The rugged north of ireland is steeped in history
From the Capital of Northern Island in Belfast to the rugged Donegal Coast, continue to arty Sligo, home to Irelands' Arts & Letters and discover Yeats. Encounter Giants Causeway, cross the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, tipple some Bushmills at the distillery and be awed by Carrickfergus Castle. Experience the beautiful lands of County Antrim where "Game of Thrones" was filmed.
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Belfast (Northern Ireland's Capital)
In recent years Belfast has made a remarkable transformation, though once shunned by visitors unnerved by tales of the "Troubles". The birth place of R.M.S. Titanic you can visit the Titanic Quarter to learn all there is to know about the famous ship, shop at Victoria Square Shopping Centre, take in St. Anne's Cathedral established in the Middle Ages and infamous Belfast City Hall and its' weekly Continental Market.
Giant Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge & Bushmills
Enjoy the stunningly beautiful A2 coastal drive on the way to County Antrim, location for the filming of "Game of Thrones" and revel at Castle Carrickfergus c.1177. Here you will find the '8th Wonder of the World' at Giants Causeway and if you are brave, cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge then head to the Old Bushmills Distillery for a tour and history of Ireland's finest whiskey.
The Walled City of Derry
Northern Irelands' second largest city, formerly "Londonderry" is steeped in history. Surrounded by 17th Century walls, stroll the 1.5km perimeter. Visit the oldest building at St. Columb's Cathedral, the Free Museum of Derry that chronicles Bloody Sunday and the 5-story Tower Museum for panoramic views of the city. Tour the Seige Museum chronicling the 105-Day Seige in the Battle of Bogside. was inspired by Derry and the The HeaneyHomePlace chronicles the life of Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate, the worlds most prolific poet, and features a tribute to literature. Just outside of Derry, visit Camomile House, "the prettiest house in Ulster" and enjoy its' small walled gardens.
Sligo - Home to Arts and Letters
Capital of the North West was settled by Vikings, Sligo is home to amazing golf courses, world class horseback riding and grand beaches (Rosses Point). Experience the vibrant art scene. Visit WB Yeats burial ground at Drumcliffe Cemetery, the Grand Lissadel Country House, c.1830, Sligo Abbey, c.1253, Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, c.2000BC and the bustling coastal village of Strand Hill.
The Rugged Donegal Coast
This rugged coastline and mountain region is largely Irish speaking. Be awed by impressive 16,000 hectare Glenveagh National Park and Mount Errigal. Visit Donegal Castle, c.1474. and time the tide to visit the picturesque sandy beaches of Carrickfinn Blue Flag beach, Portsalon, Narin and Portnoo. The most northerly point in Ireland is along Malin Head on the Inishowen peninsula. Experience the many championship links courses including Ballyliffin Golf Course in Donegal. The dramatic northwest coast is also part of the Wild Atlantic Way journey.
Divis Ridge Trail - Belfast, County Antrim | Hare's Gap - Mourne Mountains, County Down | Causeway Coastway - County Antrim
Divis ridge Trail - Belfast, County Antrim
4.2m/6.8km | Easy-Moderate Difficulty | 3 Hours | Highest Point - Take the Loop
For a panoramic skyline view over Belfast, the Mourne Mountains, Scotland and the Isle of Man, take this circular trail in the Belfast Hills and arrive at 1,568 ft/478m, the highest point in Belfast. Expect mostly flat trails, tarmac, boardwalk and gravel and cross a few stiles. At the top is Divis Coffee Barn for the highest Coffee shop in the land.
Hare's Gap - Belfast, County Antrim
2.1m/3.4km | Strenuous Difficulty | 4 Hours | Serious Fit Hikers need Apply
For the more serious conditioned hiker with a good fitness level and a broken in pair of hiking boots. Hare's Gap is at is a dramatic Mourne Mountains pass at 440m/1444ft and was once where smugglers made to exit goods to the coast. Expect rough paths, open mountainside and a steep ascent at the finish to a boulder field leading to Mourne Wall. Retrace your steps or walk to Slieve Bearnagh to witness the dramatic tors or for an easier exit, try the smugglers' route to Brandy Pad.
Causeway Coast Way - North Coast, County Antrim
33m/53km | Moderate Difficulty | 2-8 Hours | Northernmost Coast for Fit walkers
Take in the Northernmost coastline of high cliffs, secluded beaches, landmarks, harbors and the famous Giant's Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Dunlace Castle. There are several access points taking in grassy trails, long beaches and paved paths and roads. A favorite leg of this hike is from Giant's Causeway via the 4.5 mile/7.2km North Antrim Cliff Path to Dunserverick Castle for outstanding cliff scapes and surrounding farmland.
If you need extra exercise give Knocknarea Mountain a try. You can’t miss it as the peninsula is dominated by it. There are fantastic views from there with some sort of burial mound on the summit. The hill is about 300 meters high so it’s less of a climb and more like an easy walk up.