The largest spa in Ireland is coming to Longford following a €10m investment by acquired by commercial real estate company Brookfield Property Partners.
What are the best parts of Northern Ireland?
Thankfully it is not a big country, you can get from one side to the other in a few hours. Me and my girlfriend have recently taken to trying to see a few tourist sights close to home, so I’ll try and include what we’ve been to see. Fair warning the weather here is terrible and unpredictable. We don’t get big storms, we just get frequent light showers, so a lovely sunny morning could turn into a grey rainy day. Always have a warm jumper and rain coat nearby. Also come in August, the weather is the least crap and all the tensions from July have calmed down.
I’ll try to break down what i’d do each day you’re here. I’ll add more as I go, this is just based on stuff I’ve done recently. I’ll write it as if you want to see as much as you can in one stay. Most parts could be skipped if you like the sound of others more and need to trim it down.
Day 1: [stay in Belfast]
Belfast is a good place to start, it has airports, car hire and lots to do. Get a ‘black taxi tour’, they leave from the city hall and offer a very personal tour of the city and its history. There is also a tourist centre near city hall with more info. You could then go to Botanic Gardens, The Ulster Museum and take a walk through Queens University (All close together and about 30 mins walk from the city center). Is plenty of food places around if you get hungry.
Day 2: [stay in Belfast]
Next up would be a visit to the Titanic Building and get a tour. Then enjoy a walk around the Titanic Quarter. (Lots of bars and places to get food). Then go to see the Crumlin Road Gaol (jail), there is a tour of it thats good, and they add some paranormal parts if your into that sort of thing. (Its fun even if you’re not)
Day 3: [stay in Belfast]
I would then head east, over toward Bangor to see ‘Pickie Pool’, which is a fun area for kids. Then head along the coast of the Ards Peninsula, lots of sandy beaches and a few national trust sights. Scrabo tower in Newtownards is also nice and has a good view of Strangford Lough. Daft Eddies is a great spot for dinner.
Day 4: [stay in Belfast, or stay in Newcastle]
Next I’d head south down to Newcastle. It has lovely beaches and you can walk in the mournes. (More like large rolling hills than mountains, but we call them mountains anyway). It once had a train station and was a holiday resort, but the railway is gone. However its retained a good bit of its holiday resort features. There is also Tollymore Forest Park and Ballynoe stone circle nearby.
If you’re not really into hill walking, Castlewellan is a fun day out. Not far from Newcastle, it has forest walks, mountain biking, canoeing and what was the largest maze in the UK (has since been overtaken). You could stay longer and do the hill walk and Castlewellan.
Day 5: [Stay in Fermanagh]
After Newcastle head West, stop in armagh to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral. There is a few other sights to see on the way, and you could even nip over the border and stay in Castle Leslie for a night or two. Do a spot of horse riding and relax in the spa. To the west is Fermanagh, a lovely part of the country, quite rural with lovely views. Marble Arch caves are a must if you’re nearby. There are also boat tours in lough Erne and water sports to entertain the kids.
Day 6: [stay in Derry]
Head north to Derry. Depending on who you ask, its either ‘Derry’ or ‘Londonderry’. But I’m lazy and typing ‘London’ each time is annoying. This part of the country has a lot of history, it was the scene of Bloody Sunday, and still has a lot of tensions. A tour of it is good, a long with a casual walk around the city walls.
Day 7: [stay on the North Coast]
Antrim has almost too many sights to name. The giants causeway, carrick-a-rede rope bridge, benone beach, fair head, The dark hedges, bushmills.. You are better finding a tourist map of the area, is so much to see. Then you can take the coast route back to Belfast.
I’ve missed the whole centre of the county, because I don’t know a lot about whats there. I know there is the odd National Trust sight, so look out for them as you drive about.