The Sperrin Mountains
Deep within County Tyrone, you’ll find the Sperrin Mountains – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – stretching from Strabane in the northwest to just outside Cookstown in the east. A paradise for walkers, mountain bikers and stargazers alike, the wild and untouched landscape is also full of rich history and one of our best kept secrets.
In the heart of the Fermanagh Lakelands is Lough Erne, two connected lakes boasting over 154 islands and covering one third of Northern Ireland. Life is much more relaxed in this neck of the woods. With such an abundance of water, there are endless opportunities to try your hand, when it is safe to travel again, such as kayaking or cruising through the waters as you watch the world go by.
The Giant’s Causeway
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway is a geological wonder filled with myth and legend. Part of the Causeway Coastal Route, this precious landscape overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and is made up of over 40,000 hexagonal shaped basalt columns which were created by intense volcanic activity in the region almost 60 million years ago – or according to legend, by the giant Finn McCool.
Armagh Apple Orchards
There is a reason Armagh is known as the Orchard County. It is home to over 40,000 acres of orchards and most notably it is famous for its treasured Bramley apples, which were awarded PGI status in 2012. From these apples comes delicious Armagh cider, which is something that the county has an abundance of to share and enjoy.
Perched high on the cliffs overlooking Downhill Strand and the Atlantic Ocean on the Causeway Coast is Mussenden Temple, part of Downhill Demesne and dating back to 1785. Both the temple and its surrounding views are among the most photographed and awe-inspiring scenes in Northern Ireland.
Cave Hill Country Park
If you’ve ever wondered where to get the best view of Belfast, then wonder no more. At just over 1,200 ft above sea level, Cave Hill offers views of the entire city from its peak. On a clear day you can even see as far as the Isle of Man and Scotland. The hill is widely regarded as being the inspiration for Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, as it’s thought to resemble the shape of a sleeping giant safeguarding the city.
Enclosed within the Ards Peninsula, Strangford Lough is a designated Marine Conservation Zone and home to an abundance of spectacular flora and fauna. Surrounded by charming seaside towns and villages, the area offers some unique experiences, delicious local food and exquisite scenery.
When it is safe to travel, we recommend you take the short trip across The Narrows on the scenic Strangford Lough Ferry, linking the villages of Strangford and Portaferry – you may even get a glimpse of some bobbing seals popping up to say hi.
The Dark Hedges
Best known as ‘The Kingsroad’ from HBO’s Game of Thrones, The Dark Hedges in County Antrim is an avenue of beech trees originally planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century to create an imposing approach to their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House. During Storm Gertrude in January 2016, several of the tress blew over, and from them, ‘Doors of Thrones’ was created – 10 intricately crafted doors depicting events from Season 6 of Game of Thrones.