Embarking on a Northern Eire highway journey is the right method to discover the charming great thing about the British Isles. This area, steeped in wealthy historical past and tradition, presents gorgeous landscapes, charming cities, and a plethora of hidden gems simply ready to be found. With its distinctive mix of pure wonders, historic websites, and enchanting coastal views, a highway journey via Northern Eire guarantees an unforgettable journey for vacationers.
The Causeway Coastal Route is a well-liked start line, taking vacationers on a scenic journey from Belfast to Derry/Londonderry whereas showcasing main coastal points of interest. Alongside the way in which, followers of the favored tv collection Recreation of Thrones can go to a number of iconic filming areas.
Regardless of which itinerary one chooses, a Northern Eire highway journey guarantees to captivate the senses and create lasting reminiscences. As vacationers journey via the miles of pristine landscapes and immerse themselves within the wealthy cultural tapestry, they’ll achieve a deeper appreciation for the attract of this outstanding nook of the British Isles.
Northern Eire Street Journey Itinerary
Day 1: Belfast
Make your first cease in Belfast, the capital metropolis of Northern Eire. Take a Black Taxi tour and discover town’s wealthy historical past and tradition. A Blue Badge certified driver/information will present you round areas such because the Linen Quarter, Belfast Fortress and the Queen’s Quarter. Our information Dessie was a real mine of details about town.
Subsequent, have lunch on the Titanic Lodge within the Titanic Quarter. Go to the Titanic Belfast museum, the birthplace of the well-known ship.
From right here, it’s a brief stroll to SS Nomadic in Hamilton Dock. The tender ship for RMS Titanic, this totally restored vessel was in-built 1911. She was additionally in service throughout two world wars and as a restaurant venue in Paris.
When you have time, go to HMS Caroline in Alexandra Dock, the final surviving ship from the Battle of Jutland. Afterwards, stroll via the colourful Cathedral Quarter. Should you’re visiting on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, don’t overlook to cease at St. George’s Market – it’s the right place for some native meals and purchasing.
Day 2: Antrim Coast
The second day takes you alongside the gorgeous Antrim Coast. Drive alongside the scenic coastal highway, admiring the spectacular cliffs, lovely seashores and seaside cities.
Carrickfergus Fortress on Belfast Lough is among the greatest preserved medieval buildings in Eire. This Norman fortress was in-built 1177 by John de Courcy.
Take a stroll alongside Whiterocks Seashore in Portrush, and discover Ballycastle Seashore with its views of Rathlin Island. Wrap up your day with a go to to the long-lasting Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge close to Ballintoy.
Day 3: Causeway Coastal Route
Proceed your Northern Irish highway journey via the breathtaking Causeway Coastal Route. Marvel on the geological marvel of Big’s Causeway and discover the ruins of the medieval Dunluce Fortress.
Followers of Recreation of Thrones may also go to a number of filming areas located alongside this route. Cease by the gorgeous village of Bushmills, the place the principle attraction is the well-known whiskey distillery.
Day 4: Derry and County Down
Head to the historic metropolis of Derry on the fourth day. Stroll across the historical metropolis partitions and discover the streets lined with Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian buildings.
In a while, drive to County Down and immerse your self in the great thing about the Mourne Mountains. The easiest way to see the world is to hike or bike via the paths to absorb the gorgeous landscapes.
Day 5: Return to Belfast
In your last day, make your method again to Belfast. If time permits, go to County Armagh, often known as the Orchard of Eire. Cease by Lengthy Meadow Farm, a family-run orchard rising apples for 3 generations. Style their delectable ciders earlier than heading again to Belfast to finish your memorable Northern Eire highway journey.
Prime Points of interest and Actions in Northern Eire
The Big’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Website, is a must-visit vacation spot on a Northern Eire highway journey. This pure marvel is comprised of over 40,000 basalt columns, shaped by cooling lava greater than 60 million years in the past. It has created a powerful stepped panorama.
The Big’s Causeway Customer Expertise contains an audio information accessible in 11 languages, an interactive exhibition, guided tour, a present store and cafe and onsite parking. There’s a bus taking you proper to the Big’s Causeway for individuals who have mobility points, costing £1 for a one-way ticket or £2 return.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is an exhilarating expertise alongside the Causeway Coastal Route. Suspended 30 meters above the ocean, this rope bridge connects the mainland to the small island of Carrick-a-Rede. It was erected by salmon fishermen greater than 200 years in the past.
Crossing the bridge presents breathtaking views and a little bit of an adrenaline rush. Enable a few hours to go to this website, because it takes round 15-20 minutes to stroll to the bridge itself from the automotive park.
