Northern Ireland is perfect for a weekend break for those in need of a mix of culture, adventure and fun. Renowned for its friendly people, natural beauty, superb shopping, fantastic eateries, and some of the best nightlife hotspots, visitors will definitely not be struggling for things to do in Northern Ireland
. Keep reading for our top 10 list of must-see sights.
1) Slieve Donard
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea…. wander along the four-mile long strand of Newcastle, Co. Down, dominated by Northern Ireland’s highest peak, Slieve Donard. Wonderfully dramatic, rugged and varied, Slieve Donald is a hill walker’s delight - and from the top you can see half of Ireland, Britain and the Isle of Man.
2) Belfast Zoo
Belfast Zoo is one of the top visitor attractions in Northern Ireland and regularly sees more than 300,000 visitors walk through its doors every year. Home to more than 1,000 animals and 150 species including Asian elephants, giraffes, penguins and ring-tailed lemurs. A range of exhibits are also on offer all year round including the newly developed Adventurers’ Learning Centre.
3) The Causeway Coastal Route
Quite possibly one of the most spectacular scenic driving routes in the world! Start your journey in Belfast, and follow the coast road through the Glens of Antrim, winding between various picturesque villages and unforgettable scenic locations. The route covers the Giant's Causeway, the Old Bushmills Distillery, the ruins of Dunluce Castle, Mussenden Temple, before continuing west towards the walled city of Derry / Londonderry.
4) Belfast Night Life
Whether you want to enjoy some live music, dance in one of the city’s nightclubs, or just enjoy a few glasses of wine in one of the swanky bars, you’ll find plenty of options available to you. The main areas to hit are the Cathedral Quarter, and the Queens Quarter where you’ll find the largest variety of bars, clubs and restaurants.
5) Tyrone’s Standing Stones
Beaghmore is a complex of early Bronze Age megalithic features, stone circles and cairns, 8.5 miles north west of Cookstown, County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, on the south-east edge of the Sperrin Mountains. The site is open throughout the year. Visitors are free to wander amongst the stones and there is an information plaque giving information about the stone circles.
6) Victoria Square
Victoria Square is Northern Ireland’s number one shopping destination, and is open seven days a week with late night shopping from Wednesdays to Fridays, giving you plenty of time to explore the centre. Shoppers will be spoilt for choice, with over 50 stores and restauarants spread over four levels. Victoria Square also boosts ‘The Dome’, a dazzling glass viewing gallery with 360 views that stretch for miles across the rooftops of city and local landmarks such as Harland & Wolff, Parliament Building and Belfast Castle.
7) The Giant’s Causeway
The Causeway Coastal Road will eventually lead you to the Giant’s Causeway. The Giant's Causeway is a magnificent, mysterious geological formation on the North East coast of County Antrim. It is made up of some 40,000 massive black basalt columns sticking out of the sea. The dramatic sight has inspired legend of giants striding over the sea to Scotland and legend has it the Giant's Causeway was the stomping ground of giant Finn McCool, who lived in these parts nearly two thousand years ago.
Building on the success of 5 star golf courses and golfing greats such as Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke, and Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland has established itself as one of the very best destinations for a golf break. Whether you want to play one of the city’s parkland courses, or travel a little bit further afield to the North Coast, County Fermanagh or County Down, you have plenty of options available to you.
9) The Ring of Gullion
Located in County Armagh, The Ring of Gullion is a geographical formation and a textbook example of an extinct volcanic ring-dyke system. The Ring of Gullion is renowned for outdoor recreation, culture, tradition, folklore and heritage. In addition to walking, a wide variety of activities and attractions are on offer- including cycling, horse riding, arts and crafts markets, castles, dolmens and ruins.
10) And last but not least…. Todds Leap Outdoor Activity Centre
Todds Leap is a multi-award winning Activity Centre based in Ballygawley, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Todds Leap Activity Centre
is a great option for families, group days out, stag dos and hen parties and celebrating occasions. There are over 20 action packed activities available spread across a purpose built off road track, so getting around is really fun. The onsite Licensed Restaurant serves great grub all locally sourced and prepared daily. If you wish to extend your stay there are cosy log cabins to rent and funky refurbished containers that you can bunk up in… The activity centre is suitable for everyone and all activities are disability accessible.
So get out and active, get up and dance or settle in for a relaxing stay with some scrumptious local food and drinks. Visit our local links guide for a more detailed list of things to do in Northern Ireland including the best accommodation, entertainment and other attractions.