Royal Edinburgh Military TattooSt Michael's MountFanad Lighthouse in County Donegal, IrelandCaerphilly CastleInverary Highland GamesTower Bridge, LondonGuinness Storehouse, DublinPowis Castle and GardensScottish pipe bandBamburgh Castle, NorthumberlandGiant's CausewayFfestiniog Railway

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the United Kingdom, as more and more people discover the charms of this beautiful place with its rolling countryside, rugged coastline, bustling capital city and friendly people.

15613_Titanic_Belfast.jpgTitanic Belfast © Tourism Northern Ireland

Northern Irish Tours

Although Belfast was long associated with ‘The Troubles’, that is all in the past now and today the city centre is one of the most interesting, up and coming tourist destinations in the UK. The long ship-building history of the city is evident in the new Titanic Belfast museum, recently named Europe’s best tourist attraction, which offers an intriguing insight into the history of the ill-fated ship. The Ulster Museum is the best place to discover the north of Ireland’s long and interesting past, from ancient times to the present day, and the notorious Crumlin Road Gaol is now a museum which provides a unique look at life behind bars over the last 150 years.

Belfast City Hall is one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic buildings, overlooking impressive Donegall Square, and the eye catching Waterfront Hall is the scene of many a well-supported concert and event. Belfast has seen an explosion of eating places in recent years and now boasts dozens of exciting restaurants, cafés and bars.

17083_Stormont_Parliament_Buildings.jpgStormont © Tourism Northern Ireland

Just east of Belfast centre is Stormont, the seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly and another of Northern Ireland’s most recognisable landmarks, which is open to the public for tours from Monday to Friday.

Derry-Londonderry in the north west is Northern Ireland’s second city which dates back to the 6th Century. Although its recent past has been turbulent, it is now a thriving centre of culture and creativity, named Northern Ireland’s friendliest destination. The iconic Peace Bridge across the River Foyle was opened in 2011, to ‘bridge the gap’ between the different communities in the city.

16677_City_Walls_Londonderry.jpgCity Walls, Derry-Londonderry © Tourism Northern Ireland

In 2013, Derry-Londonderry was named by Lonely Planet as the fourth best city to visit in the world by a panel of travel experts and it was chosen as the first ever UK City of Culture. Derry-Londonderry is the only completely walled city in Ireland and you can still stroll along the walls which are over 400 years old.

If you have limited time in Northern Ireland, here are our suggestions for five essential things to do while you're there.

Heritage Tours

Geographically, Northern Ireland is centred around Lough Neagh – the largest lake in the British Isles. To the south east of the province are the romantic Mountains of Mourne, their austere beauty visible from miles around, and to the east is Strangford Lough, the largest sea inlet in the British Isles and a conservation zone recognised for its abundant wildlife. And don’t miss the restored fishing village of Kearney on the Ards Peninsula, between Strangford Lough and the Irish Sea, which is owned by the National Trust and offers a snapshot into life in a 19th century fishing community.

20320_Giant_s_Causeway.jpgGiant’s Causeway © Tourism Northern Ireland

The north east of Northern Ireland is well known for its dramatic Antrim Coast, and a journey along the coastal path is sure to take your breath away. Further around the coast is the world famous Giant’s Causeway, an incredible natural wonder made up of over 40,000 basalt columns, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 and well worth a visit. The north coast is also famous for its rugged beauty and Rathlin Island is a renowned bird sanctuary. The Causeway Coastal Route, which follows much of the north and east coast of Northern Ireland, from Belfast to Derry-Londonderry, was recently rated one of the top five road trips worldwide.

The Gobbins is a spectacular cliff path which forms part of the Causeway Coastal Route and offers dramatic  views of the Irish Sea and surrounding coast. An area of special scientific interest, The Gobbins is a haven for wildlife, and on a guided tour you may see dolphins dancing off the coastline, cormorants diving for fish or puffins burrowing to lay their eggs. The incredible route takes in narrow paths, breathtaking bridges, stairways carved into the rock and tunnels hidden under the sea.  

