern ireland Theon Greyjoy sign at Ballintoy Harbour

Theon Greyjoy was right here.

This quiet village is now well-known for being featured in Recreation of Thrones when Theon Greyjoy landed within the harbour of his homeland.

Nevertheless, that is actually well worth the cease to stroll out to the coast and witness the fearsome waves crashing in opposition to the big rocks and jagged coast.

It is also probably the greatest issues to do in Northern Eire free of charge.

Why? as a result of not solely are you able to tour the place the Recreation of Thrones was filmed, you get to see big waves crashing in opposition to essentially the most unbelievable coast.

What’s the primary motive for visiting right here?

The switchbacks and winding roads resulting in Ballintoy Harbour are too tight for tour buses to make the turns, due to this fact, you will not see many bundle excursions in Ballintoy.

four. Portrush

dave and deb in portrush ireland

Portrush is a seaside group in Northern Eire that is named the capital of the Causeway Coast!

It is a terrific place to make a base. From right here you may simply go to Whiterocks Seashore lcoated on the Causeway Coastal Route to absorb the attractive sandy seaside flanked by limestone cliffs.

Recognized for its browsing and watersports, there’s a boardwalk that can take you down from the car parking zone.

5. Portrush Sea Excursions at Portrush Harbour

secret things to do in northern ireland | seabirds tour

Take a tour with Portrush Sea Excursions at Portrush Harbour to find the gorgeous shoreline from the ocean.

This tour goes out to a cluster of rocky islands generally known as the Skerries . YOu’ll see quite a bit throughout this tour akin to Dunluce Fortress. Portbalintrae, Runkerry home, Big’s Causeway, Ballintoy and Carrick-a-rede Rope bridge.

That is additionally a good way to go to Rathlin Island to do some hikiung.

6 Harbour Rd,
Portrush, County Antrim BT56 8DF
M: + 44 (zero) 7761696060.

6. Glens of Antrim

GOT tour ireland

Glens of Antrim

Positioned in County Antrim, the Glens of Antrim are a gorgeous location in Northern Eire consisting of 9 valleys (glens).

Many individuals miss visiting the Glens when touring Northern Eire, however you merely should make a degree of viewing the plush inexperienced valleys.

There are lovely lookouts that you may drive to and there are many climbing trails. When you have time, getting out into the Irish countryside if a should!

7. Glengarriff Forest Park

places northern ireland | glengarriff Forest Park

Recognized for its waterfall walks, Glengarrif Forest is likely one of the 9 Glens of Antrim.

A chosen nationwide nature reserve, the forest park has a number of trails, view factors and locations to spy on wildlife.

eight. Climbing within the Mourne Mountains

the best of northern ireland video

Get pleasure from our video of the perfect locations to go to in Northern Eire

The Mourne Mountains is residence to Northern Eire’s highest peak, Slieve Donard.

The Mourne Mountains are additionally the premiere place in Northern Eire for mountaineering.

9. Outdated Bushmills Distillery

things to do in northern ireland bushmills

Dave loves his Bushmills.

Eire is understood for its Irish whiskey and a visit to the nation wouldn’t be full with out visiting a distillery.

The tour of the Bushmills Distillery, is fascinating, however you aren’t allowed to take any images as soon as inside.

It was enjoyable to see how the Whisky is ready, however let’s be sincere, it was tasting the spirits ultimately that all of us seemed ahead to.

Dave splurged and acquired an costly bottle of 16 12 months previous Bushmills Single Malt and I can assure that we’ll be reminiscing concerning the expertise after we lastly pop it open and have a style over the vacations.

10. Torr Head Drive

northern ireland things to do | causeway coast video

When you take a detour off of the Causeway Coastal Route, you may uncover a hidden gem generally known as Torr Head Drive.

Positioned between Cushendun and Ballycastle, this route would not see a number of visitors due to its clinging cliffs and slim roads. So the caravans are inclined to keep away from this route.

