An Enchanting Corner of the Emerald Isle

In Northern Ireland by Richard0 Comments

Silent Valley, Newry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Causeway Coast

The Dark Hedges, Balleymoney

 

Devil’s Causeway

Northern Ireland has the misfortune to be associated with a troubled recent past. Happily, its setting for many filming locations in Game of Thrones has provided some much more positive publicity (and a big boost in tourism). And it’s no surprise that the country was chosen for so many locations in that epic. In common with the rest of Ireland, the North is exceptionally beautiful – and varied. Spanning everything from stunning sandy beaches and towering cliffs to bleak moorlands and wild mountainous terrain, plus a rich and fascinating history and culture and a people as friendly and genuine as any I’ve encountered anywhere in the world, Ireland (both the north and Eire) has become one of my favorite countries.

Here are a few photos cribbed from three trips to this beautiful land. It’s just a smattering of what Northern Ireland (together with a few locations just across the border in the R.O.I) can offer. It’s richly worth paying a visit, only like me, you might find one trip is not enough…

BELFAST

The impressive Palm House in the Botanic Gardens in southern Belfast, dates back to 1839

 

 

 

 

 

Not all Belfast’s graffiti is overtly political in nature. There is some street art of a more relaxed nature to be seen too!

 

Belfast City Hall

 

Belfast is notable for some quirky modern design…

 

The city’s most famous sight these days is Titanic Belfast, a huge development on the site of the shipyard where the notorious ship was built

 

 

Belfast Castle, on the slopes of Cave Hill to the north of the city, was built as the home of the third Marquis of Donegall, and was finished in 1870

 

The castle’s lovely gardens are most famous for…

 

…its cats…

Finding all nine cat statues is surprisingly tricky, even for adults!

 

 

 

 

The Ulster Museum is perhaps most interesting for its section devoted to the Troubles, but this extraordinary piece is another highlight – a home Atomic Energy Lab! The set actually came with samples of several radioactive isotopes, including a fragment of uranium!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silent Valley reservoir and the Mourne Mountains, County Down

 

 

 

Newcastle, County Down

 

The Mourne Mountains, from Newcastle

 

 

Beautiful Glenariff, the largest of the Antrim Glens

 

 

Ess-na-Larach waterfall, Glenariff

Ess-na-Crub, Glenariff

 

 

Cranny Falls, Carnlough

 

DERRY and the CAUSEWAY COAST

In Derry

 

Derry from the old town walls

 

 

 

 

Ness Waterfall, southwest of Derry

 

The Giant’s Causeway

 

 

 

Carrick-a-Rede

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

 

Kinbane Castle

 

 

 

Balleymoney’s Dark Hedges became an iconic location from Game of Thrones

 

THE WEST

The Grianan of Aileach, an ancient hill fort just over the border in County Donegal, Ireland, built over 900 years ago, but destroyed and rebuilt in the 19th century

 

 

The last of the three Sloughan Glen Waterfalls, County Tyrone

 

 

 

 

 

The low, wide Drummoney Falls are near the UNESCO-listed Marble Arch Caves in County Fermanagh

 

 

The mysterious, two-faced Janus Stone stands in a tiny graveyard in the middle of nowhere on Boa Island, in Lower Loch Erne, County Fermanagh

 

Spectacular Eagle’s Rock lies over the Eire border in County Leitrim

 

 

 

 

…and finally, in County Sligo, northwestern R.o.I, is possibly the most striking mountain the British Isles, Ben Bulben

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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