- Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland comprises the six counties of Down, Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Londonderry, Antrim and the capital city, Belfast. All areas offer spectacular scenery and a number of natural and historical attractions.
Northern Ireland's emerald green countryside and stunning coastline is best explored by motor car. The roads are excellent and even minor roads are well signposted.
Northern Ireland is a superb golfing destination. In particular, attractive courses can be found along the coasts of Down, Antrim and Londonderry and within a short distance of Belfast. There are championship courses at Royal Portrush and Royal County Down.
Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland. Situated on the mouth of the River Lagan, it thrived during the Industrial Revolution and became a centre for shipbuilding. Today Belfast is a lively and cultural city offering some of the finest museums and galleries of any UK city as well as many pubs, bars, theatres, parks, restaurants and leisure facilities.
Much of the city centre is pedestrianised and therefore best explored on foot. You can find out about walking yours at the Tourist Centre, including the guided Belfast Pub Walking Tours.
Best known for its spectacular scenery and coastline including the Giants Causeway, Ireland's first World Heritage Site. The Glens of Antrim and Glenariff Forest Park also offer excellent walks and fantastic views. The area has excellent holiday resorts and a number of fine golf courses, including the Championship Course at the Royal Portrush Golf Club.
County Armagh has a wide range of historic attractions including St. Patrick's Trian at Armagh city, an exhibition covering the history and culture of the area. The city also has two impressive Cathedrals.
Has many tourist attractions and beautiful rolling countryside. Near Holywood is the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, an impressive exhibition detailing the lifestyle of local people from bygone years. Visit Loch Strangford, a beautiful marine nature reserve for some sailing or birdwatching. Golfers are well catered for including the Championship Course at Royal County Down Golf Club.
An angler's and sailor's paradise, Lough Erne is a magnificent waterway stretching for nearly 40 miles. With its many islands and coves the Lough makes for an interesting holiday afloat. Hire boats are well equipped and there are many public jetties and marinas, with shops where you can stock up with provisions. The ancient town of Enniskillen, with its Medieval castle, is situated on an island between Lower and Upper Lough Erne.
The county is very picturesque and has many tourist resorts. Take a walk around the 17th century Derry city walls and adjacent Tower Museum. Whilst in Derry take in some traditional live music at one of its many bars.
The scenery is mainly forests and mountains, with a number of historical sites to explore. Visit, also, the Ulster-American Folk Park, near Omagh which covers the migration to America in the 18th century and the Tyrone Crystal Factory, at Dungannon.
Northern Ireland Tourist AttractionsBelfast Castle Off Antrim Road, Belfast
Built in the 1870's, the castle is situated on the slopes of Cave Hill and overlooks Belfast Lough. Includes attractive gardens, restaurant, antiques shop and Heritage Centre exhibition about the castle and area.
Open: Daily. Tel: (028) 9077 6925
Benburb Valley Heritage Centre and Park Benburb, Co. Tyrone
The Heritage Centre is located in an old linen mill includes examples of the machinery used in its production. Attractions at the park include horse riding, golfing and angling.
Tel: (028) 3754 8170
Botanic Gardens Belfast
Situated next to the University, the Botanic Gardens are populated by both students and wildlife. Highlights of these varied and well kept gardens are the Victorian Palm House, built in 1839 and the Tropical Ravine.
Tel: (028) 9032 4902
Cave Hill Country Park Belfast
A large open space located by Belfast Castle and Belfast Zoo. Some parts are designated as a nature reserve and number of walks are signposted. The park gets its name from five Neolithic caves which are partly accessible.
Enniskillen Castle Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh
Medieval Enniskillen Castle, once the stronghold of Gaelic chieftains, is now home to the the Fermanagh County Museum and the museum of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
Tel: (028) 6632 5000
Giants Causeway Bushmills, Co. Antrim
This spectacular natural phenomenon is Ireland's first World Heritage Site. For two scenic miles along the Antrim coast you can view these 40,000 hexagonal basalt stone columns, created by cooling lava. At the Giants Causeway Visitors Centre you will learn how, 55 million years ago, these rock formations came to be. Highly recommended.