It affords a transparent view of Scotland. As a matter a reality, it’s the closest level to Scotland at solely 12 miles aside!

Whereas within the space, take a ferry to Rathlin Island to spend a while away from all of it. It’s the solely inhabited island off shore of Northern Eire with a inhabitants of solely 150 folks.

11. Trip a Horse on the Seashore

things to do in northern ireland | horseback riding

Considered one of our favourite issues to do in Northern Eire and Eire is to go horseback using. Horse tradition is a large a part of Irish historical past and taking a journey is a tremendous approach to discover the countryside.

We cherished our journey that took us by means of the Irish countryside after which ended with a gallop alongside the seaside.

I can not keep in mind who we rode with, however Tourism Northern Eire has a terrific checklist of stables right here.

Recreation of Thrones

deb and dave with swords

Dave and Deb do Recreation of Thrones

The immensely in style HBO Collection, the Recreation of Thrones was filmed in Northern Eire.

Its fundamental studio and manufacturing workplace was in Belfast and there are numerous areas all through the nation that you’re going to acknowledge from the present.

These are a couple of highlights of the place to expertise Recreation of Thrones in Eire.

12. Recreation of Thrones expertise at Fortress Ward

things to do in northern ireland arrow

Dave testing out his abilities

You possibly can’t go to Northern Eire with out seeing at the least one Recreation of Thrones web site.

We do love the Recreation of Thrones, and having the possibility to immerse in an interactive expertise was a lot enjoyable.

Visiting Fortress Ward helps you to re-enact moments from the Recreation of Thrones. We discovered ourselves performing out John Snow educating Bran archery in Winterfell.

Clearsky Adventures ran the situation when the Recreation of Thrones filmed there they usually have many tales to inform of what occurred through the months that the HBO Manufacturing was primarily based right here.

There are 11 filming areas in complete on the grounds of Fortress Ward the place you may see many scenes from the collection.

E-book your Recreation of Thrones and speedboat advnetures by means of Clearsky Adventures

13. Darkish Hedges

things to do in northern ireland dark hedges

Dave within the Darkish Hedges

It is a brief cease close to the Giants Causeway, however we must say that it’s a should.

The Darkish Hedges are probably the most photographed sights in Northern Eire, making it one of many prime issues to see in Northern Eire.

It is situated on a small highway lined with the gnarling branches of seaside timber planted to create an archway over the drive.

Constructed within the 18th century by the Stuart household to impress guests as they approached their residence, the Darkish Hedges have endured and have grow to be one of many staple stops for anybody visiting Northern Eire.

14. Marble Arch Caves International GeoPark

northern ireland cave

The caves of Marble Arches GeoPark

The Marble Arch Caves International Geopark, located simply outdoors Enniskillen, County Fermanagh is certainly one of Europe’s most interesting present caves.

You begin by taking a really brief underground boat journey to a path that takes you thru the slim passageways of the caves.

There are rivers, waterfalls and stalactites and stalagmites.

It is a straightforward stroll so you do not have to fret about dressing for the ocassion. Nevertheless, be ready for a steep climb up 160 steps on the finish of the tour.

The Marble Arch Caves are a UNESCO International Geopark because of the world significance of their geology and landscapes.

15. Dunluce Fortress

what to do in northern ireland | dunluce castle

Dunluce Fortress is one other nice cease in Northern Eire alongside the Coastal Route.

It is an ominous fort smash overhanging on these cliffs and you may simply think about what life would’ve been like there when folks had been dwelling there.

Wandering the fort grounds helps you to think about what life was like within the medieval Occasions.

16. Speedboat to Europes Highest Tides at Strangford Lough

unusual things to do in northern ireland boat

Speedboat in Northern Eire

We took a tremendous speedboat journey out to the harbour to see the neighbouring villages and the thrilling whirlpools created by the tides mixing with the seas.

