One of the more understated holiday destinations, Northern Ireland has more to offer than first meets the eye. With stunning scenery, a rich history, and plenty of fun for everyone, there is certainly no shortage of reasons to visit this part of the world this year. More than five million people visit the country each year on average.
If you haven’t been to Northern Ireland and you’re looking for a holiday destination that is affordable, different, and suitable for people of all ages, this could be a great option to consider. Here are ten of the reasons why you should plan your trip here.
Enjoy the Gorgeous Views
Some of the views are so beautiful in Northern Ireland that people all over the world have it on their bucket lists to see in person. There are long and winding roads that you can drive along for hours, taking in views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and hills.
The vast greenery is another feature that attracts tourists to this destination every year. Some of the most popular hotspots to visit include the Cliffs of Moher and Waterford Greenway.
Visit the Giant’s Causeway
Believed to be the result of ancient volcanos that erupted in this area, the Giant’s Causeway attracts more than a million tourists on average every year. It is a UNESCO Heritage Site situated on the coast and it provides stunning views for miles.
Legend has it that the unique formations in the rocks at Giant’s Causeway were first created by an Irish giant, but later damaged by a Scottish giant. This is what gives this popular tourist attraction its name.
The intriguing and unique structure that now stands has become the subject of many Instagram posts, tour guides, and books. Taking a Giants Causeway tour is a must if you travel to Northern Ireland for a holiday. Bus tours are available from the capital city of Belfast and other locations around the country.
If shopping appeals to you more than touring the sights, there are options available in Northern Ireland. If you are staying in a remote area of the country, you will likely need to venture further afield to find shopping centers and larger stores. But those staying in or near to Belfast can easily access Victoria Square and the various shopping centers in this area.
Victoria Square Shopping Centre is home to many popular fashion and lifestyle shops. Visitors can also take some time out to climb the spiral staircase and reach the famous dome. This gives a fantastic view of the city.
The story of the Titanic is a well-known and tragic one. If you want to discover more about this famous ship, there are few places better to do so than in Northern Ireland.
Titanic Belfast is situated near Hamilton Graving Dock, which is where the original Titanic was designed and launched. The museum now tells the story of the ship from its design and construction to its untimely end and the place it now holds in the history books.
With free Wi-Fi, food and drinks options, and tours available in multiple languages, this museum is a great addition to your holiday schedule if you are interested to learn more about history.
Become King (or Queen) of the Castle
Northern Ireland has no shortage of castles to visit. In fact, there are more than 40 castles to explore. From Dunluce Castle and Kinbane Castle in the north to Belfast Castle further south, visitors have the chance to discover fascinating facts from history down the centuries.
If you are staying in or near Belfast, then Belfast Castle and Carrickfergus Castle are two of the closest and most popular castles to visit.
Castle Ward, in County Down, has become incredibly popular with tourists since the TV series Game of Thrones used the castle as one of its studios. The early seasons of the hit series used the castle farmyard for the location of Winterfell, the capital of the ‘Kingdom of the North’.
Experience an Amazing Road Trip
Northern Ireland is not so large that you can’t cover the whole area within a few days. There is so much to see that you won’t be driving long before coming across something you want to stop and explore further.
A popular route is to start at the northern coast of the country and then move down towards Belfast in the east. But some travelers prefer to go towards the west side of Northern Ireland, visiting the city of Londonderry and traveling further south to see the beautiful rivers around Omagh. Others stay around the coast and travel from the north and then along the east coast.
There are around 300 miles to cover from north to south, and 175 miles from west to east. Within a week or two, you can cover a huge amount in Northern Ireland. A well-planned trip would allow you to see almost everything this country has to offer to tourists.
Submerge Yourself in the Music and Food Scene
With a wealth of traditional Irish pubs and restaurants to visit, you will have the chance to fully submerge yourself into some of the music and food experiences on offer.
Irish dancing, traditional music, and small Irish bands are common in venues around Belfast and other cities. Even off the beaten track, you will find traditional pubs with a welcoming community spirit and plenty of hearty food.
From Thursday to Sunday in the capital, you will find events, music gigs, and theatre shows. This is a great way to see more of the country’s culture after a long day exploring the castles, outdoor activities, and thrilling attractions.
These are just some of the reasons why Northern Ireland could be the perfect place for you to visit this year. It’s great for a solo trip, a weekend break with your partner, or a trip away for the whole family.