You may additionally want to attend a couple of minutes to cross the bridge itself at peak instances. For security, the crossing is managed by a guard and restricted to 1 or two folks at any time. We advise that you just ebook your ticket prematurely to keep away from disappointment at busy instances.
Dunluce Fortress is a surprising medieval spoil perched on the sting of a cliff, surrounded by dramatic coastal surroundings. Constructed within the thirteenth century, this lovely place has a wealthy historical past courting again to the reign of each the McQuillan and MacDonnell clans. They fought fiercely for management over the fortress all through the centuries.
Situated close to Bushmills, Dunluce Fortress attracts guests from throughout who come to marvel at its majestic setting. In addition to self-guiding, there are guided excursions accessible that supply an insightful glimpse into the fortress’s previous and the thrilling tales that it holds.
Hillsborough Fortress and Gardens
Hillsborough Fortress is a surprising instance of the elegant Georgian architectural type that may be discovered all through Northern Eire. Constructed within the 1770s by Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire, it’s the official residence of the Secretary of State for Northern Eire, in addition to a royal residence.
Though it’s nonetheless used for official functions, the fortress is open for excursions with an informative information, who will take guests via the elegant halls. This gorgeous fortress may also be rented for company occasions, weddings and dinners.
Highlights of a tour embrace the State Rooms, which have hosted many historic occasions through the years, in addition to the attractive gardens unfold over 100 acres. Highlights embrace Yew Tree Stroll, the not too long ago restored Walled Backyard and Woman Alice’s Temple.
Simply 20 minutes from Belfast, a go to to Hillsborough Fortress is a should for anybody involved in Northern Eire’s wealthy historical past and structure.
The Titanic Belfast museum is an important cease for historical past fanatics. Situated inside the Titanic Quarter, this modern museum reveals the wealthy maritime historical past of town and tells the story of the ill-fated Titanic, which was in-built Belfast.
The museum presents a singular and interesting expertise, that includes 9 interactive galleries and restored shipyard installations.
The Darkish Hedges, a protracted avenue of twisted beech bushes, is a well-liked vacation spot for Recreation of Thrones followers, because it was featured within the fashionable TV collection. This enchanting tree-lined highway in Ballymoney creates an eerie and photogenic ambiance, excellent for a memorable highway journey cease.
This part of Bregagh Street is pedestrianized, nonetheless there’s a paid parking zone a ten minute stroll away.
Recreation of Thrones Filming Places
For followers of the hit TV present, a highway journey via Northern Eire is the right alternative to go to varied Recreation of Thrones filming areas. Along with the Darkish Hedges, spots equivalent to Ballintoy Harbour, Loch Neagh, Tollymore Forest Park, and Downhill Seashore had been all used in the course of the present’s manufacturing.
You can even take a Recreation of Thrones Studio Tour at Linen Mills Studio in Banbridge. Simply half-hour from Belfast, this immersive expertise offers guests the possibility to take a seat on the Iron Throne and see the props from the long-lasting TV collection.
Strolling Excursions and Boat Journeys
Northern Eire presents a variety of strolling excursions and boat journeys to additional discover its charming landscapes. Coastal walks, such because the Causeway Coastal Path, present gorgeous vistas, whereas guided strolling excursions are a chance to study concerning the area’s historical past.
Boat journeys supply a special perspective of the shoreline, with alternatives to identify marine wildlife and discover hidden gems like The Gobbins Cliff Path.
Northern Eire Scenic Landscapes and Coastal Drives
The Causeway Coast, stretching 120 miles from Belfast to Lough Foyle, is a world-famous scenic driving route, showcasing a number of the greatest landscapes and shoreline in Northern Eire. As you drive alongside this picturesque route, you’ll be captivated by the gorgeous surroundings, which incorporates the long-lasting Big’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage website.
Alongside the coast, different must-see stops embrace the haunting define of Dunluce Fortress on a rocky Atlantic Ocean outcrop, and the thrilling Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, which suspends guests above the crashing waves beneath. The Causeway Coast presents extra than simply breathtaking landscapes; it additionally immerses guests in wealthy historical past and geological wonders.
The Antrim Coast Street, a 195-mile route, is one other implausible journey to expertise the attraction of Northern Eire’s shoreline. This space is thought for its dramatic cliffs, secluded seashores, and charming villages.
One of many highlights alongside the Antrim Coast Street is the quaint Glenarm Fortress, with its meticulously maintained walled backyard, providing an ideal spot to loosen up and take within the views.
