In association with: Tourism Ireland
Inspire your clients with suggestions from our four-day itinerary
A trip to Northern Ireland can seamlessly incorporate city, coast and countryside. Thanks to its compact size, everything in this beautiful country is within easy reach, allowing your clients to make the most of it all in one trip. Here are some Northern Ireland highlights that shouldn’t be missed.
Discover the capital If your clients are arriving into Belfast to start their trip, they’ll have the perfect opportunity to see the city. Belfast has a great mix of world‑class attractions, historical sights and foodie pitstops to make the most of.
Begin the day in the Titanic Quarter, where Titanic Belfast, the largest exhibition dedicated to the ship, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. It’s located in the same spot where the ship was built and launched ahead of its fateful voyage 110 years ago, and visitors can discover its story through interactive exhibits.
Belfast was named a Unesco City of Music at the end of last year
A 25-minute walk takes you back into the centre of Belfast, where you can grab some lunch at St George’s Market and soak in its lively atmosphere. Why not check out the Cathedral Quarter in the afternoon? This neighbourhood is home to some vibrant taverns and bars, scattered throughout the cobbled streets.
Belfast was named a Unesco City of Music at the end of last year, so be sure to check out some live music when the night draws in.
Explore the coastline On your second day, hit the road and leave the city behind to head north into the countryside to join the Causeway Coast. This is one of Europe’s most famous driving routes, and it’s not hard to see why.
The road winds past some of the most picturesque points of the northern coastline, with plenty of places to stop along the way, from quaint clifftop villages to ancient castles. The Gobbins cliff path is a perfect first stop. Take in the morning sea air with an exhilarating walk on the bridges that weave along the cliffs and through caves, as the sea crashes beneath you.
Take in the morning sea air with an exhilarating walk on the bridges
Continue north through the sleepy village of Ballygalley, before heading up to 17th century Glenarm Castle and Gardens, where visitors can roam its walled gardens in the summer months. Less than an hour from here is Torr Head, with panoramas as far as Rathlin Island and Scotland.
Just 20 minutes’ drive from here is the jewel in the crown of the Causeway Coastal Route, the Giant’s Causeway itself. Visitors can get up close to the geographical marvel, made of tens of thousands of hexagonal-shaped basalt columns. The northwest is home to some beautiful beaches, from Whiterocks Beach Portrush, surrounded by caves and cliffs, to Portstewart Strand, where the dunes are alive with wildlife.
Uncover the second city At the mouth of the River Foyle lies the historic city of Derry~Londonderry. Spend the morning walking around the inner-city walls, the only completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe.
They were constructed in the 1600s, and a stroll around their circumference shows visitors what Derry~Londonderry was like in the past. For a refreshment stop later on, the Walled City Brewery, named after these fortifications, is the best-known of its kind in Derry~Londonderry, serving its beer alongside some delicious dishes.
In the afternoon, explore more of the city with a walk along the Peace Bridge, over the River Foyle. Feeling adventurous? Hire a kayak for a moonlit tour of the river and its nearby estuaries. It’s even possible to spot some of the nearby wildlife just outside of the city centre.
Extend your stay
Game of Thrones Studio Tour: The newly opened Game of Thrones Studio Tour walks visitors through the sets, designs and props of the hit TV series. Located just over 30 minutes from Belfast city centre, it’s easy to include a visit as part of a city break.
Hillsborough Castle and Gardens: This is the official residence of the royal family in Northern Ireland and the magnificent estate is well worth a visit. There are 100 acres of gardens, and a guided tour of the castle gives visitors an inside look at its history.
Slieve Donard Hotel: For a stay on the County Down coast, Slieve Donard is a luxury escape, with sweeping sea views and private grounds. The Royal County Down Golf Club is located right next door, ideal for those who want to brush up on their golf.
Always check the latest travel and public health advice.
PICTURES: Tourism Northern Ireland; Rob Durston; Tourism Ireland/Arthur Ward