A Local’s Guide to Northern Ireland

Planning on visiting Northern Ireland, or are you a local who wants to find more cool things to see? Here’s my local’s guide!

One of the most beautiful spots on the North Coast is the Giant’s Causeway. There’s a shuttle bus from the car park down to the beauty spot itself, making it accessible for all, or you can walk up and down the hill. I went to the Giant’s Causeway a few weeks ago, and the view was breathtaking!

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There is a visitor’s centre just beside the car park, however the tickets for this are completely optional. You don’t need to pay to see the Giant’s Causeway, only to enter the centre.

If you’re at the North Coast anyway, definitely visit Portrush to blow off some steam! The famous Barry’s Amusements has something for everyone. Portstewart is also nearby, which is a beautiful small town that plays host to Morelli’s, a magical ice cream shop with ice cream sundaes to die for!

If you’re in Belfast, one of my favourite things to do is check out the huge amount of graffiti and artwork littered around the city centre. There’s some beautiful murals just a few streets in any direction from the City Hall. Most of my favourite art is around the Cathedral Quarter, around St Anne’s Cathedral and the free MAC Museum.

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One of my favourite places to eat around Belfast is Boojum. A fast-food with style restaurant, Boojum is affordable and a hugely filling meal. They serve burritos, burrito bowls, and nachos (and it’s all really yummy). If you’re looking for a less fast-food, slightly fancier experience, I would recommend Il Pirata in Ballyhackamore, just a short bus journey from the city centre. They do gorgeous cocktails and have a traditional pizza oven.

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For a sweet treat, check out Spoon Street. They serve frozen yogurt, and you personalise your own pot from their selection of frozen yogurts and yummy toppings! They have locations in Belfast city centre, the Lisburn Road, and Ballyhackamore.

If you’re around Belfast city centre, you definitely need to visit my favourite spot in the whole city. The Botanical Gardens have a palm house with a gorgeous array of flowers and plants, making it a super photogenic spot while also being quiet and soothing.

The free Ulster Museum is situated inside the grounds of the Botanic Garden, and it well worth a visit. It features exhibits on the history of Northern Ireland, both World Wars, and lots of incredible fossils. There is also plenty of art, and an area for children which regularly hosts arts and crafts sessions.

If you’re around the Antrim area, you need to see the beautiful Antrim Castle Gardens! You can park at the Antrim Lough Shore Park and walk to the castle grounds. It’s about a ten minute walk, and the castle grounds are dog friendly. There’s loads to see, from a motte, ruins, artwork and sculptures, to a lovely pond.

Northern Ireland is an amazing country, with loads to do and see. I can’t recommend visiting it highly enough! If you ever need some more suggestions for things to do when you visit, feel free to contact me on social media.

Until next time, Dani x

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