Northern Ireland is a magical place, with natural sights and landscapes that could only be dreamed of. The dramatic landscape is rich with rolling hills, meadows, rugged cliffs and miles of beautiful coast. This gorgeous scenery is only one of the many reasons to visit Northern Ireland by motorhome, as camping and hiking there is like no other destination. Read on to find out the reasons to visit this gorgeous place, hire a motorhome and start enjoying!
#1 Great Campsites
A vital aspect of a motorhome holiday is camping, as even the toughest of us have to stop and take a break. You don’t want these breaks to feel like pauses from your holiday and all the fun you’re having, you want them to be just as enjoyable and truly make the holiday perfect! This involves having the right campsite, and Northern Ireland has a wide selection for you. Nestled in the Antrim Coast, there is Causeway Coast Holiday Park. A 28-acre park situated less than a mile from the beach, this campsite ensures you never have to walk too far on those sandy feet! The site offers a heated pool, outdoor play area and more, ensuring the whole family will be having a great time. It has spectacular views over Ballycastle Bay and the cliffs of Fairhead, with more great attractions in the surrounding area. But the best perk of this campsite? Rathlin Island to the north! This little island is filled with colonies of puffins, which will be the most exciting site to young and old alike. If you’re travelling with your furry friend, then head over to Hillfoot Caravan Site and Camping. This site is run by Mervyn, his team, and the famous campsite collie Ben! It welcomes dogs and has a great area for them to enjoy. The campsite is located at the foot of Benbradagh Mountain, ensuring gorgeous hikes and beautiful views ahead! If you’re visiting the Antrim glens, then consider resting your head at Glenmore Caravan and Camping Park. Located in an Area of Outstanding Beauty, this campsite provides some of the most eye-watering scenery in the entire country. It is a 95 acre campsite with views of Rathlin Island, Islay and the Mull of Kintyre. The campsite aims to show visitors traditional Irish heritage, through live performances and delicious delicacies in their restaurant. And there are dozens of more campsites simply waiting for you, check out our blog for more ideas and details!
#2 Breathtaking Natural Wonders
Listing all the things to see in Northern Ireland could take us several blogs, so for now we’ll focus on their breathtaking natural wonders. The most popular attraction in Northern Ireland would have to be Giant’s Causeway, the only World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. It is the result of a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, and resembles polygonal columns of layered basalt. You can visit the stones and path on your own and enjoy a relaxing day. You can also visit the art visitor centre which showcases the science and stories behind the Giant’s Causeway, and get a guided walk led by an experienced member of the National Trust team. The Glens of Antrim are a wonder to behold, it is said that time stands still in these glens and valleys. Each of the glens has a unique personality and charm, with tumbling waterfalls, rich woodland, cliffs, slopes and shores. The pure views are matched only by the purer air of these outstanding landscapes. The Ring of Gullion is another wonderful site, created some 58 million years ago from ancient volcanic fury. It created a unique geological landform of a ring dyke. This gorgeous formation brings visitors from across the UK and has gorgeous views surrounding it.
#3 Causeway Coastal Route
What would a motorhome holiday be without a road trip? And what would a visit to Northern Ireland be without travelling the Causeway Coastal Route? Nothing! This route stretches from Belfast to Derry and allows travellers to take in some of Ireland’s most incredible sites. It is studded with sandy beaches, gorse-covered valleys, fishing villages and cliff top views. It allows you to experience the extent of Irish beauty in a limited amount of time, and there are opportunities to stop and camp along the way to get a bigger fill of this beauty.
#4 Home to the Thrones
It has become common knowledge that a large portion of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones was filled across Ireland. Within Northern Ireland you’ll find numerous locations from the popular show, and you can also take a tour of filming locations or use the app created. Locations include Tollymore Forest, the first state park in Northern Ireland, and the location where Ned Stark found the orphaned direwolves. Near Strangford, you’ll find Castle Ward, which has been home to the Ward family since the 16th century. It is in season 1 as the iconic Winterfell, home of the House Stark. At Ballintoy Harbour you’ll find Theon Greyjoys home; Lordsport Harbour. Theon returned here in season 2 expecting a warm welcome. There are numerous more sites to be seen, including the birthplace of Melissendres creature, the coast of Dorne and more! So if you’re a fan, include some of these sites on your motorhome holiday. On Visit Belfast you can find a full list of locations in Northern Ireland used for the show.
