Northern Ireland Driving Itinerary – 6 Best Things to Do

The farthest issues of Northern Ireland are not up to 150 miles aside (an insignificant 3-hour force) making it the easiest street commute vacation spot, with shut-knit sights, plenty of surroundings and sightseeing, and simply quite a few rustic appeal in between. At the similar time, native bus and educate routes with ease attach nearly in every single place of pastime, that means it may also be smartly lined by way of impartial vacationers prepared to force Northern Ireland‘s most sensible issues to do.

Wondering the most productive time to talk over with Northern Ireland? I all the time counsel summer season for touring in Northern Ireland, with the lengthy hours and extra amiable climate, even supposing the surroundings within the lesser months upload a little bit of environment to the Northern Irish landscapes, and those have turn out to be nearly iconic throughout the common settings of lots of the Westeros scenes from “Game of Thrones.”

But first, select up a National Geographic journey map, and head to the rustic’s capital. This path will begins in Belfast, as will maximum riding itineraries, prior to touring out on a six-day itinerary of the lesser-identified vacationer sights in Northern Ireland.

1. Walk the Streets of Belfast City

Belfast, Northern Ireland

I might in truth say that Belfast is one in all my favourite towns in Europe for a brief damage or weekend at the present time, as traveling the town’s primary sights will also be simply lined by way of foot in an afternoon, leaving quite a few time to discover the lesser identified portions of the town.

Start with the newly advanced Titanic Quarter, discovered at the reverse aspect of the River Lagan, the place it stocks all kinds of sights most commonly geared against the previous shipyard the place the Titanic was once constructed.

Also, I might surely counsel an evening out in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, discovered now not up to now from the central streets of City Hall, and located subsequent to Saint Anne’s Cathedral (the place it will get its title from). The space additionally performs host to a few of Belfast’s highest bars, together with the previous Duke of York, and the brand new Dirty Onion, after which there’s the Bullitt Bar within sight, one of the most more recent additions to Belfast’s skyline, which has rooftop perspectives over the within sight town. The Bullitt Hotel could also be one of the most higher accommodations within the town.

Belfast Street Art
Belfast Street Art

2. Hike Along the North Down Coastal Path

The the town of Bangor in Northern Ireland is a coastal choice to staying in Belfast, discovered only a 20-minute force alongside the Northern Irish beach, the place it’s with ease hooked up by way of a handy guide a rough educate line. And being simply 12-minutes from Belfast’s City Airport, Bangor is frequently the most popular keep for riding itineraries, to keep away from the pricy parking and visitors present in Belfast’s town. So Bangor itself is a captivating beach the town, fronted by way of Northern Ireland’s greatest marina, and there’s simply numerous native heritage to discover within the space.

Otherwise, the primary appeal has to be Bangor’s seafront coastal trail, which leads alongside the beach so far as the now not-so-some distance the town of Holywood. Where, alongside the best way, the coastal strolling trail passes seashores, wooded area parks, and plenty of coastal surroundings between. It additionally follows the similar Belfast to Bangor educate line, making it simple to get started and prevent at more than a few places alongside the best way. It’s additionally conceivable to succeed in a handful of alternative most sensible issues to do alongside this Belfast to Bangor path, together with the Ulster Folk Museum, Crawfordsburn Park—the Old Inn in Crawfordsburn is the most productive position to base your keep alongside this coastal trail.

three. Admire the Coast (and a Game of Thrones Location) at Strangford Lough

Strangford Lough
Strangford Lough

Strangford Lough is just a brief distance from Bangor (10 minutes) and Belfast (20 minutes), however there truly is so much to discover on this scenic area of Northern Ireland. When arriving, it’s best to come from Newtownards, which is the gateway to the encompassing sights, together with Scrabo Tower, which boasts improbable perspectives over the lough from above. 

Then name in for a meal at Daft Eddy’s in Killinchy, and Sketrick Castle, for some rustic grub. Otherwise, proceed your Northern Ireland force by way of following alongside the Ards Peninsula aspect of the lough, the place a really perfect springtime appeal is the stately manor of Mount Stewart (run by way of the National Trust) which has one of the most most pretty gardens within the spring and summer season months.

