My first trip to Northern Ireland included delicious food, my first hire car (and first attempt at driving in about five years!), dark pubs, traditional music and plenty of sunshine.
Belfast is a fantastic city that’s very easy to find your way around. They also have a bike hire scheme, which ticks a lot of boxes.
I liked the way the city is divided into quarters, each with a different, vibrant feel.
We visited several good museums, the beautiful botanical gardens, and (apparently) the UK’s largest indoor market. Which did have very good burritos.
Staying right in the centre was perfect, but travelling out to the coast is definitely a worthwhile day trip. We went to the usual tourist spots; the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge which led to an uninhabited island (I must confess I had hoped it would be a bit more…well…rickety. Not scary enough!) and then on to the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s UNESCO World Heritage site.
I can remember reading the legend behind the rock formations as a child; imagining the ferocious giants running over the water. It pretty much blows my mind that you can see the same stones over on the coast of Scotland.
If you visit, I’d certainly recommend walking all the way down the coast, round past Finn’s house and to see the curve of impressive stone columns, which are reminiscent of an organ.
I had a lot of fun in Belfast. Good food, music and beautiful scenery – what more do you need?