#5 A Taste of the Outdoors
As we’ve mentioned, Northern Ireland is filled with beautiful natural wonders and a gorgeous landscape. Thus, a trip to Northern Ireland is ensuring you experience and enjoy the great outdoors. It avoids a holiday of switching between the car and museums or shops, never getting to enjoy the fresh air. A trip here will also get your legs moving, as there are countless fun things to do outdoors in Northern Ireland. You can enjoy hikes across the beautiful rolling hills and cliffs, or hire a bike and try their stunning cycle routes. The enclosed loughs and rivers are ideal for kayaking and paddleboarding, while the thrilling links golf will have you entertained for hours. Northern Ireland is also known for having some of the best wreck-diving in the world, so grab your goggles! Not a fan of underwater activities? Try some rock climbing or abseiling instead, and be gifted with the best views possible.
#6 Or Tasting Delicious Delicacies
All that tasting the outdoors will surely work up quite an appetite, but have no fear for you’ll be well fed in Northern Ireland. Head to a bakery to try the variety of traditional breads. From potato bread to soda bread to wheaten bread, you’ll be enjoyed plenty of variety here. One morning during your trip, try the best known traditional dish of Northern Ireland; the Ulster fry. It is the Northern Ireland version of a cooked breakfast, and is distinguishable from a full breakfast by its griddle breads - soda bread and potato bread, which are fried or grilled until crisp and golden. It can also sometimes include small pancakes. If that isn’t the way you want to start your day, have no fear, as the people of Northern Ireland are also partial to porridge, which they dress up on the weekends by replacing milk with cream, adding brown sugar and sometimes a dash of Bushmills whiskey. Meat lovers will love pasties, a mixture of sausage meat, onions and mashed potato, which is shaped like a burger and spiced with black pepper. It can be ordered battered from most chip shops, so treat yourself to one and enjoy it outside your motorhome watching the sunset over the valleys.
#7 Bustling Belfast
The capital city of Northern Ireland has plenty to do and promises never to leave you bored. It was the birthplace of the Titanic, and this legacy is recalled in the renovated dockyards’ Titanic Quarter. This includes the Titanic Belfast, an aluminum-clad museum reminiscent of a ship’s hull as well as various other attractions. There are numerous other things to see in Northern Ireland that are housed in Belfast, including the Ulster Museum, Belfast City Hall and the Botanic Gardens. Enjoy your Sunday morning at St George’s Market, a Victorian hall featuring food, local arts, crafts and live music. If you can’t make Sunday, have no fear! On Friday the stunning glass covered building hosts a variety market (everything from flowers to fish to homewares) and on Saturday there is a food and craft market (look out for Suki Tea and Ann’s Pantry bakers!).
#8 Drink your Sorrows
All that munching may get you thirsty, so you can enjoy some of the traditional drinks of Northern Ireland. There is a stereotype of Irish drinking, and when you taste their beverages, you’ll understand why they drink so much! As mentioned, Bushmills whiskey is extremely popular, and ranges from original grain whiskey to malt whiskey to varying ages of single malt. You can visit their distillery, or numerous others, and enjoy learning about the process and trying delicious tasters! If you’d like something non-alcoholic, try some delicious Brown Lemonade, which is both refreshing and easy to find across Northern Ireland!
#9 Modern Derry
Derry, also known as Londonderry, is Northern Ireland’s second-largest city and continues to grow as an artistic and cultural hub. The best way to experience and enjoy Derry’s layout and history is to walk the 1.5km circumference of the city’s walls. They were completed in 1619 and are the only city walls in Ireland to survive almost intact. For a great dose of cultural, head to one of Derrys numerous museums. Great ones include the Siege Museum, Museum of Free Derry and Tower Museum. Derry has some of the most cultural things to do in Northern Ireland, including the Peace Bridge and Ebrington Square, which display the architectural talent of the city. In 2013, as the UK City of Culture, the waterfront and Guildhall area was redeveloped, ensuring the city is modern and making the most of the city’s splendid riverside setting.
We could name plenty more fun things to do or see in Northern Ireland, but we must stop somewhere. So there you have out 9 reasons to go to Northern Ireland, convinced? Then hire a motorhome in Northern Ireland here and plan the motorhome holiday of your dreams!