If you are in the United Kingdom, do not miss visiting Northern Ireland. You will not have to get an additional visa to visit Northern Ireland as it is a part of the UK.
Here are some reasons you should visit Northern Ireland:
1) Politicised Sectarian Neighbourhoods
I have been to Belfast many times and the more I visit the more I get inquisitive about Belfast and Derry’s politicised sectarian neighbourhoods. If you are not comfortable exploring them on your own, hop on to a tour bus and plug in your headset to learn everything about the past and present issues of these areas. The Troubles and to see the sectarian areas and the peace wall in Belfast and the Bogside area in Derry, I was moved and troubled and passionately compelled to learn more.
The peace lines or peace walls are a series of border barriers in Northern Ireland that separate Irish nationalist and unionist neighbourhoods. They have been built at urban interface areas in Belfast, Derry, Portadown and elsewhere. The stated purpose of the peace lines is to minimise inter-communal violence between Catholics (most of whom are nationalists who self-identify as Irish) and Protestants (most of whom are unionists who self-identify as British). The peace lines range in length from a few hundred yards to over three miles (5 km). They may be made of iron, brick, and/or steel and are up to 25 feet (7.6 m) high. Some have gates in them (sometimes staffed by police) that allow passage during daylight but are closed at night.
2) Irish Whiskey
Whiskey means “water of life” (Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx) are when you are in Northern Ireland, do not leave without trying some. Irish whiskey is still one of the most popular drinks in the world.
There are many types of Irish whiskey. It is called grain whiskey when it is continuously distilled using unmalted grains. Whiskey made from malted barley distilled in a pot is what is popularly known as the smooth single malt. You can also try the pure pot still whiskey and Irish pot still whiskey as they are both quite sought after in Ireland.
3) Giant’s Causeway
Giant’s Causeway is known as the 8th natural Wonder of the World. A jagged promontory of neatly packed columns of hexagonal basalt rocks created some 6 million years ago by a flow of basaltic lava. The walk to Giant’s Causeway is one of the most scenic walk you will ever talk in your life. Don’t take a bus or a car, make sure you walk to Giant’s Causeway.
4) Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
This is a famous rope bridge near Ballintoy in County Antrim and it links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrick-a-rede. It is 20 metres long and is 30 metres above the rocks below. It is a rope bridge and crossing it was scary as hell. My hands were shivering and I almost dropped my camera. Once you reach the other side, you feel like you have achieved something great as crossing this bridge isn’t for the weak hearted!
5) Dry Dock where Titanic was Outfitted
Ship building was huge in Belfast, it is the birthplace of the famous ship Titanic. Don’t forget to visit the dry dock where the ship was outfitted and the neighbouring ship building areas.
The best time to visit Ireland is: May and June. However, it is very cold in Ireland so always pack loads of warm clothes when you plan a trip there.
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