…Northern Ireland = Outdoor Adventures aplenty!
There are plenty of hikes and climbs to be done in Northern Ireland, my favorite one however was The Gobbins Cliff-Path.
Just drive up the beautiful coastal route heading north starting in Belfast for 40 minutes and you will find the Gobbins Visitor Center. Once there you will be equipped with a helmet and educated on safety procedures. Do not let these instructions scare you, it is not THAT dangerous. Please be aware that the beginning and end of the hike are indeed quite steep, so I’d really suggest passing on the hike if you are not in good shape. The actual hike takes about 2 hours and is great for kids and adults alike. There is plenty to see: diverse sea life can be seen from the path as well as birds nesting in the cliffs like Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Cormorants, Kittiwakes and Shags. This walk is one of a kind, I really have not seen anything like it. Make sure you bring appropriate footwear.
Find out more about The Gobbins Cliff-Path.
…Are you a fan of Game of Thrones?
Game of Thrones has this way of soothing you, despite being an extensive massacre. How do they do that? Well, they show you beautiful places in between the slaughtering. Stunning, even. I think you know where I am going with this. Yes, Northern Ireland is lovely. There is plenty of amazing places to go and see, like the Iron Islands, the Wall, Winterfell, the Kingsroad, and many more. Check this rad map for more locations to guide yourself through the Seven Kingdoms: https://www.discovernorthernireland.com/gameofthrones/
…The Titanic Belfast Museum
This. was. the. highlight. of. my. trip.
I am not talking about James Cameron’s movie here, this is about the RMS Titanic.
In a nutshell: I just love this museum. A few years ago I wrote a thesis on the Titanic and how an accumulation of seemingly innocuous incidents led to the disaster that cost 1,503 people their lives. The Titanic Belfast Museum is not your average museum, it is more of an experience. They have plenty of museum-y type things like texts, pictures and blueprints exhibited but what makes this extraordinary was the sheer amount of technological solutions brought aboard this museum that had me in awe. There were beautiful simulations, amazing graphic design and an electronic dark ride spanning over several floors to help you grasp the dimensions of the ship and the hardships of the laborers. Another magnificent fact about Titanic Belfast is the lack of artefacts in the museum. It was decided that no further objects should be lifted from the ocean floor – it is the last resting place for hundreds of people after all. Even though all the bodies have long been decomposed, this is where one of the tragedies of mankind took place. The sole reminder of the lost ones today are pairs of undecomposed shoes, scatted on the ocean floor. In fact, very little has changed since 1912: only a few things have been lifted and taken to be exhibited in other museums around the world and a couple of memorial plaques have been placed on the ship’s bow. All kinds of sea animals have taken over the ship that lies at 3,800m below the surface.
… Northern Ireland is a place for foodies
read about the 5 most delicious reasons to go to NI
… Gay Northern Ireland
Despite Northern Ireland having a bad reputation when it comes to LGBTQ rights and life I personally did not make a single bad experience. Especially in Belfast the LGBTQ community seems to have done well for itself. There is not a clearly defined gayborhood in itself but there are many LGBTQ and -friendly bars and restaurants around Union Street.
- my favorite one is the Kremlin on Donegall Street, it is a fun dance club for men and women
- the infamous Union Street Bar & Restaurant (on Union Street, duh)
- the Maverick Bar, Belfast’s newest gay venue (Union Street)
- I also recomment to check out the Perch rooftop bar, it is not a gay bar but definitely gay friendly and my absolute favorite bar in Belfast. (42 Franklin St)
In a nutshell – if you do not have any plans for your summer vacation yet: go book a ticket to Northern Ireland right now. There are so many beautiful places to go and see, great concerts to enjoy and friends to be made.
If you have any questions about traveling to and within Northern Ireland, Tourism Northern Ireland is a helpful resource to plan your trip.
Written by Anna Iberer, destinesiac.com, while on assignment in Northern Ireland for Chronic Wanderlust.