Top 10 Northern Ireland

10. Frozen Yoghurt

The best I have ever tasted was in Spoon Street. They had so many different flavours of ice cream and a toppings bar. I love to hit a frozen yoghurt place where you are in charge of the toppings and more importantly the amount you put in! I love coconut, oreos and gummy bears topped with melted white chocolate. Yum!

Yummy!

9. Hire a car

The best thing to do to explore Northern Ireland is hire a car. You can then do anything you want at your own pace. This was great when it came to touristy places such as the Causeway as we were able to visit outside of the opening hours and once the tour buses had left. You get so much freedom and staying in hostels it helps to have your own transport to go food shopping and be able to go out for food at night. We hired our car from Dublin airport and would do it again, just make sure you read up on the insurance policy of the rental company and all the documentation you need to bring along with you on the day! Make sure you get up early to visit some of the busiest places before it gets busy.

Fabio!

8. Portstewart Strand

WOW! What a beach this is. It is worth the visit, we had a lovely walk across the sand and even dipped our feet into the freezing cold sea. It was like ice, even with the lovely weather. The beach stretches for miles so there is plenty of room for anyone. If you are a large family it may be worth driving to and parking on the beach. Beware though the parking on the beach itself is very expensive, especially seems as their were no facilities. If like us you refuse to pay so much to park we found a free car park along the road and walked to the beach. The walk was lovely and you could hear the waves crashing until you got to the beach.

Looking out over Portsteward Strand

7- Rathlin Island

We wanted to see the puffins on the Island, so we caught an early ferry over. The ferry was so cold and the breeze was chilly, as soon as we got to the island we walked over to the tourist information centre. This was probably the worst mistake we could have made! There is a bus that takes you across the island from the port to the RSPB Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre, however there is only one bus trip made per ferry. As we had decided to walk to the tourist information we missed the bus and it was over an hour until the next one. So us being the adventurous types we decided to walk the 4.5 miles to the centre. It was perfect weather and a lovely walk even if it was up and down all the way there. We finally got the centre which is lovely and we got to see all kinds of birds including the puffins. This place was lovely and you could hire bikes and cycle around the island, if you had plenty of time.

I think his face says it all “I’ve just seen a puffin”

6. Belfast

Such a great city to explore during the day and party through the night. We explored the Titanic Quarter and the Crumlin Road Gaol, both totally worth a visit. We felt relaxed walking around the centre and the buildings have a lot of character. We wish we had more time to explore here. We will be back in the not to distant future to explore some more!

From Titanic to Crumlin Road Gaol, a city full of history

5. Derry – Walled City Brewery

This place was amazing, the food, the beer, the view and atmosphere. It definitely helped that the sun was shining bright and hot. We sat outside watching the views of the city as we ate lovely tapas. As it was a brewery they made their beers on site. We therefore bought samplers which were four small glasses of beers. There was something for everyone to enjoy from light and fruity to dark. The atmosphere was great the price reasonable. A must visit when in the city for a night. Try as many of the beers as you can.

No better way to spend a warm day!

4. Castle Hunting – Kinbane Castle

One of my favourite days in Northern Ireland was when we went castle hunting! We put some serious steps and miles in throughout the day as we walked up and down various castles. We first went to Dunluce Castle which we thought was a little expensive to get in and it didn’t look very big. I also like my castles in ruins, so we moved on. We then found a castle on the side of the road and decided it looked great, there wasn’t a clear path but I needed to get to the top. This was awesome and we had the place to ourselves. Dunseverick Castle is worth a visit. The best castle by far though was Kinbane Castle. Now this is a hell of a trek of what felt like hundreds of uneven steps which was hard enough on the way down, the way back up a whole different story! The Castle was in ruins and really nice to walk around. The views of the coastline were amazing from up here and yet again we had the place all to ourselves.

The amount of steps we had to master was worth the views

3 – The Jungle – Walking a Liam (Llama)

This is what our trip was all about. Mike absolutely loves Llamas so what better birthday present then walking a Llama and having a picnic. This was a great experience and The Jungle NI were welcoming and trustworthy. We walked Liam (we weren’t told his actual name, so we decided on Liam) for just under an hour through the woods. We had a blast taking photos and talking to Liam. We then went and had a picnic lunch which was super tasty, while Liam ate the grass.

Yet another picture where the excitement is over flowing

2. Gobbins

Make sure you pre-book your space. We were lucky enough to get this experience gifted by The Gobbins. This was such an experience. You walk around the coast at the bottom of the cliff edge. You go through caves and across bridges. This is such an amazing concept and a view from a totally different angle. Our guide was amazing and we felt totally safe at all times. If we were to go back, we would love to go back when it’s windy and the waves are battering the coast line. This is an experience not to be missed.

A misty walk along the coastline

1. Sunset at the Giants Causeway

Just WOW! This was hands down the most incredible experience in Northern Ireland. We were looking forward to visiting here and waited all day for the tour buses and crowds to leave. TOP TIP! Visit once the visitors centre has shut it is far quieter at the causeway, and though the centre is shut all of the paths are still open and free to access! We walked down to the causeway where there were maybe 10-20 people there. Plenty of room for everyone. We then walked the red route up the stairs to the top of the cliffs and saw the sunset over the causeway.

Just WOW!

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