Northern Ireland has so much on offer. From embracing the stunning scenery to immersing yourself in the local culture, you are sure to experience something completely different in Northern Ireland. Read my top picks for places to go and things to do in Northern Ireland.
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“What are the best things to do in Northern Ireland?” I hear you ask! Whether you’re visiting this fair isle for a short city break or a holiday; Or you’re a resident and are quite partial to partaking in a day trip or mini-adventure; don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
First of all, even though I live in Belfast, I love feeling like a tourist in “our wee country”.
It’s quite often that I’ll rally up the hubby for a day trip to explore.
Things to do in Northern Ireland
I love driving the coastal route and visiting one of the many beaches. Benone beach is to die for!
There’s also nothing better than getting lost in one of the many forest parks around the country (one of my favourites is Tollymore Forest Park).
If shopping is your thing, then Victoria Square in Belfast city centre is the place to be!
Without getting too carried away, check out some of the top places to visit and things to do in Northern Ireland.
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Tour of Giant’s Causeway & Game Of Thrones locations
Unless you have been living UNDER A ROCK for the last decade you’ve probably heard of Game Of Thrones? Yes of course you have!
Well, you may or may not be aware that significant parts of the show were filmed in Northern Ireland.
The even better part is that you can visit some of the locations that were used in the show a day tour.
What better way to step into your favourite characters shoes?
Maybe not literally step into their shoes, but you do get to dress up as a member of the Night’s Watch. And wield a sword… That’s pretty cool too.
What’s the plan
You’ll get picked up in Belfast City Centre and driven along the beautiful coastline of Northern Ireland.
In one day you will visit nine different locations including:
- Dark Hedges
- Giant’s Causeway
- Ballintoy Harbour
- Cushendun Caves
- Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge.
You will also get to learn about the history of the local areas and there are plenty of opportunities to take photos in these idyllic spots.
One thing to remember is to prepare for all weather. Wear appropriate footwear and bring a raincoat. Even if it is summer, Northern Ireland can experience four seasons in one day!
I’m a huge Game Of Thrones fan. I booked the tour through Get Your Guide. I thought it would be a fun way for hubby and me to geek out whilst being able to visit all of these places in one day.
The tour guides were so friendly and knowledgeable and it was such a great experience. If you’d like to book your spot, click here.
Marble Arch Caves
The Marble Arch Caves features a captivating network of waterfalls, rivers and passages within the caves. Set in stunning surroundings you will experience the full wonders of nature at The Marble Arch Caves.
There are daily tours which last just over an hour and are led by well-informed guides at different times during the day. Check the website for times to suit you
You will through the Nature Reserve before taking a boat trip underground, and then walk through the glistening show cave.
The guides are on hand to answer any questions and give fun facts about the caves and the surrounding area.
I visited the Marble Arch Caves a few years ago and it’s on my bucket list to go back again. It’s a fascinating place but you should be aware that there are a lot of steps in the show cave.
FYI – book in advance and be aware that the tour may not take place if the weather is particularly bad.
Walled City of Derry
The land of Derry has been in use for approximately six thousand years and is now an extremely vibrant city.
Take a private tour of Derry City Walls and discover the history of Ireland and Britain’s only fully enclosed city.
Immerse yourself in the history on this walking tour and learn about how Christianity was brought to Britain.
The tour covers the introduction of the Protestant religion by Queen Elizabeth I which was met with resistance; why the name of the city is still a contentious subject after the change to Londonderry by King James I; and also the devastation of the Irish Famine and emigration.
As with all outdoor tours in Northern Ireland you’re best to wear suitable clothing and comfortable footwear. We really can get four seasons in one day!
To book your tickets click here.
Ulster Folk & Transport Museum
The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum is possibly my FAVOURITE museum in Northern Ireland (honestly, I love this place!)
Well technically I think this counts as two museums but they are at the same location so… you decide.
Visit the Folk museum and immerse yourself in Ulster of the 1800s and find out what life was like then. You’ll come across traditional thatch cottages, farmhouses, and a fantastic depiction of rural Ireland of the past.
The Ulster Transport Museum houses a large collection of transportation through the ages. Pay a visit and enjoy everything from vintage bicycles, trains and carriages to supercars, and of course a DeLorean!
In addition to the museum exhibitions, there are also a number of events held here throughout the year. Check the website for more information.
To visit the museum, you can purchase tickets on the day. However, if planning a trip for the weekend, or during public or school holidays then you’re best to book online.
HISTORICAL SIGHTS & LANDMARKS
Titanic Belfast & SS Nomadic
Everyone has heard of the tragedy of the supposedly unsinkable ship, RMS Titanic. Built in Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard, this magnificent ocean liner was the largest of its kind.
On its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City, the RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg. This resulted in the deaths of more than 1,500 people.
Visit The Titanic Belfast experience located in the shipyard where Titanic was built. The exterior of the iconic building was designed to represent Titanic’s hull. There are nine galleries which exhibit the full story of Titanic from conception through to the maiden voyage.
Complete your experience with a visit to the SS Nomadic. Imagine yourself as a passenger or crew member of the last White Star Line ship.
In 2016, Titanic Belfast was voted “World’s Leading Tourist Attraction” at the World Travel Awards. This is a fantastic homage to the creation of a remarkable vessel and a mark of respect to those who worked on the ship and who lost their lives. I highly recommend a visit when you’re next in Belfast. Book your tickets and guarantee entry here.
Although Northern Ireland may be a small ‘wee’ country there really is so much to do. The options I have listed are just the tip of the iceberg – sorry that really wasn’t meant in poor taste.
We have so much culture on display in Northern Ireland and I just love sharing it with you all.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much as I enjoyed creating it!
Let me know if you have visited any of these beautiful places. Also, is there anywhere else you have been that you would like added to this list?
Oh, and don’t forget to check out my other travel posts!
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Until next time…