Take A Road Trip In NI This Weekend!
5 Scenic Road Trips To Explore This Weekend in Northern Ireland!
If you’re from Northern Ireland you’ll already know how picturesque it is, but how often do you go out and explore all the beautiful areas it has to offer? Why not do just that this weekend?
The best way to see the country in all it's glory is by taking to the road in your car. After all, you’re never really much more than two hours drive from Belfast, unless you get stuck behind a tractor in the many country roads of course!
The lovely folks at Tourism NI have put together a list of top road trips in the area so you've lots of areas to explore below:
The Causeway Coast & Glens
Have you been on this gorgeous route?The dramatic Causeway Coastal Route has been celebrated by National Geographic as one of the most scenic drives in the WORLD and is 120 miles of scenic treasures with stunning panoramas and sea fronts. On your journey you can marvel at the Giant’s Causeway, visit the striking 800 year old Carrickfergus Castle, test your nerves on the Carrick–A–Rede rope bridge and seek cliff top sanctuary at Mussenden Temple.
Stops to include are the Old Bushmills Distillery where they have been making whiskey for over 400 years,the Mid Antrim Museum & Arts Centre where you can learn about the colourful history of the area and the Gobbins, which is an exhilarating cliff path adventure certain to excite all the senses.
The Sperrin Mountains
Jump in your car, turn up your favourite song and head towards what national geographic considers one of the worlds 101 scenic drives - Northern Ireland’s most extensive mountain range.The mountains straddle several counties and can be explored on four scenic driving routes – North, South, East and Central.
Experience Barnes Gap which is a striking glacial feature comprising of a deep incision in the ridge of hills lying to the south of the beautiful Glenelly Valley. Drive up to the Pigeon Top, which is a prominent viewpoint and picnic area offering amazing views of surrounding hills.
Slieve Gullion is also a must-see and offers excellent views over Lough Neagh, the Sperrins, Antrim Hills and the majestic Mourne Mountains.
This designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a must see for road trippers as it is Northern Ireland’s first marine nature reserve and the British Isles’ largest sea inlet with stunning scenery and well-known attractions.
Visit the Floodgates which are located a short distance out of Newtownards on the road to Portaferry and enjoy beautiful views across mudflats to the iconic Scrabo Tower.
Take a drive to Kearney Village where you can explore this carefully restored,traditional fishing village which has beautiful views towards Scotland and the Isle of Man, perfect for a selfie with your best friend.
Culture vultures will enjoy a visit to Nendrum Monastery which occupies a beautiful location overlooking Strangford Lough and its islands.
Make sure you drive a full
lap of Strangford from Newtownards, to Mount Stewart, you can take the ferry from Portaferry to Strangford and return to Newtownards via Killyleagh and Island Hill.
The Mourne Mountains and ‘Ring ofGullion’
There is no better place to explore on a fun road trip than the dramatic Mournes landscape which was the inspiration for Belfast born writer CS Lewis’ magical Kingdom of Narnia. Drive to St John’s Lighthouse as this striking black and yellow building makes for an impressive sight and offers views across Dundrum Bay towards the Mournes.
Make your way over to the Slieve Gullion Forest Park which offers impressive views of the surrounding volcanic landscape. The drive also provides access to the trail leading to the top of the mountain itself, which is home to Ireland’s highest surviving passage tomb.
Take a trip to Fermanagh Lakelands inyour car this weekend where you can experience a watery paradise with lots of stunning beauty spots. The county is dominated by Lough Erne and offers a range of breath-taking drives and views. Visitors can park the car and explore Lough Navar Forest or drive to Marlbank Scenic Loop to take in the unique limestone landscape of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geo park and impressive views overLough MacNean.
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