After living abroad for a year and a half, I was lucky to be able to travel around this little country. Of course I also visited loads of places in the Republic but I will share those with you in another post. As I haven’t been able to travel as much as I had planned because of Covid-19, I thought it would be nice to just share some of the places I was lucky enough to visit while living abroad. If we can’t travel for a while, may as well just start to get some ideas of where to travel next?
- Belfast. It is the city capital of Northern Ireland but do not expect a typical European capital city, it is tiny, you could visit it all with one or two days. From my own experience living there, the main touristic attractions can visited fairly easily as everything is close by. I do recommend exploring outside of the city though, that is where the true beauty of Northern Ireland is. Either way, some places you can’t miss are the Titanic museum, Belfast City Hall, St. George’s Market on the weekends, Peace Wall, Ulster Museum & Botanic Gardens. You also have to go to some traditional pubs, I recommend going to Kelly’s, it is one of the oldest and it has the best ambiance ever.
- Up north Antrim. If you drive up from Belfast you find places such as Giant’s Causeway, a must see 100%. I would just recommend being aware of the weather you may have the day you visit as it is by the ocean, the wind can be a big struggle and if on top of that it rains, it can get a bit slippery so i would just be cautious. Around that area you also have Bushmills, the little town where Bushmills whiskey is made, so if you are a big whiskey drinker, you may be interested in a visit to the distillery.
- Up North-East Antrim. If you decide to head East, you are going to find Carrick a rede bridge, it is stunning but unfortunately I haven’ been able to go. It is a rope bridge that joins the cliffs with Carrick-a-Rede Island, suspended at around 30m above sea level. Every time I would decide on going, it was too windy and the bridge was closed so also watch out for that if you are planning to visit.
- Up North-West Antrim. If you decide to head West instead, you are going to find places like Castlerock, and nearby you have Mussenden Temple. It is a temple part of the National Trust as well as Downhill Castle, an old mansion built back in the 18th century for old Bishop of Derry. The majority of the built was destroyed due to a fire mid 19th century but rebuilt a few decades after. After the Second World War, it got destroyed again but this time it was not rebuilt.
- Derry / Londonderry. It is the second biggest city in the North and the Fourth of Ireland. The dispute regarding the name still lives on as Catholics call it Derry while protestants call it Londonderry. If you are not familiarized with the Troubles, it was a political conflict that started around the 1960s and ended with the Good Friday agreement in 1998. Although the two sides were called Catholics and Protestants, it was not an actual religious conflict. Still to this day there is a big difference between the Catholic side and the Protestant side. It is a nice city to check out if you are into history as you can see the murals related to the Troubles.
- Fermanagh. From my personal opinion, the most beautiful county of Northern Ireland. It is the place I spent three summers in a row working and where I met my now ex-boyfriend, if you have been a reader for a while you already know the whole story. Either way, the amount of lakes and natural beauty this county has is incredible. I feel like I could do an entire guide of Fermanagh as there is a lot of stuff to see and do around there, if anyone is interested. There are plenty of places to go for walks, take the kayak out and just enjoy nature. I will definitely focus more on Fermanagh on Thursday’s post!
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