Embarking on a Northern Eire highway journey is the proper solution 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 place to begin, taking vacationers on a scenic journey from Belfast to Derry/Londonderry whereas showcasing main coastal sights. Alongside the way in which, followers of the favored tv sequence Recreation of Thrones can go to a number of iconic filming areas.
Irrespective of which itinerary one chooses, a Northern Eire highway journey guarantees to captivate the senses and create lasting recollections. 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 Highway Journey Itinerary
Day 1: Belfast
Make your first cease in Belfast, the capital metropolis of Northern Eire. Take a Black Taxi tour and discover the 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 the town.
Subsequent, have lunch on the Titanic Resort 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.
You probably 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. For those who’re visiting on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, don’t neglect to cease at St. George’s Market – it’s the proper 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 without doubt one of the finest preserved medieval buildings in Eire. This Norman citadel 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 Large’s Causeway and discover the ruins of the medieval Dunluce Fortress.
Followers of Recreation of Thrones can even 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 historic 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 realm is to hike or bike via the paths to soak up the gorgeous landscapes.
Day 5: Return to Belfast
In your remaining day, make your approach again to Belfast. If time permits, go to County Armagh, also referred to 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 Giant’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 formidable stepped panorama.
The Large’s Causeway Customer Expertise contains an audio information obtainable 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 Large’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. Permit a few hours to go to this web site, because it takes round 15-20 minutes to stroll to the bridge itself from the automobile park.
You may additionally want to attend a couple of minutes to cross the bridge itself at peak occasions. For security, the crossing is managed by a guard and restricted to 1 or two individuals at any time. We advise that you simply guide your ticket prematurely to keep away from disappointment at busy occasions.
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 relationship again to the reign of each the McQuillan and MacDonnell clans. They fought fiercely for management over the citadel 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 obtainable that provide an insightful glimpse into the citadel’s previous and the thrilling tales that it holds.
Hillsborough Fortress and Gardens
Hillsborough Castle 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 citadel is open for excursions with an informative information, who will take guests via the elegant halls. This gorgeous citadel may also be rented for company occasions, weddings and dinners.
Highlights of a tour embody the State Rooms, which have hosted many historic occasions through the years, in addition to the gorgeous gardens unfold over 100 acres. Highlights embody Yew Tree Stroll, the lately restored Walled Backyard and Girl Alice’s Temple.
Simply 20 minutes from Belfast, a go to to Hillsborough Fortress is a should for anybody occupied with Northern Eire’s wealthy historical past and structure.
The Titanic Belfast museum is an important cease for historical past lovers. Situated throughout the Titanic Quarter, this up to date museum reveals the wealthy maritime historical past of the town and tells the story of the ill-fated Titanic, which was in-built Belfast.
The museum presents a novel and fascinating expertise, that includes 9 interactive galleries and restored shipyard installations.
The Darkish Hedges, an extended avenue of twisted beech bushes, is a well-liked vacation spot for Recreation of Thrones followers, because it was featured within the common TV sequence. This enchanting tree-lined highway in Ballymoney creates an eerie and photogenic environment, good for a memorable highway journey cease.
This part of Bregagh Highway 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 proper alternative to go to numerous Recreation of Thrones filming areas. Along with the Darkish Hedges, spots akin to Ballintoy Harbour, Loch Neagh, Tollymore Forest Park, and Downhill Seashore had been all used through the present’s manufacturing.
You can too take a Recreation of Thrones Studio Tour at Linen Mills Studio in Banbridge. Simply half-hour from Belfast, this immersive expertise provides guests the prospect to take a seat on the Iron Throne and see the props from the long-lasting TV sequence.
Strolling Excursions and Boat Journeys
Northern Eire presents a spread 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 be taught concerning the area’s historical past.
Boat journeys supply a unique 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 few of the finest 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 Large’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage web site.
Alongside the coast, different must-see stops embody 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 under. The Causeway Coast presents extra than simply breathtaking landscapes; it additionally immerses guests in wealthy historical past and geological wonders.
The Antrim Coast Highway, a 195-mile route, is one other improbable journey to expertise the appeal 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 Highway is the quaint Glenarm Fortress, with its meticulously maintained walled backyard, providing an ideal spot to chill out and take within the views.
Whereas driving alongside the Antrim Coast, it’s laborious to not be in awe of the majestic backdrop of the Mourne Mountains. These peaks should not solely visually gorgeous but additionally present ample alternatives for mountain climbing and exploring.