Whereas driving alongside the Antrim Coast, it’s onerous to not be in awe of the majestic backdrop of the Mourne Mountains. These peaks are usually not solely visually gorgeous but additionally present ample alternatives for mountaineering and exploring.
As you proceed your journey, you’ll want to cease by Lough Neagh, the most important freshwater lake within the British Isles, the place guests can take pleasure in leisurely boat rides or a serene stroll alongside its shores.
Glenariff Forest Park
This 1185 hectare forest in County Antrim is a paradise for nature lovers. The park boasts a number of the most lovely surroundings within the nation, that includes rolling hills, lush forests, and breathtaking waterfalls.
The customer centre is the right start line for exploring the park’s many strolling trails and studying concerning the space’s wealthy heritage.
The Coast Street is a shorter, but equally scenic drive targeted on Northern Eire’s northern shoreline. Winding via picturesque landscapes, this route presents an ever-changing panorama of rugged cliffs, unspoiled seashores, idyllic harbors, and charming cities.
Whether or not you select to discover the Causeway Coast, Antrim Coast, or the Coast Street, every journey presents an unforgettable expertise of Northern Eire’s breathtaking landscapes and charming shoreline.
Northern Eire Cities and Cities to Discover
Belfast is the capital metropolis of Northern Eire and an excellent start line to your highway journey. The town is a hub of tradition, historical past, and fashionable points of interest.
Go to the Titanic Belfast museum to study concerning the iconic ship’s historical past, or discover the attractive structure at Belfast Metropolis Corridor. Don’t overlook to take a stroll via the colourful St. George’s Market, the place yow will discover native crafts and scrumptious meals.
Derry, often known as Londonderry, is the second-largest metropolis in Northern Eire and is thought for its well-preserved metropolis partitions. Stroll alongside the partitions to see gorgeous views of town and delve into its wealthy historical past.
The Peace Bridge, an iconic image of unity between communities, and the Tower Museum that showcases town’s previous are each value seeing.
Bushmills is a cute city in County Antrim, well-known for its whiskey manufacturing. The Outdated Bushmills Distillery presents guided excursions the place you may study concerning the course of, in addition to whiskey tastings the place you may attempt their famend merchandise.
Ballintoy is a picturesque village alongside the Causeway Coastal Route. It presents gorgeous sea views and a captivating harbor, the place you may take pleasure in a standard seafood lunch.
The village can be a well-liked vacation spot for Recreation of Thrones followers, because it was used as a filming location for the Iron Islands. Near Ballintoy, you may go to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, an adrenaline-pumping attraction that gives breathtaking views of the shoreline.
Armagh is a metropolis steeped in historical past and regarded the non secular capital of Eire. The town is residence to 2 gorgeous cathedrals that honor St. Patrick, the patron saint of Eire.
Go to the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium for an academic and entertaining expertise. The Navan Centre & Fort is a well-liked spot providing an interactive journey via town’s historical historical past.
Whereas exploring these cities and cities, contemplate making a detour to Newcastle, a coastal resort city in County Down. Benefit from the attractive seashores or take a scenic stroll via the Mourne Mountains, which impressed CS Lewis’ Narnia.
Northern Eire Lodging Choices
Northern Eire boasts quite a few accommodations catering to totally different budgets and preferences. One upscale possibility within the space is Galgorm, a luxurious spa and golf resort that gives distinctive facilities and companies. Friends can loosen up within the Thermal Village overlooking a cascade, take pleasure in remedies on the world-class spa, play golf at a championship course, and revel in scrumptious food and drinks on the resort’s a number of eating venues.
The property boasts lovely grounds, offering ample alternative for reflection amidst the peaceable environment. We stayed in a spacious shepherd’s hut, full with a firepit and out of doors bathtub on the terrace. There’s additionally a bathe room and properly geared up kitchen contained in the luxurious hut.
There’s a superb vary of eating choices, together with Gillies Grill, which we actually loved, Fratelli Ristorante, afternoon tea within the Conservatory, and Fortress Kitchen + Bar at Galgorm Fortress Golf Membership, in addition to a number of bars.
One other fashionable Northern Eire vacation spot is The Rabbit Lodge & Retreat. Identified for its trendy, modern design, this boutique resort gives excellent lodging and a calming ambiance for visitors to unwind.
Its prime location in Templepatrick ensures easy accessibility to Belfast and County Antrim. Take a dip within the out of doors pool with its glittering mirror ball, have a calming spa remedy or take pleasure in a cocktail on the Seashore Bar. Seize a chew to eat at The Rabbit restaurant, or cosy up in entrance of the fireplace in Hunter’s Bar.
