Irish Vacation 5 – Northern Ireland – itinerary

This blog is fairly boring actually, as it only shows the Family Adventure plan for visiting Northern Ireland.

One piece of important and useful advice; make sure to bring your GPS or borrow one, just in case.  The roads are in good condition, but you will with no doubt come across a city or T-junction, where you have no idea where to go.

I can highly recommend the tourist web site for Northern Ireland.  It is excellent for finding attractions and places to go.  It has an interactive map of Northern Ireland, so you can browse each county.  Furthermore, is shows you the attractions on the interactive map, so you know exactly what and where to find.

Please note that some of these sites are fairly small, but are well signposted until you park in the visitors area.  Most sites cost a small amount to visit, £2-5, and kids under the age of 5 are mostly free.

We only spent 10-30 minutes at most sites, mainly because of the kids and also beacuse they we picture (Kodak) moments only.

Discover Northern Ireland

Day 1:
Drive to Belfast

  • Hop on ‘n Off bus sightseeing; excellent way to see Belfast
  • Disney Shop; on the main shopping street
  • City Hall; biggest building in the centre, and white<
  • St. George’s Market; walk towards the BT building, but check opening times first.

Drive towards the coastal road A2, heading to Torr Head

  • Cave Hill; viewing point overlooking Belfast – only go there on a sunny day
  • Carrickfergus Castle; sligtly North of Belfast, along the coast.  They have activities for the kids.

Overnight stay at Cushendun – small coastal village

Day 2:
Drive towards Ballycastle, on the A2 coastal road, stopping by:

  • Torr Head; not much to see other than beautiful landscape
  • Bonamargy Friary; somewhat hidden, but they have a white “Wee Cottage” at the entrance
  • Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge; brilliant experience, but not for kids.  The bridge is a long walk (about 1km) from the main car park

Overnight stop at Bushtown Country Hotel, outskirts of Coleraine

Day 3:
Use the hotel as base, and drive to see:

  • Giant’s Causeway; amazing sight and easy to spend a couple of hours here. They have a bus from the visitor centre to the Causeway, which is well worth it.
  • Old Bushmills Distillery; somewhat disappointed with Bushmill, mainly because of their fanatical display of Union Jack, and museum is only for whiskey lovers.
  • Dunluce Castle; castle ruins
  • Portrush Whiterocks Beach; wonderful view and great place for walks

Overnight stop at Bushtown Country Hotel, outskirts of Coleraine

Day 4:
Heading home, stopping by:

  • Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne; Kodak moment only
  • Giant’s Ring (Beaghmore Stone Circles); miniature version of Stonehenge, on a lawn in the middle of nowhere.


  • Towns and Villages to visit:
    • Portstewart; coastal town on the North coast, nicer than Portrush
    • Portrush; run down coastal town, primarily for caravan enthutiasts
    • Armagh; not much to see other than the flags of ROI and UK
    • Omagh; visit memorial of bombing victims in August 1998
    • Derry (Londonderry); visit the city wall area and Bloody Sunday site
    • Larne; dolphin and whale watching. again, only on clear / calm days
    • Lisburn; not sure what to see
    • Newry; border shopping

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