Be Our Guest 2018

ome of Ireland’s top attractions are to be found in the North, along with the most magnificent natural beauty. The capital, Belfast, along with the counties of Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone each offer something different to the visitor. Belfast is a modern, cosmopolitan city that is gaining a reputation as a place to party and it truly offers something for everyone. It is of course famous as the location where the RMS Titanic was built, and this is now commemorated at Titanic Belfast, the largest Titanic exhibition in the world. Those with a feel for history should also check out the ever-popular Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, along with the Ulster Museum, which includes everything from ancient Egyptian artefacts to a history of the Troubles. History in Northern Ireland is not confined to museums. Indeed, the six counties boast some of the finest castles on the island. Of particular note is Dunseverick Castle, near the Giant’s Causeway, which Saint Patrick visited in the fifth century. Irish history buffs should also not miss out on a visit to the Hill of the O’Neill, Dungannon. Learn about the history of the O’Neills, the Flight of the Earls and the Plantation of Ulster through an interactive exhibition on permanent display in Ranfurly House Arts and Visitor Centre. All visitors are invited to come and discover how Dungannon was once at the centre of world affairs. The Giant’s Causeway is one of Northern Ireland’s most famous attractions, with a deserved reputation as a breathtaking sight. Expand the experience by driving along the Causeway Coastal Route, a 190km journey between Belfast and Derry taking in the varied landscape of looming mountaintops and spectacular sea views. Derry-Londonderry, Ireland’s only entirely walled city, is a must-stop place, while other highlights along the way include the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Dunluce Castle and Glenariff Forest Park. One of Northern Ireland’s more fascinating attractions is that of the wall murals from The Troubles and the stories behind the paintings. Take a black cab tour of Shankill and Falls Road and learn of how things were during the years of conflict. Observe the controversial Peace Wall which divides Catholic and Protestant neighbourhoods. Whatever your passion – whether it’s history, politics, outdoor activities or just a good time – Northern Ireland has something for you. S 61 Be Our Guest