The tides listed here are the best and quickest tides within the Europe and the water is transferring at a quick pace. So quick in truth, they’re harnessing the tidal water for hydro electrical energy.

It was loopy to take the boat over the tidal swimming pools. You would see your self approaching the scary trying foamy swimming pools and our driver cranked the steering wheel twirling us round and round. What a thrill!

Half three – Belfast and Space

Belfast is the capital metropolis of Northern Eire and the town has gone by means of many modifications. It’s value spending a pair fo days exploring Belfast.

There are many issues to do in Belfast, however you’ll want to spend a while int he pub for an actual style of Irish tradition.

Considered one of our favorite locations to go to is The Historic Crown Bar, Belfast’s most well-known saloon!

17. Black Taxi Tour of Belfast

things to do in Belfast | black taxi tour

The Black Cab political excursions are a wonderful approach to be taught concerning the historical past of Northern Eire.

Get in a taxi pushed by a neighborhood driver who survived the troubles as he tells you concerning the Catholic and Protestant battle. It takes you thru the 2 neighborhoods the place you may see the painted murals depicting pivotal moments in historical past at Shankhill highway and the Clonard Martyrs Memorial Gardens at Falls Street that pays respect to the IRA volunteers who fought and misplaced their lives.

This tour is a should when visiting Northern Eire.

18. Titanic Museum

things to do in belfast ireland | titanic museum

Titanic Museum in Belfast

When making an inventory of issues to do in Northern Eire, do not rule out visiting a museum.

We’re not big followers of museums, however the Titanic Museum is one thing particular.

It is a captivating show of artifacts from the ship with letters, clothes and even rooms re-created.

There are multimedia shows, digital actuality rooms and even dwell cameras from the staff that found the Titanic exhibiting the underwater salvaging and analysis they’re doing in the present day.

The Titanic Museum has actually grow to be one of many prime issues to see in Belfast.

19. Segway Tour of Belfast

game of Thrones titanic studios

Titanic Studios Recreation of Thrones

A Segway tour is a wonderful approach to discover the Titanic Waterfront and different Belfast Sights.

Touring round on the electrical car is a ton of enjoyable for another approach to be taught concerning the shipbuilding historical past of Belfast. You even journey by means of a lifesize define of the Titanic herself!

Plus you may get to see Titanic Studios (the studio the place Recreation of Thrones was filmed) and the Titanic Belfast Museum.

20. Crumlin Street Gaol

crumlin road gaol belfast

A self-guided tour of the Crumlin Street Gaol (Jail) takes you thru the one remaining Victorian period jail.

Positioned in Belfast, The Crumlin Street Jail closed its doorways in 1996. There may be an underground tunnel that connects the jail to the courthouse throughout the road.

21. Mountain Bike at Barnett Demensne

Not the whole lot in Northern Eire is about historical past and surroundings, there are adventures available as nicely!

In case you are in to mountain biking, Barenett Demesne is Eire’s first official purpose-built jumps park. That is for excessive riders able to tackle jumps, rails and desk tops.

If that appears like a bit an excessive amount of for you, don’t be concerned, there are inexperienced, blue and single observe excessive trails to go well with everybody’s wants!

22. Carrickfergus Fortress

places to visit in northern ireland | carrickfergus castle

This fort is situated in County Antrim simply outdoors of Belfast. The medieval fort is likely one of the best-preserved in Eire and is a must-visit when in Belfast.

Surrounded on three sides by the ocean sitting on a excessive outcrop it remained a strategic location to defend Eire for hundreds of years.

It was accomplished in 1242, and noticed 800 years of navy operation.

23. London Derry Murals

different things to do in northern ireland | murals of London Derry

Take a strolling tour by means of Derry with Derry Bogside excursions for data and first hand accounts of the Blood Sunday battle.

See the murals devoted to those that had been killed as you retrace the footsteps of the day of the march that noticed many civilians killed.