Northern Eire additionally presents a variety of charming mattress and breakfast lodging that present a comfortable and comfy keep. A great possibility is Millbrae Lodges, a captivating B&B in Crumlin. Count on a hearty breakfast together with customized, heat hospitality.
In abstract, Northern Eire presents a various number of lodging choices to swimsuit totally different budgets and preferences. Whether or not selecting a comfortable B&B or an expensive resort, guests can anticipate heat hospitality, wonderful service, and easy accessibility to the area’s gorgeous points of interest.
Northern Eire Meals and Drink Suggestions
Throughout your Northern Eire highway journey, you’ll wish to be sure that to indulge within the native flavors and eating experiences.
In County Antrim you’ll discover the charming Glenarm Fortress Tea Rooms. Situated within the outdated Mushroom Home, it is a excellent spot to take pleasure in a number of do-it-yourself savories and muffins. Attempt the award-winningShorthorn Beef from Glenarm Property, or head to The Milk Parlour for gelato from the Shorthorn herd milk.
One other good cease to your itinerary is Harry’s Shack. This fashionable beachside eatery in Portstewart presents a spectacular view of the coast and serves up contemporary seafood dishes like fish and chips, oysters, and crab. Their menu is seasonal and domestically sourced, guaranteeing the freshest and most scrumptious substances.
Should you’re visiting Hillsborough Fortress, depart a while for lunch in both the Weston Pavilion Café or the Steady Yard Café. The Weston Pavilion is open April via September, from Wednesday to Sunday and the Steady Yard Café is open from June to September, additionally from Wednesday to Sunday.
When in Belfast, lunch on the Titanic Lodge is a should. This historic constructing was the previous headquarters of Titanic shipbuilders Harland & Wolff, and it nonetheless retains many authentic options. Dine in Drawing Workplace Two, the place RMS Titanic was designed, or the Wolff Grill, and revel in a mix of traditional and modern dishes.
A go to to Northern Eire could be incomplete with out attempting the native gin. Many eating places and bars supply a wide range of artisan gins, equivalent to Shortcross Gin and Belfast Artisan Distillery Gin. They’re usually infused with orchard fruits or different domestically sourced flavors.
By experiencing these food and drinks suggestions, you’ll achieve a style of the colourful culinary tradition that Northern Eire has to supply whereas having fun with your scenic highway journey.
Spas in Northern Eire
Northern Eire is just not solely recognized for its gorgeous landscapes and wealthy historical past but additionally for its luxurious spas that cater to these looking for rest and rejuvenation. Among the many prime spas within the area, Galgorm and The Rabbit Lodge stand out as fashionable locations for vacationers and locals alike.
Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort is among the most famous spas in Northern Eire. Situated simply half-hour from Belfast, this premier luxurious resort and spa presents a variety of amenities and coverings that cater to all preferences.
With an indoor pool, a fantastic out of doors Thermal Village, and a wide range of indulgent remedies, visitors can discover rest and well-being in a serene atmosphere. Attempt the Celtic Sauna Infusion, or the OTO Quartz remedy.
The Celtic Sauna Infusion is included in Shepherd’s Hut stays at Galgorm, and for these staying in different sorts of lodging it may be added on at £15 per particular person. Friends staying in a Deluxe room or Suite have a non-public spa expertise included of their keep – a non-public bathing expertise, Galgorm detox remedy or mud rasul.
One other notable spa vacation spot is The Rabbit Lodge in Templepatrick. This boutique resort is nestled inside lush gardens and presents a tranquil escape from every day life.
The Rabbit Lodge’s spa has a deal with holistic well-being, offering therapeutic remedies and rejuvenating experiences. The personal Duo Clay Expertise, which is included for all resort visitors, is nice enjoyable. The cabins overlook the river, and the mix of mud and steam left our pores and skin feeling tremendous clean.
Whereas embarking on a Northern Eire highway journey, don’t miss the chance to pamper your self with a go to to certainly one of these luxurious spas. Whether or not you’re on the lookout for pure rest, holistic therapeutic, or a connection to historic class, you’re positive to search out the right spa expertise in Northern Eire.
The way to Get round Northern Eire
When planning a Northern Eire highway journey itinerary, there are a number of transportation choices to contemplate. This part will cowl two of the principle choices: rental automobiles and buses, in addition to the choice possibility of trains.
A rental automotive is usually essentially the most handy and versatile selection for a highway journey. You possibly can hire automobiles from varied suppliers, with Uncover Vehicles being a well-liked possibility. Renting a automotive makes it straightforward to discover Northern Eire by yourself schedule, stopping on the many sights and points of interest alongside the way in which. Whereas driving out of the country generally is a bit daunting, roads in Northern Eire are well-maintained, and driving is on the left-hand aspect of the highway.
