"The craggy coastlines, glowering mountains and ancient loughs of Northern Ireland are fertile ground for myths and legends."
Escorted Tours and Holidays in Northern Ireland
The craggy coastlines, glowering mountains and ancient loughs of Northern Ireland are fertile ground for myths and legends, so it’s no wonder this lush corner of the British Isles has featured heavily as a filming location for ‘Game of Thrones’. A troubled recent history has given way to optimism and urban renewal since the Good Friday Agreement, and tourism in Northern Ireland is booming. Distances are short, which means that it’s easy to pack in all the sights, and travel across the border into the Republic remains seamless and hassle-free.
A visit to Belfast is vital to understanding the history of the Troubles, and a glut of new cultural venues have revitalised the place in recent years. Meanwhile Northern Ireland’s second city, Derry, continues to benefit from its stint as UK City of Culture in 2013. Outside of the big cities you’ll find a landscape of granite mountains, green fields and sparkling loughs, speckled with sleepy villages and pretty little towns. Top highlights on the coast include the Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle and the seals and seabirds of Rathlin Island.
Touring Highlights in Northern Ireland
- Belfast suffered terribly during the Troubles, and the murals and divided neighbourhoods linger on, but the city has been rejuvenated in recent years by developments such as the Titanic Belfast museum and the spruced up waterfront.
- The black basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway constitute Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction, and you can learn more about this spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site at the excellent visitor’s centre.
- Derry (Londonderry) sits within remarkably well-preserved 17th century walls, and enjoyed significant investment as UK City of Culture in 2013, with projects including the Peace Bridge and the redeveloped riverfront.
- Lough Erne is the jewel of County Fermanagh, a wonderfully watery landscape scattered with islands, ancient religious sites and planters’ castles. Popular activities here include fishing, watersports and cruising the channels between the islands.
- The granite peaks of the Mourne Mountains dominate the landscape south of Belfast, and offer fantastic hiking and climbing during the summer months. To the east lies tranquil Strangford Lough, an important habitat for migrating birds.