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What to see in Northern Ireland


Although Northern Ireland is perhaps best known to travellers for its beautiful rural countryside and pretty coastline, the cities also have charm: industrial Belfast and the 17th-century walled city of Derry are two of the most popular urban destinations in Northern Ireland and are both great travel hubs for tourists. Northern Ireland is delightfully compact, meaning that the distance between sightseeing attractions tends to be small; a rare advantage when looking at the top attractions in a country and trying to plan an itinerary!

Belfast is an interesting city, once one of the major powerhouses of the Industrial Revolution, and a cauldron of political strife for many decades. The city is undergoing a wholesale rejuvenation, centring on the trendy Cathedral Quarter, famous for its performing arts venues and vibrant nightlife. The charming old city of Derry is less than two-hours drive from Belfast, and boasts many museums and historic sites of its own.

Those staying in Belfast can make quick excursions to a number of wonderful sites, including Giant's Causeway, on the scenic Antrim Coast, which is generally lauded as Northern Ireland's top tourist attraction. Whiskey lovers visiting Giant's Causeway should also be sure to detour to the nearby Bushmills Distillery, in the town of Bushmills, which is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world. Another gem near Belfast is the mysterious Giant's Ring, a Neolithic henge which many visitors will find fascinating. Lastly, the delightfully scary Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, which offers splendid views, is also only a short drive from the city.

Cathedral Quarter

Once the city's centre for trade and its warehouse district, the Cathedral Quarter is now the heart of Belfast's cultural and tourist hub. The district is named for St Anne's Cathedral. The cathedral…

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Giant's Ring

The fascinating and mysterious Giant's Ring, in Ballynahatty, near Shaw's Bridge, is made up of a circular enclosure nearly 656 feet (200m) in diameter, with five entrances, and an older Neolithic…

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St Anne's Cathedral

The focal point of Belfast's trendy Cathedral Quarter district, St Anne's Cathedral is a gorgeous monument, and a proud symbol of all the best that Northern Ireland has to offer. With its foundation…

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Giant's Causeway

The pride of Northern Ireland's tourist attractions, the Giant's Causeway is a must-see sight for visitors to the northern half of the Emerald Isle. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant's Causeway…

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