As you proceed your journey, make sure to cease by Lough Neagh, the biggest 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 few of the most lovely surroundings within the nation, that includes rolling hills, lush forests, and breathtaking waterfalls.
The customer centre is the proper place to begin for exploring the park’s many strolling trails and studying concerning the space’s wealthy heritage.
The Coast Highway is a shorter, but equally scenic drive centered 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 Highway, 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 a fantastic place to begin in your highway journey. The town is a hub of tradition, historical past, and trendy sights.
Go to the Titanic Belfast museum to be taught concerning the iconic ship’s historical past, or discover the gorgeous structure at Belfast Metropolis Corridor. Don’t neglect to take a stroll via the colourful St. George’s Market, the place you’ll find native crafts and scrumptious meals.
Derry, also referred to 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 the town and delve into its wealthy historical past.
The Peace Bridge, an iconic image of unity between communities, and the Tower Museum that showcases the town’s previous are each price 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’ll be able to be taught concerning the course of, in addition to whiskey tastings the place you’ll be able to strive 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’ll be able to take pleasure in a conventional seafood lunch.
The village can also 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’ll be able to 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 dwelling 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 the town’s historic historical past.
Whereas exploring these cities and cities, take into account 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 motels catering to completely different budgets and preferences. One upscale possibility within the space is Galgorm, a luxurious spa and golf resort that gives distinctive facilities and providers. Company can chill out within the Thermal Village overlooking a cascade, take pleasure in therapies on the world-class spa, play golf at a championship course, and revel in scrumptious foods 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 outside bathtub on the terrace. There’s additionally a bathe room and properly outfitted kitchen contained in the luxurious hut.
There’s a great 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 common Northern Eire vacation spot is The Rabbit Hotel & Retreat. Recognized for its fashionable, up to date design, this boutique resort supplies excellent lodging and a soothing environment for visitors to unwind.
Its prime location in Templepatrick ensures easy accessibility to Belfast and County Antrim. Take a dip within the outside pool with its glittering mirror ball, have a soothing 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 spread of charming mattress and breakfast lodging that present a comfy and cozy keep. A great possibility is Millbrae Lodges, a captivating B&B in Crumlin. Anticipate a hearty breakfast together with customized, heat hospitality.
In abstract, Northern Eire presents a various choice of lodging choices to go well with completely different budgets and preferences. Whether or not selecting a comfy B&B or an opulent resort, guests can count on heat hospitality, wonderful service, and easy accessibility to the area’s gorgeous sights.
Northern Eire Meals and Drink Suggestions
Throughout your Northern Eire highway journey, you’ll wish to ensure 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 place to take pleasure in a choice of do-it-yourself savories and truffles. 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 in your itinerary is Harry’s Shack. This common beachside eatery in Portstewart presents a spectacular view of the coast and serves up recent seafood dishes like fish and chips, oysters, and crab. Their menu is seasonal and regionally sourced, guaranteeing the freshest and most scrumptious components.
For those who’re visiting Hillsborough Fortress, go away 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 Resort 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 basic and up to date dishes.
A go to to Northern Eire can be incomplete with out making an attempt the native gin. Many eating places and bars supply a wide range of artisan gins, akin to Shortcross Gin and Belfast Artisan Distillery Gin. They’re usually infused with orchard fruits or different regionally sourced flavors.
By experiencing these foods 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 identified 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 high spas within the area, Galgorm and The Rabbit Resort stand out as common locations for vacationers and locals alike.
Galgorm is without doubt one of the most famous spas in Northern Eire. Situated simply half-hour from Belfast, this premier luxurious resort and spa presents a spread of services and coverings that cater to all preferences.
With an indoor pool, a lovely outside Thermal Village, and a wide range of indulgent therapies, visitors can discover rest and well-being in a serene surroundings. 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 varieties of lodging it may be added on at £15 per individual. Company staying in a Deluxe room or Suite have a personal spa expertise included of their keep – a personal bathing expertise, Galgorm detox remedy or mud rasul.
One other notable spa vacation spot is The Rabbit Hotel in Templepatrick. This boutique resort is nestled inside lush gardens and presents a tranquil escape from day by day life.
