Ireland: The Warmest Welcome
Ireland is a warm and welcoming country with so much going on that you will struggle to fit it all in. We give a few of our top recommendations in Ireland and Nothern Ireland to help you plan your trip to the Emerald Isles.
One of the world's natural wonders, The Giant's Causeway is a formation of rocks formed by a series of volcanic eruptions. Or, was it created by Ireland's giant, Finn McCool, when he was having troubles with Scotland's giant, Benandonner? Whether you choose to believe the science or the legend, this rock formation is breath-taking from either angle. On a clear day, you can see Scotland's Island of Arran, though you probably can't throw a stone into the ocean to create a path like Ireland's mythological giant could.
If you are already heading north to visit The Giants Causeway, then you are likely venturing along the Causeway Coast anyway. This coast takes its name from the famous formation and is approximately 33 miles of beautiful coastline. Venture across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, learn the history of a 400-year-old whiskey at Bushmills, and (if you're brave enough) even stay the night at the haunted Ballygally Castle Hotel.
If you're visiting Ireland, you don't want to miss the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. The Irish classic is said to taste better straight from the source, and we are sure they know their national drink best. Learn about the production and craft of the Black Stuff and finish off your tour with a crisp pint that you can enjoy with a view over the city.
Dark Hedges - Ballymoney
Any hardcore Game of Thrones fan, and even those who have never watched an episode will know that the Dark Hedges in Ballymoney are iconic. Its feature in the vastly popular TV series has seen visits from tourists soar in recent years and any fan will appreciate the setting, just be sure to pose for photos with caution as this road is active even if it isn't busy.
Visit the birthplace of the world's most famous shipwreck, the RMS Titanic. Built in Belfast, the famous ship began its doomed journey from Southampton to New York in 1912, though it never reached its destination. If you have yet to see the movie (first of all, how?), we won't ruin the plot for you, but this museum definitely will so be sure to give it a watch first if you don't like having an ending ruined (though, we're sure history has already done that for you!)
Belfast traditional pub crawls
There are loads of traditional pubs to try out all over the country, but for those sticking to the north Belfast has some like nowhere else. You can opt for a guided crawl of the pubs via an organised source such as http://www.belfastcrawl.co.uk/ or even just trail through the historic streets of Northern Ireland's capital and find your own favourites. It's the perfect way to find your way around the city and gives you a taster of many places.
One of Ireland's best-preserved medieval castles, built in 1177, stands intact in Carrickfergus Co. Antrim. The castle has been under rule by Irish, Scot, English and French hands since being built and played a role in the military until 1928. Now, the castle is home to displays of historic significance and the grand venue of a number of weddings.
Enniskillen Castle, Co. Fermanagh
Situated beside the banks of the River Erne, Enniskillen Castle is over 500 years old and was built by the Gaelic Maguires as a guard to one of the passes to Ulster. The castle has been historically significant in military strategy and is now home to Fermanagh County Museum and The Inniskillings Museum. The local area of County Fermanagh is a picturesque backdrop to the castle.