Gems of North Ulster you have to experience…

1. Portsalon Beach, Co. Donegal

portsal beach

A very extensive sandy beach on the shores of Lough Swilly. It gently slopes towards the Atlantic ocean and is located in a Natural Heritage Area (NHA). The beach at Portsalon can be reached by travelling north east in the R246 from Carrowkeel to Portsalon.

2. Atlantic Drive, Rosguill Peninsula, Co. Donegal

The route onto the extremely beautiful and very manageable Rosguill Peninsula starts by the side of the church in Carrigart, 13km northeast of Creeslough, and passes rabbit-infested dunes at the back of a tremendous and usually deserted beach. At the top of the strand is DOWNINGS, a sprightly holiday centre patronized mainly by Northern Irish tourists, with caravan sites hogging the rear end of the beach and holiday chalets creeping up the hillside behind the village. Downings’ main street heads northwards to become the panoramic Atlantic Drive, which runs around the headland and also makes for a stupendous thirteen-kilometre walk. The range of views encompasses the essence of Donegal – rugged landscapes in constant tussle with the Atlantic Ocean – though, sadly, this is becoming increasingly blighted by large numbers of new-build houses and caravan sites.

3. Slieve League, Co. Donegal

Slieve League cliffs

Slieve League is a mountain on the Atlantic coast of County Donegal, Ireland. At 601 metres (1,972 ft), it has some of the highest sea cliffs on the island of Ireland. Although less famous than the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Slieve League’s cliffs reach almost three times higher.

4. This little piece of paradise just north of Greencastle, Co. Donegal

Credit: G.G

When we visited the beautiful Inishowen Penninsula we discovered this gem just above Greencastle. After slamming on the breaks, I turned back and take a closer look at this! It was so picturesque!

5. Mussenden Temple, Co. Derry


Mussenden Temple is located in the beautiful surroundings of Downhill Demesne near Castlerock in County Derry. It perches dramatically on a 120 ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic Ocean on the north-western coast of Northern Ireland, offering spectacular views westwards over Downhill Strand towards Magilligan Point and County Donegal and to the east Castlerock beach towards Portstewart, Portrush and Fair Head.

6. Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim

sunset dunluce

Dunluce Castle is located dramatically close to a headland that plunges straight into the sea, along the North Antrim coast, and was the headquarters of the MacDonnell Clan. There is archaeological evidence of a village that surrounded the castle which was destroyed by fire in 1641. The site was also witness to the sinking of a colony ship that broke up on the rocks off Islay in 1857 with the loss of 240 lives.

7. Giant’s Causeway, Co. Antrim

giants causway

he Giant’s Causeway is proof that Mother Nature provides the most dramatic tourist attractions. The natural wonder is comprised of around 40,000 polygonal basalt rock columns, formed by the ancient volcanic landscape and stretching along the coastline like a series of gigantic stepping stones. A Giants Causeway Day Trip from Belfast is one of the country’s most popular excursions, with visitors taking the unique opportunity to walk one of nature’s most peculiar pathways.


8. Glens of Antrim, Co. Antrim

The Glens of Antrim, known locally as simply The Glens, is a region of County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It comprises nine glens (valleys), that radiate from the Antrim Plateau to the coast. The Glens are an area of outstanding natural beauty and are a major tourist attraction in north Antrim. The main towns and villages in the Glens are Ballycastle, Cushendun, Cushendall, Waterfoot, Carnlough and Glenarm. The inhabitants of the glens are descended mainly from native Irish, Ulster Scots and Hebridean Scots. The Glens are mentioned in the song “Ireland’s Call”.

9. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Co. Antrim


Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Co. Antrim. It is a famous rope bridge near Ballintoy. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. It spans 20 metres (66 ft) and is 30 metres (98 ft) above the rocks below. The bridge is mainly a tourist attraction and is owned and maintained by the National Trust. In 2009 it had 247,000 visitors. The bridge is open all year round (subject to weather) and people may cross it for a fee.

10. The City Walls, Co. Derry


No. 1 attraction on Trip Advisor to Date. Scenic/ Historic Walking Area. Customers View: “We were very moved by the way our guide was implacably neutral in his description of the causes of the troubles and we left having our views changed for good. This is a complicated part of the world and our guide brought it to life for us. He was very articulate, had a great sense of humour and answered our questions in an intelligent manner. This tour is a must.”

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