In association with: Tourism Ireland
Book your clients an experience to remember
Northern Ireland is a small country with a giant spirit. With culture-filled cities that are buzzing with life, lush countryside and wild seas crashing against the rugged cliffs of the North Atlantic, there’s nowhere quite like it.
For clients who wish to peel back the layers of the past, the cities boast world-class museums and attractions – such as Titanic Belfast. Or maybe they’re looking for an escape to the countryside, where rolling hills and vast areas of greenery provide a backdrop for quaint villages, and locals will give you the warmest of welcomes.
Wherever your clients prefer to visit, they’re certain to uncover the unique experiences that Northern Ireland is known for.
And with a selection of new attractions and accolades to showcase in 2022, your clients are invited to press the Green Button and travel now to embrace the giant spirit of Northern Ireland.
Embrace… the countryside
Step beyond the boundaries of the cities and a giant adventure awaits in Northern Ireland’s rugged countryside. Its scenery is best explored by car, where visitors can really get under the country’s skin.
A rolling landscape stretches right up to the sea at the Glens of Antrim. Formed by nine glens, the region is perfect for hiking, with viaducts and villages concealed among the hills. Find The Dark Hedges, which doubles up as a famous location in Game of Thrones. Here, parallel rows of beech trees form an eerie canopy over the road, as if plucked straight from a legendary tale.
County Fermanagh in the southwest of Northern Ireland is peppered with lakes and rivers. Follow the historical trails along the meandering waterways of the Fermanagh Lakelands to take in the serene views. Stick with the slow pace here and partake in an activity on the water, including kayaking, canoeing or angling.
For a special overnight experience, the Bubble Domes at Finn Lough are a unique place to sleep under the stars. Whichever part of the countryside your customers are keen to discover, or easily combine with a city in one short break, the stories of the surroundings will be sure to leave a lasting memory.
Embrace… the cities
There’s a welcoming vibe wherever you go in Northern Ireland, but this is especially embraced in its cities. They’re also teeming with history and attractions that can’t be found anywhere else, plus they’re compact enough to explore easily on foot.
Titanic Belfast is a great place to start. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the interactive museum takes visitors through the history of the famous ocean liner. Live music, deliciously fresh food and a vibrant atmosphere all point to St George’s Market, just down the road from Belfast City Hall.
But it’s not all about the capital. Armagh, in the south of the country, is on the shortlist for the UK City of Culture 2025. St Patrick’s Cathedral stands tall over the city, while the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is a great spot for those who want to learn about the universe beyond planet Earth.
Over in Derry~Londonderry, the culture is best absorbed through an immersive walking tour around the legendary City Walls. The Peace Bridge is a great spot to stroll or cycle over, or even paddleboard under, and take in the views of the city and River Foyle.
Embrace… the coast
The jagged cliffs and the wild seas of the Causeway Coast live up to their legendary reputation. There are surprises at every twist and turn along this famous coastal route, a must for road trippers keen to hear a few tales along the way.
The jewel in the crown of this region is the Giant’s Causeway, a natural wonder of hundreds of hexagonal basalt rocks, that look like they’ve been carefully carved out of the landscape.
When the summer rolls around, the beaches are a beautiful respite. Some of the most picturesque can be found along the County Londonderry coastline. The sandy strip of Portstewart Strand is a popular spot, where the shadowy outlines of Northern Ireland’s familiar mountains can be seen in the distance.
Embrace… the food and drink
Whether it’s tucking into a hearty meal in a village pub or sampling some whiskey or gin straight from the still, visitors to Northern Ireland will not go home hungry or thirsty.
With so much coastline, locally sourced seafood is a must. County Down is a good place to start, home to key fishing ports that bring some of the best shellfish ashore. Inland, visitors can take their pick of fine dining restaurants, or quaint, homely inns in the countryside.
No matter where your customers choose to dine out, they will be served with the warm hospitality that the locals are known for. Spirit drinkers will find no shortage of distilleries – from Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim to the Echlinville Distillery in County Down.
Meanwhile, for those keen to tap into the local craft beer scene, microbreweries and brewpubs, including the Deer’s Head in Belfast, are popular stops on any itinerary.
Embrace… the golf
Royal County Down, near the coastal town of Newcastle, has previously been voted the number one golf course in the world by Golf Digest. Its two 18-hole courses are a must for golfing experts, and players can also combine with a stay at the famous Slieve Donard hotel next door.
Castlerock Golf Club in County Londonderry tucked away on the north coast, is great for beginners. Meanwhile, two well-renowned courses can be found at Lough Erne Resort, surrounded by the Fermanagh Lakelands.
Top 5: New in 2022
1. The brand-new Game of Thrones studio tour is now open at the Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, County Down. Visitors will be able to explore the sets, see the costumes and props and immerse themselves in this legendary experience.
2. Belfast was recently awarded City of Music status by Unesco, celebrating the city’s rich musical heritage and vibrant music scene. You’ll find it all here – from intimate gigs to headline events, intertwined around the city.
3. The Titanic Belfast attraction celebrates its 10th anniversary on March 31. Look out for offers for visitors over the birthday weekend and throughout the year.
4. Derry~Londonderry will be the location of an ‘Our Place in Space’ sculpture trail. The six-mile route will be in place for two months, taking visitors through a model of the solar system as part of an immersive and interactive experience.
5. Armagh city and borough is currently in the running to become the UK City of Culture 2025. It’s steeped in Georgian architecture with a fascinating heritage and is where the legacy of St Patrick is still felt and celebrated today.
A hassle-free holiday
- Easy access by air to Belfast and City of Derry and by ferry to Belfast and Larne
- No passport or visa requirements from Great Britain
- No testing or quarantine requirements from Great Britain*
- No exchange rate as Northern Ireland uses sterling
- “We’re Good to Go” certification shows Covid protocols are being met by hospitality and tourism providers
- Check the latest requirements if bringing your pets
- Press the Green Button and book now!
*Always check the latest travel and public health advice at ireland.com
Find out more
PICTURES: NITB Photographic Library/Tony Pleavin, David Cordner; Tourism Ireland/Chris Hill, Casper Diederik