10 of the best day trips from Belfast

3. Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim

No trip to the Emerald Isle is complete without a visit to Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage site, the Giant’s Causeway. Just over an hour’s drive from Belfast, the site features around 40,000 interlocking hexagonal basalt columns. Depending on who you believe, these stones were formed either by an underwater volcanic eruption or by the former warring giants, Finn McCool and Benandonner, who tore up large chunks of the Antrim coast and threw them into the sea. from Ireland. Steeped in myths and legends, be sure to check out the attraction’s other historical treasures including the Wishing Chair, Camel’s Back, and Giant’s Boot before tackling one of the surrounding trails atop a cliff for a bird’s eye view of the famous monument. After you’ve racked up your step count, treat yourself to a drink on a tasting tour of the Old Bushmills Distillery, which, located just two miles in the picturesque town of Bushmills, is the oldest whiskey distillery in the world.

4. Dunluce Castle, County Antrim

Fans of the hit HBO series Game Of Thrones may also recognize Dunluce Castle in County Antrim as the filming location of the House of Greyjoy series. However, the site, which has been in ruins for over 400 years, has a much deeper and sinister history. To understand its history, the 40-minute walking path around this abandoned place is a tantalizing visit, during which you can admire various archaeological exhibits placed behind a glass in the middle of its crumbling walls. Additionally, the castle sits atop a craggy, wave-battered cliff, offering mesmerizing views across the ocean to the Scottish island of Islay and Inishtrahull Lighthouse, off the coast of the Donegal. Once you’re done exploring the ramparts, sun worshipers should head to the nearby seaside towns of Portrush and Portstewart, two popular spots for surfing and where local herds of cows are known to linger on the sandy shores.

Read more: What to do in County Antrim in Northern Ireland

5. Lough Neagh Lake

Tranquil and unspoiled landscape, with secluded bays and skyline views, it is Northern Ireland’s largest freshwater lake and the Irish answer to Lake Como in Italy. Pack a picnic and head to Oxford Island, a national nature reserve less than half an hour from Belfast city center, to learn about the diversity and local importance of the reed beds , wildlife ponds and lake wildflower meadows, before strolling along Kinnego Marina, the largest marina on the lough. Here you can choose from a range of water sports such as kayaking, canoeing, sailing, water skiing, and wakeboarding, before embarking on a jet boat ride to Coney Island to learn about Norman history. If you have time, head to nearby Maghery County Park for bird watching and fishing, while historians should stop by the Holy River in Washing Bay to learn about its 20e– the seaside tradition of the century.

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