Discover Northern Ireland - Inspirational locations, stunning landscapes and the friendliest of welcomes. Learn about our unique stories from Saint Patrick to Titanic Belfast, from the Giant’s Causeway to the Mountains of Mourne.
DAY 1 - Arrive in Belfast with overnight in The Merchant Hotel
Private transfer to the hotel and a Black Taxi tour of the city in the afternoon. Time permitting visit the Titanic Belfast Experience
DAY 2 - Explore Belfast City with overnight in the Merchant Hotel
After a good night's rest and another fine Irish breakfast it’s time to take in all the sights and sounds of Belfast City. This thriving city is divided into four quarters: the Gaeltacht Quarter, the Cathedral Quarter, the Queen’s Quarter and the Titanic Quarter. Each quarter has its own defining characteristics, but the one that unifies them is the people and their charismatic nature and welcoming charm. With so much to do in each, it’s hard to know where to begin your exploration of this wonderful city.
Within the Queen’s Quarter you’ll find some stunning architectural gems, including Queen’s University, the Botanic Gardens and the Palm House (all from the 19th Century). This part of Belfast is brim-full of cultural hotspots with several contemporary art galleries, a diverse fusion of restaurants and some fantastic pubs offering anything from traditional Irish music to Jazz sessions.
Taking its name from St. Anne’s Cathedral, the Cathedral Quarter was deemed a Conservation Area in 1990 as a means to preserve its identity as the historical heart of Belfast. Walking through its narrow cobbled streets you will find many intriguing buildings that really add to its intimate charm. More recently this area has started to play a key role in the arts and crafts scene in Belfast with many visual and performing artists making it their home.
That night, a visit to Hatfield House is a must. This favorite Belfast traditional pub was recently restored to its former glory with original bar fixtures, ornate ceilings and expert craftsmanship, carried out by the same craftsmen who worked on the HMS Titanic. If you’re looking for a bite to eat Belfast’s range of restaurants ensure every taste is catered for whether you’re looking for some local produce served up at an affordable price or some continental delights with a local chef’s twist. If you’re really looking to live it up, you can’t go wrong with The Great room Restaurant at the Merchant Hotel. Fine dining will take on a whole new meaning as you enjoy an exquisite menu matched only by the décor. Seated in plush gold and red furnishings beneath Ireland’s largest chandelier is certainly an experience.
DAY 3 - Private transfer to Carrick-a-Rede-Bridge with overnight in the Bushmills Inn
Your driver guide will be taking a scenic route from Belfast toward the Giant’s Causeway is a must as you will pass through a variety of picturesque coastal villages. Ballycastle (town of the castle) contains the remains of Bonamargie Friary, which was built by Rory MacQuillan (13th Century) as well as a graveyard on the original site where St. Patrick founded a ministry in the 5th Century. Also along this route you’ll find Cushendall beside the river Dall, and overshadowed by the summits of Lurigethan and Tievebulliagh. The scenery in these beautiful villages will fascinate you as you edge ever closer to the causeway.
Your next stop will be Carrick-a-Rede Bridge Rope. This area is a veritable treasure trove of geology, flora and fauna, but is probably most famous for “the rope bridge experience”.
DAY 4 - Visit the Giants Causeway with overnight at the Bushmills Inn
Start your day with Giant’s Causeway. This is a truly magical place. Unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, you will be overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the causeway. Set against a dynamic coastal landscape with views of crushing Atlantic waves and rugged cliffs, the causeway forms a jagged formation, which juts out in Scotland’s direction.
Visit Bushmills Distillery. As you take a sip of Bushmills Whiskey, reflect for a moment and appreciate the 400 years of dedication, which has gone into this world renowned brand. Since 1608, Bushmills have been distilling the finest of whiskeys despite having their share of hiccups along the way - in 1885 the distillery was burned to the ground.
• Joey Dunlop Memorial Museum
• Glenarm Castle Estate and walled Gardens
DAY 5 - Visit the city of Derry with overnight in the Beach Hill House
The City of Derry/Londonderry (also called the “Walled City” or the “Maiden City”) is your next stop.
Taking the city’s heritage trail you’ll discover the origins of one of the longest inhabited places in Ireland as well as its magnificent walls. There are over 100 sites of historical interest along the trail from cathedrals and churches to parks, villages, murals and monuments. You’ll find a new story on every side street as the echoes of the city’s history call out to you.