25989_Gobbins_Cliff_Path_c_Northern_Ireland_Tourist_Board.jpgThe Gobbins Cliff Path © Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Further north along the coast, the heart-stopping Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge offers adrenaline junkies the chance to brave a dizzying gap across the Atlantic Ocean to reach a small rocky island. A truly unforgettable experience, the bridge is not for the faint hearted, but the incredible views are worth it!

17445_Carrick-a-Rede_Rope_Bridge_c_Northern_Ireland_Tourist_Board.jpgCarrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge © Northern Ireland Tourist Board

St Patrick’s Way is an 82 mile (132km) walking and pilgrimage route between the historic cities of Armagh and Downpatrick in the south of Northern Ireland. It connects key sites relating to Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and passes though some of Northern Ireland’s most beautiful countryside.

St_Patricks_Trail_c_Tourism_Ireland.jpgSaint Patrick at Saul Church in Northern Ireland © Tourism Ireland

The Navan Centre in County Armagh is home to one of Ireland's most important archaeological sites, Navan Fort. This was the legendary Emain Macha, the ancient capital and seat of the Kings of Ulster. The Navan Centre, one of Northern Ireland's leading attractions, gives visitors the chance to find out about and experience Ireland's Celtic past.

0Z6A4654_-_Copy.jpgThe Navan Centre, County Armagh

0Z6A2369_-_Copy.jpgThe Navan Centre, County Armagh

You can also discover more about the history of Northern Ireland by exploring the archives, collections and manuscripts of the country on one of our tailor-made tours.

Location Tours

These days, the spectacular scenery of Northern Ireland is popular as a TV and movie location and the well known series Game of Thrones® was filmed at locations around the country. Read more here.

Culture Tours

Bellaghy in County Derry was home to literary giant Seamus Heaney, and a new arts and literary centre there is dedicated to the poet. Just a forty minute drive from Belfast, HomePlace traces the life and literature of Nobel Laureate Heaney, one of Ireland's greatest writers. A visit to Bellaghy is also a chance to experience the beautiful countryside of South Derry and to explore the places that inspired Heaney.

shhp_man__boy_-_smaller_image.jpegSeamus Heaney, HomePlace

The Armagh Rhymers are one of Ireland's most celebrated traditional music and theatre ensembles and can be seen at events and festivals across the country. Performing in Ireland's oldest county museum, Armagh County Museum, for pre-bookable groups only, the Armagh Rhymers carry on a centuries-old tradition of music, song and drama. Their participatory performances include the ancient 'mummers play', which features heroic characters from Irish mythology.

Mummers_in_Field_-_Copy.jpgArmagh Rhymers

Food & Drink Tours

There are many wonderful activities and experiences on the island of Ireland which can make a vacation extra special for you or your clients and, for food and drink lovers in particular, there is certainly a lot to enjoy. Here is just a flavour of the foodie highlights we can recommend for your tour.

The following video from award-winning Causeway Coast Foodie Tours is sure to whet your appetite!

And for those who enjoy a tipple, a visit to the Old Bushmills Distillery to find out about the whiskey making process and to sample a dram or two, is unmissable!  

Golf Tours

In 2019, Northern Ireland was at the centre of the golfing world as The Open was staged outside of Scotland and England for only the second time in its history, when it took place at the Royal Portrush Golf Club. We can put together the ideal golf tour for you or your group.

The Finest Hotels

We offer a range of accommodation across the island of Ireland to meet your expectations and budget. Here is just a selection of the fabulous hotels we work with.

The_Fitzwilliam_Belfast_-_The_Penthouse_-_Copy.JPGThe five star Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast

If you or your group would like to enjoy your own tailor-made tour of Northern Ireland, please do contact Janet Redler Travel & Tourism today.

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