Why You Need to Add Northern Ireland to Your Travel List

Hello HIH fam! 

For those who may not be aware my mum was born and raised in Count Down, which is in the North of Ireland. I spent most of my summers in Ireland, and always called it my second home. 

Ireland has always been popular amongst travellers, but not many people venture up towards the north. This next section could become a very long history lesson so I will keep it as simple as possible. If you have not heard about The Troubles, it was terrible time where the North was essentially at war with itself, and it was the reason a lot of people didn't want to visit which is understandable. Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement back in 1998 things have stabilized in the north and it’s time the world gets to discover the beauty the North of Ireland has to offer!   

rope bridge.jpg

I’m going to start with this to get it out of the way…Game of Thrones.

Did you know that Game of Thrones is mostly filmed in Northern Ireland? Yep. There are locations all over the North, and many actors can be spotted on a night out in Belfast.  

Fun fact, The Wall/ Castle Black is just by a main highway just outside of Belfast. They painted a section of a cliffs white and have built castle black along it! 

There are so many film locations, because most of the filming is done in Northern Ireland, but if you are a huge fan there are several tours you could do that go and stop along those infamous castles, dark hedges, and beaches! 

 

Mourne Mountains – Newcastle, Co. Down

This is so close to my heart because it is a short drive away from the family home, and I spent so much of my time there walking along the beach and looking up at the Mournes. They are about 850m high, and a landmark of Northern Ireland. I am a little embarrassed to say I have yet to actually hike them, but I will!  

IMG_0568.jpg

Giants Causeway 

One of the geographically interesting spots of Northern Ireland is Giants Causeway! The reason its on everyone’s bucket list is due to the columns of hexagons... everywhere. 
The unique shape is due to the crystallization that happened within the lava flow., but it wouldn't be Ireland if there wasn’t a folklore story linked to it! 

IMG_0519.JPG

Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge

This may not be for those who have a fear of height because you are crossing from a cliff to a small island on a rope bridge 30m above sea level. To be fair, it is very well maintained by National Trust and very sturdy, but you are still walking on a rope bridge that will sway in the wind. I’m a huge fan of it and have crossed it several times! On a clear day you can also see Scotland from this spot!

 

Causeway Coastal Route and Antrim Glens 

If you are heading up towards Giants causeway and the rope bridge, you will want to take the coastal route. Along this route you will be cliff edge almost the whole way, and you will get beautiful views of the Antrim Glens along the way. 

This is another are where on a clear day you can get a glimpse of Scotland. 

IMG_0553.jpg

 

Belfast

There is a lot of history in Belfast, and some may be surprised to find out that Titanic was actually built in Belfast! 


Belfast was also home to a lot of the hostility during The Troubles. Although there is peace right now, the city still has a peace wall that separates the catholic and protestant areas of the city, which is closed at night and opened up again in the morning. There was recently a poll to see if the people want to get rid of the wall and they did not, which is a bit sad when you think about it.  There is a bit of a dark side to Belfast, and I think it’s important to remember the recent history of the city. There are murals across the city which were present during the troubles and they are striking. 

IMG_0578.jpg

There is so much to discover in Northern Ireland, and these are just a handful of beautiful things to see but the list truly goes on! 

 

With happy vibes, 

Mary-Catherine