You can check out the Tower Museum or Guildhall with its impressive collection of beautifully designed stained glass window. There is so much to do here and once you’re finished sightseeing there’s a fantastic selection of shops, restaurants, pubs and theatres just waiting to be discovered.
DAY 6 - Day trip to donegal with overnight in Beech Hill House
Today you will sample the scenic delight of the Inishowen Peninsulas as you travel from Derry to Donegal. This beautiful coastal drive is lined with activities and stunning natural sights – Slieve Snaght (the highest point in Inishowen), the Knockamany Bends (stand atop the cliff and admire the views of the Five Fingers Strand) and Fort Dundee (originally a military fort and now a military museum).
Just when you think you’ve seen all the Inishowen Peninsula has to offer, you can visit one of the local pubs and enjoy the proud locals displaying their dedication to their roots. Big Night at Dan’s will get your Irish spirit revving with music, dance, songs, recitations and poetry.
Winding down for the night return to Derry.
• McGory's Traditional Session and Backroo
DAY 7 - Further explore Donegal with overnight in Harveys Point
This day head to Donegal, toward Glencolmcille. You will be spoiled with natural beauty and vast landscapes along the way. Glenveagh National Park (Ireland’s largest National Park) is a great location to enjoy the country air and take in your surroundings.Covering over 16,000 hectares in the heart of the Derryveagh mountains, visitors are invited to embark on an array of walking trails with guides, which deal with different themes within the park, such as sites of historical significance.
Visit Glenveagh Castle and Gardens.
Donegal Town is an excellent center for touring the southern side of the county. It was the area most affected by the 1921 Partition. The eastern portion has the most fertile land and is settled by Protestant farmers and shopkeepers who look to Northern Ireland as their authority. Derry is the regional capital to the people of the north Donegal area, many of whom are Irish speakers.
The ruins of Donegal Abbey, which was founded by Nuala, wife of Red Hugh O'Donnell, stand beside the River Eske as does the ruin of Donegal Castle. The castle was the stronghold of the O'Donnells. A massive rectangular gabled tower with two bartizan turrets remains.
DAY 8 - Visit Florence Court with overnight in Harveys Point
With the dawn of a new day comes the prospect of yet another action packed journey. This drive will see you surrounded by expansive and beautifully scenery. If ever there was a doubt of the intense spiritual connection between Ireland and the US, the museum puts it to rest.
This open air museum in Castletown (just outside Omagh) explores the historical link between Ulster and America, dealing mainly with those particular immigrants who sailed from Ulster to America in the 18th and 19th Centuries. The folk park is one of the three national museums of Northern Ireland and features displays on the lifestyles and experience of those people who took that leap of faith and ventured to the Newfoundland.
On the site of the folk park you’ll also find Mellon House (birthplace of Thomas Mellon, who was an Irish–American banker and lawyer). All these unique ties with America are further strengthened with a wealthy calendar of events such as a Bluegrass Festival, so make sure you check ahead before you visit to see if there’s anything on when you’re travelling.
Visit Florence Court. Florence Court is a truly welcoming home, around 8 miles from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. The house, formerly the home of the Cole family, Earls of Enniskillen, is surrounded by a large area of parkland, garden and woodland, with breathtaking views to Benaughlin and the Cuilcagh Mountains. Discover many serene and beautiful corners by exploring the Pleasure Grounds and the Walled Garden in this magnificent demesne.
DAY 9 - Tour on route to Castle Leslie with overnight in Castle Leslie
Situated on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodland and glittering lakes, Castle Leslie Estate in County Monaghan is one of the last great Irish castle estates still in the hands of its founding family.
The lodge is the social hub of the estate, offering authentic original interiors and old style hospitality and is a complete respite from the world. The Victorian treatment rooms, based in the lodge, will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised. With seven treatment rooms, a relaxation area and hot tubs overlooking the stables, it’s the perfect place to ease your weary muscles after taking part in one of the many activities available on the Estate.
Only sixty minutes from Belfast, Castle Leslie Estate will be a lovely stop before departing the next day.
Private transfer back to Belfast Airport.
Prices are subject to availability
For full details & bookings please contact us at:
+353 (1) 2889355