#17 best destination in the world

Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim

Best time to travel: July-Sept
Walk difficulty: Moderate
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption, located in County Antrim
  • The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven or eight sides

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Ballintoy

Best time to travel: June-Aug
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Rope bridge near Ballintoy in County Antrim, opened in 2008, the bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede
  • The bridge is open all year round (subject to weather)

Titanic Belfast

Best time to travel: May-Oct
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Visitor attraction opened in 2012, a monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard in the city’s Titanic Quarter where the RMS Titanic was built
  • It tells the stories of the Titanic, which hit an iceberg and sank during her maiden voyage in 1912, and her sister ships RMS Olympic and HMHS Britannic

Dunluce Castle, County Antrim

Best time to travel: April-June, Sept-early Oct
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Now-ruined medieval castle, the seat of Clan McDonnell
  • It is located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antrim, and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland
  • The castle is surrounded by extremely steep drops on either side, which may have been an important factor to the early Christians and Vikings who were drawn to this place where an early Irish fort once stood

Dark Hedges, County Antrim

Best time to travel: April-June, Sept-early Oct
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • The Dark Hedges is an avenue of beech trees along Bregagh Road, in County Antrim,
  • The trees form an atmospheric tunnel that has been used as a location in HBO’s popular television series Game of Thrones

Ulster Museum, Belfast

Best time to travel: May-Oct
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Largest museum in Northern Ireland, located in the Botanic Gardens in Belfast, featuring material from the collections of fine art and applied art, archaeology, ethnography, treasures from the Spanish Armada, local history, numismatics, industrial archaeology, botany, zoology and geology

Old Bushmills Distillery, Bushmills

Best time to travel: early July-late Aug
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Alcohol (primarily Irish whiskey) distillery in Bushmills, County Antrim
  • Bushmills Distillery uses water drawn from Saint Columb’s Rill, which is a tributary of the River Bush
  • The company that originally built the distillery was formed in 1784, although the date 1608 is printed on the label of the brand – referring to an earlier date when a royal license was granted to a local landowner to distill whiskey in the area
  • The distillery has been in approximately continuous operation since it was rebuilt after a fire in 1885