The beauty of Northern Ireland is that there is so much on offer. The culture, the scenery, and the people are to name a few of the best bits. However, one of the most wonderful parts of who we are is that we know how to create the atmospheric ‘pub’ scene. Why else would so many people around the globe try to recreate the ambience of an Irish pub? It is a unique experience that we often take for granted, especially when you have a pint in front of an open fire, surrounded by friends. Throw in some live music and it what I imagine paradise to look like, maybe a few degrees colder.
10. Blakes of The Hollow, Enniskillen
This place seemed like the ideal place to start our top 10 journeys. Being one of the oldest pubs in Co. Fermanagh, Blakes has been serving locals since the Victorian Times. It keeps a firm grasp on its traditional Irish heritage and offers live traditional music on Friday nights. Blakes is home to a very special door that was showcased in Game of Thrones, which is proving to be a big hit. This door along with 9 others was crafted after 2 trees at the Dark Hedges had fallen victim to Storm Gertrude.
9. The Harbour Bar, Portrush
This is one of the most enjoyable experiences when it comes to pubs. Located right on the harbour in Portrush, the Harbour Bar offers live music, a great atmosphere and often the cosiness of a well-lit fire. If you catch them at the right time, there is bar food available to order, I would definitely recommend that you get onboard with that.
8. The Duke of York, Belfast
This iconic pub is nestled down a stunning cobbled side street in Belfast city centre. I wouldn’t even care what it was like inside, the walk to the bar is mesmerizing with the fairy lights across the alleyway. Thankfully the walk would not be wasted as the pub itself shows off character and style, with an atmosphere that would ensure that you returned for one more pint.
7. The Anchor, Portstewart
This place is one that radiates charm and character while keeping the traditions of an Irish pub. The stunning Victorian fireplace makes you feel like you are sitting in a ridiculously cosy living room, having a pint with your closest friends. They run events throughout the week, traditional music, quiz nights and even karaoke.
6. The Jamaica Inn, Bangor
I am a sucker for this place. I don’t know if it is the view or the feeling of pure relaxation as I enter the cracking noise of their log fire. I imagine it is a mix of both, it also brings such nostalgia of Christmas catch up with friends. This place has it all, located at the end of the town centre of Bangor, away from the business that comes with a town, The Jamaica Inn is worth the journey. Make sure to eat there too, the food is incredible.