Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland tourist region consists of the six counties that make up the administrative and governmental area of Northern Ireland; Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone.

The most compelling feature of the landscape of this area is Lough Neagh, the largest lake in Ireland and positioned almost, it seems, by design in the centre of the region. The lake touches five of the six counties, the exception being Fermanagh, which makes up for this omission by having a rich Lakeland area of its own in the Lough Erne lakes close to the lovely county town of Enniskillen.   Lough Neagh is the centre of a whole range of water sport pursuits and every county the shoreline touches benefits greatly from the tourist revenue.

Belfast is the capital city of the region and is the second largest city on the island of Ireland after Dublin . The other cities in the Northern Ireland region are Derry City, Newry City and Armagh City.       (Please see our detailed Cities of Ireland section further down).

The Northern Ireland coastline is one of the most scenic and, at times, hair-raising driving experiences you can find anywhere in Ireland or Britain. It offers wonderful driving trips from the south of the region at Newry City through the beautiful Mountains of Mourne on the A2, a road that follows the coastline all the way around to Derry City and the Donegal border to the west of the region. Along the route are many of Irelands most popular visitor attractions, in particular, the Giants Causeway on the North Antrim Coast, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and a discovery that will remain embellished in the mind long for long afterwards.

Nearby, the town of Bushmills is home to the world famous Bushmills Whiskey Distillery. Whether or not you are a lover of the famous brand, the Tour of the Distillery provides a unique insight into the art of blending and distilling whiskey. On the A2 coastal road are situated two of the greatest links golf courses in the world, Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle, County Down and Royal Portrush Golf Club, County Antrim.

Further south in the region, Armagh City offers some excellent sights. The city is the seat of both the Roman Catholic and Protestant religions in Ireland and the Roman Catholic St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a striking building that of dominates the skyline of this beautiful place. Nearby is the world famous Armagh Planetarium and Armagh Observatory whilst heritage lovers have the Megalithic Navan Fort to explore just outside the city.

Derry City is the second largest area of population in the region and offers many attractions including the Derry Walls that protected the old city in the past.

County Tyrone offers lush countryside and probably the best shoreline on Lough Neagh as well the county town of Omagh, tragically so badly affected by The Troubles, when the Real IRA bombed the centre of the town in 1998, killing 31 people.

The Northern Ireland region offers a great range of accommodation in all classes and price ranges together with a huge selection of leisure pursuits.

For more information on the entire region, the relevant authority is the Northern Ireland Tourist Board which can be visited at www.discovernorthernireland.com

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