Northern Ireland: Places to Explore

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  • Armagh

    The spiritual capital of Ireland for 5,000 years, and the seat of both Protestant and Catholic archbishops, Armagh is the most venerated of Irish cities. St. Patrick called it "my sweet hill" and built... Read more

  • Ballycastle

    Ballycastle is the main resort at the northern end of the Glens of Antrim. People flock here in summer, but apart from peak season, this is a quiet town. Ballycastle is shaped like an hourglass, with its... Read more

  • Belfast

    The city of Belfast was a great Victorian success story, an industrial boomtown whose prosperity was built on trade—especially linen and shipbuilding. Famously (or infamously), the Titanic was built here... Read more

  • Belleek

    World-famous Belleek Pottery is made in the old town of Belleek on the northwestern edge of Lower Lough Erne, at the border with Northwest Ireland. Other porcelain-ware makers are a few kilometers across... Read more

  • Bushmills

  • Carrickfergus

    Carrickfergus, on the shore of Belfast Lough, grew up around its ancient castle. When the town was enclosed by ramparts at the start of the 17th century, it was the only English-speaking town in Ulster... Read more

  • Castle Coole

  • Castle Ward

  • Derry

    In 2013, Northern Ireland's second-largest city, Derry/Londonderry (as it's now known) hosts the U.K. City of Culture. By a happy coincidence, 2013 is also the 400th anniversary of the building of the historic... Read more

  • Downpatrick

    Downpatrick once was called plain and simple "Down" but had its name changed by John de Courcy, a Norman knight who moved here in 1176. De Courcy set about promoting St. Patrick, the 5th-century Briton... Read more

  • Dunluce Castle

  • Enniskillen

    Enniskillen is the pleasant, smart-looking capital of County Fermanagh and the only place of any size in it. The town center is, strikingly, on an island in the River Erne between Lower and Upper Lough... Read more

  • Florence Court

  • Giant's Causeway

  • Glens of Antrim

    North of Carrickfergus after Larne, the coast of County Antrim becomes spectacular—wave upon wave of high green hills that curve down to the hazy sea are dotted with lush glens, or valleys, first carved... Read more

  • Limavady

    In 1851, at No. 51 on Limavady's Georgian main street, Jane Ross wrote down the tune played by a traveling fiddler and called it "Londonderry Air," better known now as "Danny Boy." While staying at an... Read more

  • The Mountains of Mourne

    Subjects of a song that is sung on every Irish occasion from baptisms to funerals, the Mountains of Mourne must surely qualify as one of Ireland's best-known ranges. According to those lyrics by Percy... Read more

  • Omagh

    Omagh, the county town of Tyrone, lies close to the Sperrin Mountains, with the River Strule to the north. The playwright Brian Friel was born here. Sadly, it's better known as the scene of the worst atrocity... Read more

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