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Planning Your Road Trip Around Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Giants Causeway - Perfect Road Trip Destination

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10 Must-See Stops on a Northern Ireland Road Trip – Our Irish Itinerary

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting wonders of Northern Ireland, where history and beauty intertwine. This captivating region beckons adventurers with its rich tapestry of ancient tales, awe-inspiring landscapes, and lively urban hubs. Step into a realm where rugged coastlines collide with majestic castles, quaint Irish pubs invite you to revel in their warmth, and the spirit of exploration fills the air. Join us as we traverse the vibrant streets of Belfast, wander along the untamed coastal paths, and stand in awe before the mesmerising Giant’s Causeway. 

Northern Ireland unfolds as a treasure trove for every traveller, be it a seeker of history, a connoisseur of culture, or an enthusiast of outdoor escapades. Prepare to be spellbound by the enchanting allure that awaits around every bend as we embark on an extraordinary road trip through this beautiful land. 

Our 10 top Welsh picks include:

  1. Giant’s Causeway 
  1. Titanic Belfast 
  1. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge 
  1. The Dark Hedges 
  1. Derry/Londonderry 
  1. The Glens of Antrim 
  1. Dunluce Castle 
  1. The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum 
  1. The Marble Arch Cave 
  1. Lough Neagh 

Planning your Northern Ireland road trip

Before embarking on your Northern Ireland road trip, preparing your vehicle is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable journey. Just as you meticulously plan your route and attractions, ensuring your car is in optimal condition will help you navigate the winding roads with peace of mind. 

Preparing your car for a long drive

Preparing your car is a crucial part of your road trip preparation; ensuring that it runs smoothly throughout the journey will be better than being stuck on the side of the road waiting for someone to save you—our list of essentials to check before embarking. 

  • Tyre pressure – ensure you have the correct tyre pressure in your wheels for your car and the time of year. 
  • Top up your screen wash – nothing worse than interrupting your trip to make a detour to find car consumables. 
  • Winter Products – if you’re heading out in the colder weather, ensure you have an appropriate amount of de-icer for the cold mornings. 
  • Check your engine oil levels –oil checks should be part of your regular maintenance but ensure they are safe before starting your long journey. 
  • Check tyre depth – Driving on unsafe tyres can not only be dangerous to yourself and other road users but could be up to a £2,500 fine. 
  • Check all your lights are working – defective lights affect road safety, get you and your road trip buddies to help you check your lights. 
  • Keep safe during a breakdown – ensure you have a tyre repair kit and a warning triangle in case you break down. 

Choosing the best route around Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is an enticing choice for an extraordinary adventure, captivating travellers with an undeniable allure. This remarkable destination seamlessly weaves together a tapestry of compelling reasons to journey through its roads. Immerse yourself in a region steeped in captivating history, where ancient castles and legendary landmarks whisper tales of a bygone era. When planning your road trip through Northern Ireland, picking the right locations to visit is essential to create an unforgettable experience. 

Our Top 10 Must-See Stops on a Northern Ireland Road Trip 

To ensure you make the most of your journey, we present a handpicked selection of the top 10 must-see stops. These captivating destinations epitomise the region’s extraordinary charm and breath-taking beauty, encompassing everything from pristine natural landscapes to storied historic cities. 

1. Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is a stunning natural wonder of around 40,000 black basalt columns formed by volcanic activity over 50 million years ago. Its unique appearance has inspired legends of giants and contributed to significant geological studies. 

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2. Titanic Belfast  

Titanic Belfast, located at the site where the Titanic was designed, built, and launched, offers an immersive and poignant journey through the story of this legendary ship. From its conception to construction and from its maiden voyage to its enduring historical place, the exhibition provides a captivating experience that brings the Titanic’s grandeur and tragedy to life. 

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3. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge 

Carrick-a-Rede, a beloved attraction in Northern Ireland cared for by the National Trust, boasts a thrilling rope bridge suspended 100ft above sea level, offering breathtaking coastal scenery and wildlife sightings. Pre-booking is essential to explore this exciting destination. 

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4. The Dark Hedges 

The Stuart family planted the Dark Hedges, an enchanting beech tree avenue in the 18th century, to create a stunning approach to their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House. Withstanding the test of time, these majestic trees have become a captivating sight and a popular photography subject in Northern Ireland. 

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5. Derry/Londonderry 

In Derry Londonderry, history surrounds you. Walk atop the ancient city walls, admire the famous murals in the Bogside, listen to traditional music in cosy pubs, explore museums, and join in the celebrations of old festivals. 

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6. The Glens of Antrim  

Experience the extraordinary natural diversity of the Glens of Antrim on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast. Within a compact area, you’ll encounter glacial valleys, sandy beaches, cliffs, wooded glens, waterfalls, charming villages, and fascinating ancient sites. 

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7.  Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle is nestled in breathtaking splendour and emerges as an idyllic symbol of beauty and romance. Its origins trace back to the first millennium, while the ruins we see today primarily date from the 16th and 17th centuries. Witness the echoes of ancient feuds between the McQuillan and MacDonnell clans as you explore the castle’s storied past. Immerse yourself in captivating historical and archaeological exhibits thoughtfully curated for public viewing. 

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8. The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum  

The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum is a fascinating museum that showcases the history of Northern Ireland’s rural life and transport. Visitors can explore traditional cottages and old vehicles and ride on a steam train. 

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9. The Marble Arch Caves  

The Marble Arch Caves boast a landscape shaped over 340 million years, offering visitors diverse activities and experiences. Explore the enchanting caves, meandering rivers, majestic mountains, ancient woodlands, waterfalls, and gorges that make this natural environment extraordinary. 

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10. Lough Neagh

Discover Lough Neagh, Ireland’s largest lake, where history, nature, and beauty unite. Off-the-beaten-track offers scenic walks, charming establishments, and fascinating attractions amidst endless views and racing skies. Embrace the allure of this hidden gem and immerse yourself in the wonders of Lough Neagh. 

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