If you’re thinking about your next long weekend, a road trip in Northern Ireland could be right up your street. Castles, nature, and culture, it’s full of places and experiences to explore, all at your own pace.
Here are some recommendations for anyone heading on a road trip to Northern Ireland.
If you’re looking for a slice of history, Dunluce Castle is an archaeological dream. While the castle dates from the 16th century, the area was likely a settlement from the first millennium.
Feuding clans inhabited the castle, and historical exhibits tell the story of epic coastal battles. It’s an amazing location, full of equally amazing stories.
You can find out more, including opening times, from the Tourism Northern Ireland website.
The Gobbins Cliff path
If you’re getting off the ferry or hiring a vehicle after your flight, the Gobbins Cliff path is a view worth visiting. It’s just a short drive from Belfast and offers a unique way to explore the Northern Irish coastline.
The route takes around three hours. A guide takes you through caves, over bridges, and up carefully carved stairs. The trip involves a fair amount of climbing, but the rewards are well worth it.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can learn more from the Gobbins visitor centre here.
Continuing along the Causeway Coastal Route, you’ll find the small island of Carrick-a-Rede.
A 20-meter-long rope bridge hangs 30 metres above the waves, the only connection between the mainland and the island. It was built in 1755, but don’t worry, it’s had some improvements since then. Although it may sway if it’s windy, so be prepared.
If you’re feeling brave, the island offers spectacular sea views, and you might even spot seals and dolphins. You can find out more at the National Trust website.
One of the natural wonders of the UK, the Giant’s Causeway is a geological phenomenon. As Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s a must-see on any road trip.
The roughly 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns are surrounded by history and mythology. We don’t need to talk more about this one, just make sure you check it out.
You can find out more and access tours from the Giant’s Causeway visitor centre here.
As well as the natural world, a road trip in Northern Ireland wouldn’t be complete without heading to its two biggest cities.
Belfast and Derry, officially Londonderry, offer culture, food, and a fantastic night out. You’ll see a mix of historic architecture and modern buildings, and they serve as excellent road trip bases.
Driving from Belfast to Derry along the coastal route takes around three hours. So, it’s possible you could see this whole list in one well-planned weekend.
A road trip in Northern Ireland is perfect for those looking for a short getaway (or a giant causeway). If you’re looking for some time in nature and a taste of history, plan your trip today.