A weekend in Northern Ireland is what you need to detach from stress and reconnect with nature. The beautiful green sceneries with landscapes that have inspired the series of Games of Thrones, are breath-taking. The beauty of the mountains in Northern Ireland is what impressed me the most, where places like Giant’s Causeway, Cushendun Caves and The Dark Hedges are a nature’s perfect creation. Travel with me and delight your eyes with the photos I took.
I went to visit my best friend in Northern Ireland for a weekend and at the end I wished I had spent more days in this stunning country. I wasn’t surprised Game of Thrones was shot here with so much beauty around. The world’s heritage Giant’s Causeway is a nature phenomenon that blew my mind away and is definitely one of the highlights of this short-break. I only had time to visit a few attractions, but hopefully I will have another opportunity to visit Northern Ireland and see places like The Titanic Belfast, Carrickfergus Castle or The Belfast Peace Walls. I just had the chance to visit:
- Belfast and Bangor (not the Ballymore Beach since it started raining);
- Cushendun Caves;
- Glencloy and Ballintoy;
- North Antrim Coast and Giant’s Causeway;
- Dunluce Castle and The Dark Hedges.
Something that needs to be said is that the affection of the locals compensate immensely the lousy weather that north of Ireland has, that can be colder and more rainy when compared to London.
BELFAST AND BANGOR
Belfast is a city full of life where people love to go out and have a drink, so don’t be surprised if on a Friday night there aren’t any taxis available.
If you go around the city, you will see that plenty of houses have a flag hanging at the front that shows if they are either Protestant or Catholic. Thankfully, after the Good Friday Agreement, the conflicts between Protestants and Catholics have diminished.
In Belfast is mandatory to go to the Royal Botanic Gardens and on the way, you will pass by the McClay Library, part of the Queen’s Belfast University, and Ulster Museum. Due to covid, the glass house building in the Botanic Gardens is closed, unfortunately, as some other attractions around the country.
An historical place to eat in Belfast is “The Crown Bar”, dated 1826. It has kept since then its majestic architecture, carved wood ceilings and booths.
If you like markets, then St. George’s Market is a must place to visit. Filled with delicious food, creative art, jewellery and crystals, it will keep you distracted for hours.
On the first day that I arrived to Belfast, my best friend and I took the train to go to Bangor, which is really famous for the Ballymore Beach. When we got to Bangor, we wanted to visit the beach. After we pass the Presbyterian Church, it started to rain “cats and dogs” and we had to go back to the train station, so no Ballymore Beach!
Cushendun caves became famous, more recently, since Game of Thrones was filmed there. I was absolutely astonished how nature can be so perfect. The lush mountains with the blue sea compose a relaxing scenario, creating the most beautiful pictures.
GLENCLOY AND BALLINTOY
Both Glencloy and Ballintoy have been also part of Game of Thrones footage. Glencloy is a very pleasant coastal area with small fishing boats that gives a picturesque feeling and again perfect for photos.
For lunch we stopped at The Fullerton Arms Restaurant and Bar, in Ballintoy. If you are a fan of Game of Thrones this is definitely a place to go. The restaurant décor is all about Game of Thrones.
NORTH ANTRIM COAST AND THE GIANT’S CAUSEWAY
When the coach tour stopped in these two locations, it seemed earth was untouched and all its glamour was gleaming. In North Antrim we found a beautiful horse that was super friendly. I think he absorbed somehow the warmth of Irish people!
The Giant’s Causeway, where we went after, is a World Heritage Site, because it’s the only place in the world where you can find this specific hexagonal shape in a basalt rock. The old volcanic fissure eruption originated what the Irish consider the 8th Wonder of the World.
DUNLUCE CASTLE AND THE DARK HEDGES
Dunluce Castle is a medieval castle in ruins that was originally built in 1500 that can only be accessed by a narrow bridge and is located on the edge of a mountain of Antrim Coast
The last attraction to be seen in this long second tourist day was the Dark Hedges. The photo you will see bellow was taken by my friend, since I was so tired that I fell asleep in the coach tour and unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to see it for myself. It’s a stunning place to be, according to my friend, because the intertwined trees are a natural phenomena that remained since the 1800, when the beech trees were planted to stimulate a striking effect whilst entering the Georgian Mansion. The Dark Hedges is another location of Game of Thrones footage.
NORTHERN IRELAND SHORT VIDEO
If you have been to Northern Ireland, what other attractions would you recommended me?
Wish you a chilled out weekend,