Like the rest of the island, Northern Ireland is also fulled of surprises. The spectacular landscapes, the typical villages, and the historical sites captivate me during all my road trip.
My road trip itinerary in Northern Ireland
This road trip in Northern Ireland is only a small part of my entire tour of the island my entire tour of the island. This is why I only stopped in two places (Derry and Belfast) before continuing in the south of the island.
My crushes in Northern Ireland
Also called Londonderry, this city is a perfect illustration of the country history. When you wander there, you will see the traces of the former conflicts between Irish and British: walls surrounding the city or painting on buildings. And if you’re not interested in history, don’t worry! Derry’s charm won’t let you indifferent. The simple fact to walk around in the city is a real pleasure. You will find shops to buy everything you need, typical pubs, magnificent buildings, etc. To sum up, you won’t get bored!
The Giant’s Causeway
I’m not going to introduce you the Giant’s Causeway because I think you already know it, at least by reputation. However, I will give you some tips to enjoy it more.
1. Come and leave by bus. If before or after your visit to the Giant’s Causeway, you want to visit Bushmill (and the distillery), there is a shuttle Bushmill – Giant’s Causeway. The car park is free, the shuttle is free and the shuttle’s ticket gives you a discount for the Giant’s Causeway. The shuttle is approximately every 10-15 mins.
2. Take an audioguide. To be honest with you, when I visit the museum I rarely take the audioguide. Even if the explanations are interesting, I get bored quickly. However, the one of the Giant’s Causeway is really good and I liked listening to it. I learned a lot about the myth of this place and some anecdotes too. Moreover, they have made an effort so the voice is not boring and there are some jokes in the monologue. To sum up, it a good tool to discover the place but not indispensable.
3. Continue your visit after the Giant’s Causeway. Once you saw the causeway, follow the path. You will see the “Giant’s Boot” and the chimney of his house. If you’re brave enough, you may hike a little. By following the signs, you will see the path which goes above the causeway. From there, you have a nice view of the Giant’s Causeway.
Northern Ireland is an ideal place for hikes. The occasions for a walk are multiples and you will discover beautiful landscapes. Tollymore Forest is now famous because of Game of Thrones series but it’s also I nice place to hike. Several tours are proposed according to your level. Moreover, during the hike, you can admire some very old bridges or some troglodyte houses. It gives to the hike and to the forest almost a mystic atmosphere.
Game of Thrones tour
If you’re a fan, you probably already know it, but lots of Game of Thrones scene have been recorded here, in Northern Ireland. Therefore, specific tourism grew up and developed. Now, many companies propose a tour by bus to visit all the famous places. If you rent a car, you can also visit all these places by yourself and it will be cheaper for you.
The places to see are (to my opinion): The Dark Hedges, Inch Abbey, Tollymore Forest and Ward castle (also know as Winterfell). In this castle, you will be able to dress like John Snow, learn how to fight with a sword and to shoot arrows. However, it will cost you 40€…
Even if Belfast is the biggest city in Northern Ireland, 2 days are enough to visit it. The main attraction for me is the Titanic Museum. It’s a bit expensive (almost 20£) but the museum is interactive and tells all the history about the famous ship. From its construction to its tragic end, you can also discover the workers’ life who build the most luxurious ship at this time. Moreover, if you like water sport, it’s possible to try waterboard just behind the museum in the harbor.
Carry-a-rope is a bridge at 25m from the ground. The aim of the visit is, of course, to cross the bridge to reach the island. From there, you will have a nice view of the cliffs you walked along to reach the bridge. You may guess it, but if you suffer from vertigo, I don’t advise to try to cross it.
Bushmill distillery is one of the most famous in Northern Ireland. The visit with a guide is mandatory and lasts around 1h. You will discover and understand the different step to produce whiskey and the differences between the Irish and the Scottish Whiskey. At the end of the visit, your patience will be rewarded with a free tasting. And if you don’t like this alcohol, soft drinks are also proposed.
And you, what are your crushes for this country? Did you taste whiskey or pretend to be John Snow?