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Northern Ireland-Emerald Island
Northern Ireland in general
Member Name: johnty
Northern Ireland in general
Date: 17/11/01, updated on 17/11/01 (936 review reads)
Advantages: Great Scenery, Great fishing, The best pubs in the world
Northern Ireland has been given a really bad reputation due to the troubles but really it's not bad at all in fact it's brilliant.
Not only is it possibly the greenest country in the world its towns and cities all have a beauty of their own. I am from Belfast, which is the capital of Northern Ireland. And while I'm only sixteen I know Northern Ireland really well. This is partly due to my camping weekends with my mum and dad which have been taking place for about the past 16 years, but I think it is mostly due to Northern Ireland being so incredibly tiny.
I'll try and give you a brief outline of all the parts of Northern Ireland so I'll start off with my hometown Belfast.
Belfast is situated in the east of Northern Ireland on the banks of the river Lagan and has a population of around one and a half million people.
The city is growing and becoming more vibrant every year. It's Laganside area is under massive development and is quickly becoming the culture area of Belfast. The jewels in lagansides crown are the Waterfront hall (a massive concert arena) and The Odyssey Arena (a vast leisure complex with Imax Cinema, Ice rink, Hard Rock Café, and ice rink where the newest Seconda super league team the Belfast giants play).
Belfast's city centre is a vibrant mix of historical buildings and fashionable shops. The City Hall situated right in the centre of the main square was designed under the same blueprints as Johannesburg's City Hall. It is a great place to come to if you get lost while walking round the city. Other interesting buildings are the Linen Hall Library, Queens university, Stormont (Parliament Buildings) and Belfast Castle which is on the outskirts of the city.
As you can imagine there are a lot of great pubs and eateries in Belfast. Perhaps the most famous is the Crown Bar which is the only public house to be listed by the National Heritage. r>
Belfast is a city with a lot of history for instance it was where the Titanic was made. To find out more about the history of Belfast go to the Ulster Museum near Queens University.
Good Pubs: Kelly's Bar, The Crown, The Botanic Inn, And The Globe.
Good Clubs: The Fly, Storm.
Sites: Albert Clock, Laganside, City Hall, Stormont.
This includes places like Portrush, Portstewart, Bushmills, Coleraine and Londonderry.
This is the main holiday area of Northern Ireland. Portrush and Portstewart are both major coast resorts. A bit like the ones in Britain but less loud! This is also where the famous North-West 200 races are held and this is a major event if you are interested in motorbikes. The northwest also has some of the most spectacular scenery in Northern Ireland and is a popular place for tourists to go. You will find the world famous giants causeway here. The Giant's Causeway is one of the natural wonders of the world. It consists of hexagonal pillars of black basalt rock, and also has an interesting myth behind it about Finn McCool, Ulster's resident giant. The story is that Finn found out about another Scottish giant who was saying he was far stronger than Finn. Finn then sent him a message challenging him to a fight. The Scottish giant agreed and they both began to build a massive bridge made out of the hexagonal pillars. They were able to do this without too much difficulty, after all they were giants. However it soon became apparent to Finn that the Scottish giant was building his part of the land bridge at a far faster rate. Finn then saw on the other side of the causeway the Scottish giant. He was far bigger than Finn and Finn knew he could not win the fight. However Finn was a clever giant and ran home and got into a baby bonnet and baby crib. Once the Scottish giant arrived at Finns house he asked Finns wife where he was. She told him Finn had just gone out to ch
op some wood and would be home soon for the fight. The Scottish giant then saw the crib and went over to play with the baby. When he saw the size of the baby he was amazed. It was smaller than he was but he thought to himself if the baby is this size what size must Finn be if his child was so large. The Scottish giant apologised to Finns wife and ran screaming from the house and sprinted back to Scotland as fast as he could, as he ran he broke most of the causeway apart from two bits a tiny bit of his causeway in Scotland and the bit which is still left on the north coast today.
Another popular spot to visit is the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. This was set up so as salmon fishermen could get out to their trawlers or alternatively fish from the bridge when the tide was in. Although it is frightening to cross it is well worth it as you get across to a lovely island and get great views.
My advice for someone going to the north coast would be to get a ferry to Rathlin Island which is a two-mile wide strip with a small village at one end and a puffin sanctuary at the other and beautiful countryside in between.
THE BANN AND LOUGH NEAGH
If you are a keen fisherman there is no better place in the world to come than the River Bann. The Bann is northern Irelands largest river and it goes through Europe's biggest lake Lough Neagh. Lough Neagh is also the biggest fishing place for eels in Europe although nearly all of the eels caught are exported to places like Holland.
Near Lough Neagh and the Bann is the cathedral city of Armagh which in fact has two cathedrals. With the amazing cathedrals and fascinating myths connected to the town it is definitely a place to visit on your travels.
You should also make an effort to go to the Tyrone crystal factory which has a tour of the factory and shows you every stage of the process of making world class cut crystal.
Not far from the Lough are the Sperrin Mountains which have a whole
host of walks and breathtaking scenes.
DOWN AND THE MOURNE MOUNTAINS
The beautiful Mourne mountains really do sweep down to the sea as the song says. Sleive Donard which is the highest mountain in northern Ireland looks down on a rich patchwork of farmland and homesteads.
Dotted around the Mournes are many castles and ancient remains.
This is a great place to come if you are a keen walker and most of the schools in northern Ireland choose to do their Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes because it is a place of such beauty. There are countless peaks, valleys, streams and waterfalls which all go towards making this one of the most beautiful places in Ireland.
The main town in the area is Newry and you are only about ten minutes from the border.
You can also visit Downpatrick which is the resting place of St. Patrick, St. Brigid, and St. Columb.
Other places to visit in down are Strangford Lough where you can visit the largest Aquarium in Northern Ireland called Aquarius in portaferry. You can also visit Sketrick Castle, Scrabo Tower and Castleward House.
I hope I have given you a pleasant picture of northern Ireland and that you will consider coming for a holiday. I guarantee you will have a good time wherever you choose to go.