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With over 200km of diverse coastline and a strong maritime history, Northern Ireland is the perfect destination for a relaxing touring holiday. Home to some truly beautiful harbours and coastal villages and known for its Norman castles, glacial valleys and mountains, Celtic and Christian monuments, and coastal links golf courses.
Belfast is a city of surprises. The first is perhaps that this metropolitan heart of Northern Ireland is a city undergoing a multimillion-dollar makeover as historic precincts such as the famous docks are redeveloped. Belfast was once one of the great shipbuilding centres of the globe and gave birth to perhaps the most famous ship ever to set sail – the RMS Titanic. See the slipway from which she was launched and spend time in the Titanic Quarter. For nearly 400 years, this northern city was home to the largest linen, rope and tobacco factories. It’s also the gateway to scenic wonders such as County Antrim’s Giant’s Causeway and County Down’s Mountains of Mourne.
Stand on the city walls in Derry-Londonderry and you’ll feel the history all around you. The very walls were built over 400 years ago; looking over to the city’s Bogside area you’ll see history literally written on the walls in those famous murals; traditional music spills out onto the streets from cosy pubs; museums tell stories of times past and people still celebrate ancient festivals. But it’s also a vibrant modern city with a cutting-edge food scene, and the meeting point of the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route.
Built in 1896 and restored in 1999, these markets (Friday, Saturday & Sunday mornings) are the oldest continually running markets in Ireland. There is lots of fresh produce and locals doing their weekly shopping and socialising.
This is a fascinating insight into the turbulent past of the city. The drivers take you to the former hot spots in both the Protestant and Catholic areas, showing you the gates dividing the two areas and the murals. They also give you their personal account of how their life was at the time of The Troubles.
The former shipyard which launched such vessels as RMS Titanic, Olympic and SS Canberra has been transformed into an exciting waterfront development. This area, rich in history, is also becoming a major social meeting place with hotels, galleries, theatres and parklands. Be sure to visit The Titanic Experience.
Are you a Thronie? Would you know the cave where Melisandre gave birth to the shadow baby? Or at Larrybane where Renly swears to Lady Stark that he will avenge Ned’s death? Well this tour has it all, including a stop at the Fullerton Arms; known to host some of the cast on a cold day.
The oldest working prison in Northern Ireland until its closure in 1996. Now, after a major restoration to the unique Grade A listed building, Crumlin Road Gaol is open to the public. Dating back to 1845, this gaol is bursting at the seams with rich Irish history, and as you take a guided tour around the site, you will embark on a historical journey of political segregation and loyalist prisoners.
A walk around the walls reveals a splendid city crammed full of history, heritage and a vibrant cultural scene. This is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe.
Situated in the North Antrim Coast, is Northern Ireland’s most famous landmark –the Giant’s Causeway. Travel along the coastal route and marvel at the breath-taking scenery of North Antrim Coast and the Glens of Antrim. Discover the legend of Finn McCool and gasp at the unique rock formation.
If you’re up for a challenge, cross the precarious bridge which crosses a 24 metre-deep and 18 metre-wide chasm along the north coast.
Here's a taste of some of our favourite hotels and apartment-hotels in Northern Ireland.
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Are you planning your next trip to Northern Ireland? Want to learn more about this destination? Or looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday? Here is where you can find our featured articles on Northern Ireland.
This is just a taste of the information and advice we have available through our House of Travel consultants.
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