24. Partitions of London Derry

London Derry’s partitions date again to the 17th century and is likely one of the greatest preserved walled cities in Europe.

A stroll alongside the excessive and vast partitions and take a strolling tour to be taught concerning the sieges and conflicts of its previous.

You possibly can guide each excursions with Bogside Historical past Excursions

25. Mussenden Temple

things to do in northern ireland for couples | mussenden temple

After I learn concerning the Mussenden Temple I used to be actually curious since you stroll by means of remnants of an historical settlement.

When you go by means of, you come to the top of a cliff the place a really small stone temple stands greater than 250 toes above the ocean! It doesn’t appear like it belongs however it’s an unbelievable scene to .

The Bishop of Derry constructed the temple in 1785 as a summer season library. I can think about how peaceable it was to learn books because the summer season air swooped by means of the land.

26. Watermill Lodge

fun things to do in northern ireland for couples

Dave and Deb with Chef at Watermill Lodge

This text is known as The Finest issues to do in Northern Eire and we really feel it would not be full with out mentioning the perfect meal we had within the nation.

The Watermill Lodge in Lough Erne was arms down the perfect meal we have had in each Eire and Northern Eire. We actually felt that Northern Irish hospitality on this cozy restaurant.

The Watermill Lodge is a Michelin rated restaurant and we are able to perceive why. The meals was exqisite and the environment was quiet and romantic.

I do know you may discover this unusual, however it’s a French wonderful eating restaurant with an unbelievable menu designed by Chef Pascal Brissaud.

We had a scrumptious meal with wine pairing advisable by our nicely knowledgeable server. Every thing he advised went fantastically with our set menu £25. Even the wines had been moderately priced. 

27. Ulster American Folks Park

And at last, Eire has grow to be in style for North People to retrace their roots and heritage to see the place their ancestors have come from.

Ulster American Folks Park and Folks Museum is devoted to the Irish who made the journey throughout the Atlantic in search of a brand new life.

We traced our heritage to Eire and it was probably the greatest journey experiences we have ever carried out.

The place to Keep in Northern Eire

Dave jumping in front of a castle

Preserving heat in Eire

Sleive Donard Resort and Spa

Slieve Donard Resort and Spa is certainly one of Northern Eire’s most luxurious resorts. It’s situated on the seaside on one aspect and Royal County Down Golf Hyperlinks on the opposite.

It is a terrific place to begin to discover the Northeastern Coast.

Ballygally Fortress Resort

Ballygally Fortress Resort is situated on Causeway Coastal Route, Ballygally Fortress, a 17th Century Fortress overlooking Ballygally Bay.

It is a terrific base for exploring the Causeway Coast.

Big’s Causeway Resort

Causeway Resort – We cherished staying right here as a result of it was so near Big’s Causeway. We might stroll down at dawn and at sundown avoiding all of the tour buses and crowds.

Watermill Lodge

Watermill Lodge – In addition to consuming at Watermill Lodge, we additionally stayed in a single day. Positioned on Lough Erne, it’s a great and opulent nation retreat.

An Outdated Rectory Guesthouse – Belfast

An Outdated Rectory Guesthouse was initially a Church of Eire rectory. It was in-built 1896 to accommodate the rector of St John’s, Malone. The Victorian period property, is located in South Belfast, near all transport hyperlinks and onsite parking.

And there you have got it, that is our recommendations for the perfect issues to do Northern Eire by Dave and Deb. Do you have got a favourite web site to see within the nation?

Learn Extra:

For extra data on visiting Northern Eire take a look at Eire Tourism Canada.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the homeowners and founders of The Planet D. After touring to 115 international locations, on all 7 continents over the previous 13 years they’ve grow to be one of many foremost consultants in journey. Being acknowledged as prime journey bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Journal, the Society of American Journey Writers and USA Right this moment has allowed them to grow to be leaders of their subject.

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