Then there’s a ferry crossing, which takes each vehicles and pedestrian passengers around the lough, from Portaferry to Strangford (or vice versa). From right here it’s only a brief distance (10-minute force) to succeed in Castle Ward aka Winterfell, which all lovers will know was once a key filming location in Game of Thrones, appearing because the Stark’s abode within the north. From there, it’s just a brief force to Downpatrick (18 mins), which is highest referred to as the overall resting position of Saint Patrick.

four. Explore Scenic Vistas within the Mourne Mountains

The Mourne Mountains
The Mourne Mountains

A just right base for trip within the Mournes area is the beach the town of Newcastle, round a 20-minute force from Downpatrick, which additionally passes a variety of lesser-identified sights like Dundrum Castle and Tyrella Beach.

The the town is surely one of the most extra captivating beach locations in Northern Ireland, with simple get entry to to walks that lead without delay from Newcastle to Northern Ireland’s perfect height at Slieve Donard. But there also are a bunch of outdoor beginning issues for walks up the Mourne Mountains, together with the Bloody Bridge, and Silent Valley, and my non-public favourite: leaving from the Trassey Road towards the Hare’s Gap.

Then, within sight, a really perfect space to discover is Tollymore Forest Park, discovered simply prior to Trassey Road, the place there are a variety of waymarked strolling routes thru a slightly intensive evergreen wooded area.

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, then you definitely’ll need to spend additional time right here. Tollymore is a smartly-identified backdrop for plenty of scenes discovered within the Game of Thrones franchise. Otherwise, I might keep in Newcastle, perhaps on the Donard Hotel, prior to riding onward to the following most sensible locations.

five. Relax within the Lake Lands of Lough Erne

Inside the Marble Arch Caves
Inside the Marble Arch Caves

The border areas between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland aren’t essentially the most thrilling when it comes to tourism and issues to do. But there’ll all the time be great rural surroundings to experience in your riding commute, and there could also be some profitable stops at pokey villages in the event you’re prepared to a way of rural Northern Irish charms.

Also, Armagh has a Planetarium in the event you’re prepared. Otherwise, it’s a two-hour force till you’ll succeed in Fermanagh and the scattered lake lands of Lough Erne. A just right base to discover this area is the island the town of Enniskillen, discovered at the banks of the lake lands, and targeted round a 16th-century citadel. Otherwise, Lough Erne is most probably highest identified for its spa/golfing motels (Lough Erne Resort) in addition to boating vacations at the more than a few lake routes.

But there’s every other slightly nice off-the-overwhelmed-monitor appeal this is simple to talk over with whilst you’re riding the area. The Marble Arch Caves are discovered kind of 20-minutes out from Enniskillen, close to the Irish borders of Cavan.

6. Self-Drive the Causeway Coast

The Causeway Coast
The Causeway Coast

Heading north once more, I might surely counsel a handy guide a rough stopover for a excursion of the walled town of Derry/Londonderry. This is Northern Ireland’s 2nd greatest town, however nonetheless it’s just a quarter the dimensions of Belfast.

Then proceed to the coasts of Antrim for Northern Ireland’s most renowned sights alongside the Causeway Coast, together with Ireland’s maximum recognizable UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a customer favourite: the Giant’s Causeway. This is, by way of some distance, essentially the most touristy area of Northern Ireland, with giant bus excursions to be had from each Belfast or even excursions from Dublin. Even the ones those bus excursions paintings if important, I might endlessly counsel a street commute and a self-penned riding itinerary thru the whole thing Northern Ireland gives.

If you’re riding, I’d most certainly base my in a single day keep in Bushmills, permitting you to take advantage of the Bushmills Whisky Distillery Tour. There also are a variety of lesser-identified issues to do, together with a forestall on the seashores of Downhill Demesne—the surroundings of the Game of Thrones’ Iron Islands at Ballintoy Harbour, and, given time, perhaps a handy guide a rough ferry to discover Rathlin Island.

Then both proceed onward into Ireland, or force again to Belfast having see the most productive Northern Ireland has to be offering. 

By Allan Wilson

Allan Wilson is an Asia based totally meals and trip blogger residing between the rice fields of rural Thailand and his place of birth of Bangor in Northern Ireland. With plenty of travels in between. You can observe his travels on Instagram at @LiveLessOrdinary

Source hyperlink Everything Everywhere

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