The Rabbit Resort’s spa has a give attention to holistic well-being, offering therapeutic therapies and rejuvenating experiences. The non-public 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 one in all these luxurious spas. Whether or not you’re searching for pure rest, holistic therapeutic, or a connection to historic magnificence, you’re positive to search out the proper spa expertise in Northern Eire.
How one can 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 automobile is commonly essentially the most handy and versatile selection for a highway journey. You may hire automobiles from numerous suppliers, with Uncover Vehicles being a well-liked possibility. Renting a automobile makes it straightforward to discover Northern Eire by yourself schedule, stopping on the many sights and sights alongside the way in which. Whereas driving in another country is usually a bit daunting, roads in Northern Eire are well-maintained, and driving is on the left-hand facet of the highway.
Some issues to contemplate when renting a automobile embody:
- Insurance coverage protection
- Kind of automobile (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 within reason dependable. You may journey by bus between main cities like Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, in addition to to a few of the smaller cities and sights. Nonetheless, this selection could also be much less handy for these seeking to cease at a number of areas alongside the way in which.
When utilizing buses in 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 an alternative choice for touring between main locations. Whereas the prepare community is proscribed in comparison with international locations like England or France, there are providers 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 might not service all of the factors alongside your chosen itinerary.
Listed here are a number of suggestions for touring by prepare in Northern Eire:
- Examine prepare schedules and buy tickets prematurely
- Concentrate on the restricted prepare community
- Contemplate combining prepare journey with one of many different transport choices akin to renting a automobile, for higher flexibility
How one can Get to Northern Eire
Northern Eire, a land of gorgeous pure magnificence and wealthy cultural heritage, attracts guests from all around the world. Relating to getting right here, there are a number of choices to contemplate.
The area is well-served by three airports – Belfast Worldwide Airport, George Finest Belfast Metropolis Airport and Metropolis of Derry Airport. They provide a spread of direct flights from cities throughout Europe and past. We flew out and in of George Finest Belfast Metropolis Airport and it was a very fast and pain-free expertise, being simply 3 miles from the town middle. You might additionally fly to Dublin airport within the Republic of Eire.
For those who’re searching for a very scenic route, the ferry is a well-liked selection for these touring from Scotland, England, and Wales. Sailings depart often from ports in Liverpool, Cairnryan, and Holyhead, and arrive at Belfast or Larne. Whichever approach you select to embark upon your Northern Eire journey, you’re assured a heat welcome upon arrival.
Continuously 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 completely expertise the area’s magnificence and historic websites, a 5-day journey is beneficial.
Finest time to go to?
The very best time to go to Northern Eire for a highway journey is through the spring and summer season months. On this interval, the climate is extra favorable, and you’ll actually admire the plush landscapes and gorgeous shoreline.
There are a number of highway journey itineraries in Northern Eire to select from. Some common sights and landscapes to go to embody the Causeway Coastal Route, Large’s Causeway, Glens of Antrim, Lough Neagh, Recreation of Thrones filming areas, Whiterocks Seashore, and Ballycastle Seashore.
Journey with out a automobile?
Whereas a automobile 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 enable vacationers to go to key sights. Nonetheless, it could restrict your flexibility and spontaneity through the journey.
Eire mixed journey?
Combining a visit to Northern Eire with a go to to the Republic of Eire is a wonderful thought. This fashion, you’ll be able to expertise each international locations’ distinctive cultural and pure magnificence. Make sure you allocate sufficient time for each international locations, as there may be a lot to find.
Driving period throughout a Northern Eire highway journey will fluctuate relying in your chosen routes and stops. Typically, Northern Eire’s dimension permits for manageable driving distances, and plenty of sights are inside 2-3 hours of one another.
Last Ideas on this Northern Eire Journey Itinerary
For those who’re searching for a very mesmerizing vacation, look no additional than Northern Eire. And with all of the unbelievable sights to see, there shall be loads of locations to save lots of for spherical two.
You can also make it as large or as small of an journey as you want; with this highway journey itinerary, your vacation has limitless prospects. Whether or not you’re in Northern Eire for a day, every week or extra, you’ll discover that this lovely province will present limitless alternatives for enjoyable and exploration.
For those who’re prepared for some moody panorama and exquisite sights, pack up your automobile and prepare to go. Take this final information to the very best locations in Northern Eire with you! Be certain to take a look at our different journey articles if you’d like some extra inspiration – we’ve bought one thing for each sort of traveler.