Northern Ireland is a real hidden gem of a holiday destination, offering just enough excitement to keep the kids entertained while providing plenty of opportunities to take in the country’s unique culture, history and landscape. There are countless attractions to visit, with many being ideal for the whole family to explore. Here are just a few of the best that you should make sure you visit on your next trip to Northern Ireland!
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Certainly not one for the faint-hearted, Carrick-a-Rede is an exhilarating rope bridge spanning a drop straight down to the rolling waves of the ocean below. Widely regarded as one of the most famous rope bridges in the world, you can cross the bridge and put your nerves to the test… if you dare! Alternatively, take a hike along the Carrick-a-Rede coastal walk and allow yourself to bask in the natural beauty of this gorgeous part of the Northern Irish coastline.
A trip to Belfast is obviously a must on your Northern Irish itinerary, but Belfast Castle is definitely not to be avoided either. Situated on the slopes of Cavehill Country Park, this iconic building was originally built by the Normans in the 12th-Century, although the castle you see today was completed in the late 1800s. If the castle and country park weren’t enough, the site is also home to a visitor centre, antique shop, restaurant and adventure playground – perfect for keeping the little ones busy!
Tollymore Forest Park
This picturesque area was actually the first state forest park in the whole of Northern Ireland, being officially recognised in 1955. The forest park is ideal for seeing gorgeous autumnal colours if you visit towards the tail end of the year; alternatively, it’s a great place to let the kids run off some excess energy while exploring one of the most impressive country parks in the country. There are plenty of walking trails to choose from, and make sure you don’t miss the unique 1700s barn that has been made to resemble a church!
Marble Arch Caves
Fancy a spot of underground exploring? The ideal attraction to satisfy curious young minds, the Marble Arch Caves are located near to the village of Florencecourt in County Fermanagh. This natural series of outstanding limestone caves really is a spectacular sight to see and is well worth a visit. Take a tour on foot or by boat to really make the most of the experience.
Another must-visit castle on the list is Carrickfergus, a striking Norman castle dating back hundreds of years. Dominating the town of Carrickfergus, this imposing castle was once besieged by the Scots, the Irish, the English and the French, but is still standing strong today. Carrickfergus Castle regularly hosts events, so make sure to check out what’s on before you visit.
The highest peak in Northern Ireland, Slieve Donard offers the perfect challenge for more active adventurers. Coming in at 850-metres, the view from the top of the mountain truly is second to none. Take a little extra time to check out the stone tower situated at the top, as well as the two prehistoric burial mounds on Slieve Donard.
This interestingly-named attraction is actually a cliff-face path, so named because it runs along the Gobbins cliffs. Located on the Causeway Coastal Route, the path includes bridges, caves, tunnels and the cliffs themselves, not to mention the breath-taking views you will encounter on your walk.
Which of these attractions takes your fancy? From exhilarating places to visit incredible natural wonders, you really are spoiled for choice when you plan a Northern Irish getaway.
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