Tel: (028) 2073 1855
Londonderry Old City Walls Derry, Co. Londonderry
The 400-year-old city walls are still intact despite being subjected to 105 days of siege in 1688-1689, by King James II's army. Visitors will enjoy great views of the city and the River Foyle. Combine the one mile walk around the walls with a visit to the Tower Museum (excellent Story of Derry exhibition) and the Guildhall.
Tel: (028) 7126 7284
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre Oxford Island Nature Reserve, Co. Armagh
Lough Neagh is the largest lake in Britain and the area is home to a large variety of plants and animals. The interactive exhibition at the Discovery Centre, in Oxford Island National Nature Reserve, tells you all about the various species of wildlife. There are a number of interesting trails and guided tours are available.
Tel: (028) 3832 2205
The Odyssey Belfast
This modern indoor arena is a major venue for sports and other live entertainment. Also includes Science Centre, Warner Cinema and Hard Rock Café. The centre was Belfast's Landmark Millennium Project.
Tel: (028) 9045 1055
Old Bushmills Distillery Bushmills, Co. Antrim
First granted its license in 1608, Old Bushmills is the oldest licensed distillery in the world. Take the guided tour and discover how whiskey is produced then sample the finished product.
St. Patrick's Trian Armagh, Co. Armagh
Located in three 18th and 19th century buildings, this exhibition covers the history and culture of Armagh, including a section on St. Patrick.
Tel: (028) 3752 1801
Strangford Lough Newtownards, Co. Down
Strangford Lough is the biggest sea inlet in the British Isles. It is a marine nature reserve and has been designated an area of outstanding natural beauty and an area of special scientific interest. It boasts a vast number of marine species including seals, mussels and eels (a local delicacy).
Ulster Folk and Transport Museum Near Holywood, Co. Down
Take a journey into Ulster's past and visit a typical town from bygone years. Learn about the daily lives and traditional skills of the people who inhabited Northern Ireland's rural areas.
Tel: (028) 9042 8428
Ulster Museum Belfast
An excellent museum featuring displays of archaeology, antiquities, Irish art, natural sciences and natural history. Also includes a collection of gold and silver treasure salvaged in 1968 from Girona, the Spanish Armada's flagship which sank off the Northern Ireland coast. Situated by the Botanic Gardens.
Tel: (028) 9038 3000
Northern Ireland Tourist Information CentresAntrim Tourist Information Centre
16 High Street, Antrim, Co. Antrim. Tel: (028) 9442 8331
Armagh Tourist Information Centre
Old Bank Building, 40 English Street, Armagh, Co. Armagh. Tel: (028) 3752 1800
Ballymena Tourist Information Centre
76 Church Street, Ballymena, Co. Antrim. Tel: (028) 2563 8494
Belfast Welcome Centre
47 Donegall Place, Belfast. Tel: (028) 9024 6609
Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre
44 Causeway Road, Bushmills, Co. Antrim. Tel: (028) 2073 1855
Downpatrick Tourist Information Centre
74 Market Street, Downpatrick, Co. Down. Tel: (028) 4461 2233
Fermanagh Tourist Information Centre
Wellington Road, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. Tel: (028) 6632 3110
Larne Tourist Information Centre
Narrow Gauge Road, Larne, Co. Antrim. Tel: (028) 2826 0088
Derry Visitor & Convention Bureau
44 Foyle Street, Londonderry, Co. Londonderry. Tel: (028) 7136 9501
Portrush Tourist Information Centre
Dunluce Centre, 41 Portstewart Road, Portrush, Co. Antrim. Tel: (028) 7082 3333
Northern Ireland Tourist BoardUS Office
551 Fifth Avenue, Suite 701, New York, NY 10176. Tel: (212) 922 0101 and (800) 326 0036
111 Avenue Road, Suite 450, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 3J8. Tel: (416) 925 6368