Some issues to contemplate when renting a automotive embrace:
- Insurance coverage protection
- Kind of automotive (automated or handbook transmission)
- Rental location and drop-off level
Buses are a budget-friendly possibility, and the general public transport system in Northern Eire is fairly dependable. You possibly can journey by bus between main cities like Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, in addition to to a number of the smaller cities and points of interest. Nonetheless, this selection could also be much less handy for these trying to cease at a number of areas alongside the way in which.
When utilizing buses to your highway journey, bear in mind to:
- Plan your route prematurely
- Examine bus timetables
- Buy tickets forward of time if potential
Trains in Northern Eire are another choice for touring between main locations. Whereas the practice community is restricted in comparison with international locations like England or France, there are companies between bigger cities like Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, in addition to to smaller cities within the area.
Trains might be extra comfy and quicker than buses, however they could not service all of the factors alongside your chosen itinerary.
Listed here are a couple of ideas for touring by practice in Northern Eire:
- Examine practice schedules and buy tickets prematurely
- Concentrate on the restricted practice community
- Contemplate combining practice journey with one of many different transport choices equivalent to renting a automotive, for better flexibility
The way to Get to Northern Eire
Northern Eire, a land of gorgeous pure magnificence and wealthy cultural heritage, attracts guests from everywhere in the world. On the subject of getting right here, there are a couple of choices to contemplate.
The area is well-served by three airports – Belfast Worldwide Airport, George Greatest Belfast Metropolis Airport and Metropolis of Derry Airport. They provide a variety of direct flights from cities throughout Europe and past. We flew out and in of George Greatest Belfast Metropolis Airport and it was a extremely fast and pain-free expertise, being simply 3 miles from town middle. You possibly can additionally fly to Dublin airport within the Republic of Eire.
Should you’re on the lookout for a very scenic route, the ferry is a well-liked selection for these touring from Scotland, England, and Wales. Sailings depart frequently from ports in Liverpool, Cairnryan, and Holyhead, and arrive at Belfast or Larne. Whichever method you select to embark upon your Northern Eire journey, you might be assured a heat welcome upon arrival.
Steadily Requested Questions
What number of days are wanted for a Northern Eire highway journey itinerary?
A highway journey in Northern Eire can fluctuate in period relying in your pursuits and time constraints. A 2-day itinerary is feasible, however to totally expertise the area’s magnificence and historic websites, a 5-day journey is advisable.
Greatest time to go to?
One of the best time to go to Northern Eire for a highway journey is in the course of the spring and summer season months. On this interval, the climate is extra favorable, and you may really admire the plush landscapes and gorgeous shoreline.
There are a number of highway journey itineraries in Northern Eire to select from. Some fashionable points of interest and landscapes to go to embrace the Causeway Coastal Route, Big’s Causeway, Glens of Antrim, Lough Neagh, Recreation of Thrones filming areas, Whiterocks Seashore, and Ballycastle Seashore.
Journey with no automotive?
Whereas a automotive is essentially the most handy mode of transportation for a highway journey, it’s not the one possibility. Northern Eire’s public transport system, together with buses and trains, can permit vacationers to go to key points of interest. Nonetheless, it might restrict your flexibility and spontaneity in the course of the journey.
Eire mixed journey?
Combining a visit to Northern Eire with a go to to the Republic of Eire is a wonderful concept. This manner, you may expertise each international locations’ distinctive cultural and pure magnificence. Make sure to allocate sufficient time for each international locations, as there’s a lot to find.
Driving period throughout a Northern Eire highway journey will fluctuate relying in your chosen routes and stops. Usually, Northern Eire’s dimension permits for manageable driving distances, and lots of points of interest are inside 2-3 hours of one another.
Closing Ideas on this Northern Eire Journey Itinerary
Should you’re on the lookout for a very mesmerizing vacation, look no additional than Northern Eire. And with all of the unimaginable sights to see, there can be loads of locations to avoid wasting for spherical two.
You may make it as massive or as small of an journey as you want; with this highway journey itinerary, your vacation has limitless potentialities. Whether or not you’re in Northern Eire for a day, every week or extra, you’ll discover that this lovely province will present infinite alternatives for enjoyable and exploration.
Should you’re prepared for some moody panorama and delightful sights, pack up your automotive and prepare to go. Take this final information to the most effective locations in Northern Eire with you! Ensure to take a look at our different journey articles if you need some extra inspiration – we’ve bought one thing for each form of traveler.