Portavogie-Ireland

10 Towns To Visit In Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has many great beaches, mountains, bustling city centres and historical sights that are an extension of its small to large towns. With so many towns throughout the province, we have listed our top 10 towns to check out on your next stay in Northern Ireland.

1 Bangor

Located at the southern side of Belfast Lough, the town of Bangor is a popular seaside resort a short distance from Belfast. Visitors to Bangor can enjoy the picturesque marina. Here you can watch sailors arrive and depart by boat, or take a walk along Bangor Bay. Bangor has many popular restaurants, cafes and pubs to choose from. Nearby you can visit Clandeboy Estate, home of Clandeboy yoghurt, which is still made on the farm to this day. A visit to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum is a must if you are in the area. Here you can learn about Irish traditions or explore the variety of old buildings that have been collected from around the country and rebuilt within the grounds of the museum. Helen’s Bay is a popular spot for a lengthy stroll after a long lunch. If you have time, also take a trip to the nearby Carnfunnock Country Park, a great open space that provides hours of fun for the family.

Find the latest hotel deals in Bangor and spend a few restful days in the area.

2 Armagh

Armagh-Ireland

Armagh’s attractive Georgian architecture is just one of the many reasons to visit this city of Saints and Scholars. You can explore the vast history of Armagh through an organised walking tour, departing from the city’s Visitor’s Centre daily throughout the summer and on Bank Holidays. Visit the city’s two cathedrals, both named after Saint Patrick. Schedule a visit to the Navan Fort and Visitors Centre as well as The Palace Stables. Kids will love Armagh Planetarium and Observatory to broaden the mind and teach them something new about our planet. Within a short drive you can visit one of the many beautiful and well-maintained forests and parks. You can find Gosford Forest Park, Loughall Forest Park, The Argory, Portadown’s People Park and Peatlands Park within a 15-minute drive.

Check out our special Kings and Queens-themed itinerary for Armagh to soak up historic highlights and so much more!

3 Newry

Popular with visitors from all over Ireland, Newry (and its surrounding area) is a great destination for a few days’ break. Head to the shops in Newry along its High Street or visit one of the two shopping centres, The Quays and The Buttercrane. With an array of eateries including steakhouses, pizzerias, Italian, Chinese, Indian and Argentinian restaurants, Newry is a diner’s delight. The city has a busy nightlife with live music, up-and-coming artists and gigs in many of the central bars, as well as a host of night clubs to dance the night away. The main highlight of Newry is its positioning between the towns of Warrenpoint and Carlingford. The seaside town of Warrenpoint has beautiful walks on the pebbled beach and plenty of places to grab an ice cream. In the quaint village of Carlingford, further great walks among the mountains and along the town’s Greenway walk along the lough can be enjoyed, as well as some of Ireland’s best pubs in the village’s centre.

Check out the latest hotel deals near Newry and explore the city and great towns nearby.

4 Enniskillen

Enniskillen is situated in the heart of the Fermanagh Lakelands. This town is great place to set up base and explore the Lough Erne and Fermanagh waterways. Plan a day trip taking in historic castles and stately homes with a visit to Florence Court, Castle Coole and Enniskillen Castle. The Marble Arch Caves is a popular attraction for visitors and locals alike. Here you can venture through the winding passages, exploring the natural underworld of rivers and caves. The caves are just one element from the larger UNESCO Global Geopark, which stretches between the counties of Fermanagh and Cavan. A boat trip on Lough Erne is an ideal way to explore the 154 islands. Take home some new skills by joining a class at one of the area’s many cookery schools. If you can, fit in a show at Aardhowen Theatre where you can also find drama festivals running throughout the year.

Take a look at the latest hotel deals for Enniskillen and make a plan to soak up the best of County Fermanagh.

5 Cookstown

Cookstown has the widest and longest main street of any town or city in Northern Ireland. This is great news for visitors as you will have plenty of choice when it comes to shopping, restaurants and pubs. With a fantastic retail offering, visitors to Cookstown can shop in any of the local boutiques or enjoy a meal in the surrounding hotels. This area is steeped in heritage and visitors can follow the footsteps of artists, writers and novelists who called Cookstown home throughout the ages. Just a short drive from Cookstown you can find Beaghmore Stone Circles, an impressive series of Bronze Age ceremonial stone monuments from the Neolithic and early Bronze Ages. Close by is the Wellbrook Beeting Mill, the last working water-powered linen mill in Northern Ireland. Lissan House – just north of Cookstown – is well worth a visit as here you can explore the 267 acres of parkland. Here you can take a guided tour through the oldest surviving house still standing in Mid Ulster.

Find the latest hotel deals near Cookstown and enjoy visiting the area’s incredible historical sites.

6 Portavogie

Portavogie-Ireland

Portavogie is one of the main fishing ports in Northern Ireland, famous for its prawns and herrings. Seals frequently congregate at McCammon Rocks, a reef just out to sea from Portavogie. In the town itself you can find the George Best mural, commemorating the life of the famous footballer who lived in Portavogie in the years before his death. A seafood lover’s paradise, you can find many seafood restaurants in the town and surrounding area of the Ards Peninsula. Travelling further inland, you can find Kirkistown Race Track, which was a former RAF airfield. Kirkistown now hosts car racing, kart racing as well as motorbikes, bicycle race meetings and duathlons.

Find the latest hotel deals in the Portavogie area and spend a few days taking in the area’s many highlights.

7 Glenarm

Glenarm-Ireland

Glenarm Castle is must-see attraction along the North Coast. The castle’s walled gardens offer a fabulous display of flowers and greenery. Visitors flock to the Bloom Fest, a tulip and garden festival within the grounds, at the start of spring. When visiting the castle you can sample Glenarm’s famous shorthorn beef at the Tea Room & Shop. Glenarm Forest makes up one of the nine glens of Antrim. Although slightly smaller than surrounding forest parks, there are a wide variety of tree species such as oak, ash, beech, sycamore and Japanese larch. The Glenarm River runs through the forest, through the glen to join the sea at Glenarm Village. In the village you can enjoy a coffee in one of the local cafes and soak up the beautiful views of the sea.

Check out hotel deals in the Glenarm area and plan a trip to coincide with the wonderful Bloom Fest.

8 Portrush

Portrush-Ireland

Golfers will immediately recognise this seaside town of Country Antrim as it is famously known for the Royal Portrush Golf Club, a golf course that will host the 2019 British Open. The town’s many sandy beaches attract visitors who enjoy a leisurely stroll. Choose from the West Strand, the East Strand and Curran Strand. There is a great playground for surfers to practice along White Rocks. Portrush is also conveniently located near the Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle and Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge. Within the town itself, you can spend hours of entertainment in Barry’s Amusements – the largest amusement park in Northern Ireland. If you have time, visit nearby Portstewart using our guide to the town.

Find out the latest hotel deals for Portrush and have a go at one of the great water sports in the area.

9 Newcastle

Newcastle-Ireland

 

Where the Mourne Mountains sweep down to the sea is where Newcastle town can be found. Towering above the main street you can see Slieve Donard, the most prominent and tallest mountain in the area. Newcastle is a popular town for hill walkers. Many treks begin in Donard Car Park heading up towards the Mourne Wall. With a number of routes to choose from, you will find trails suitable for all levels of abilities. If you scale the top of Slieve Donard, you can take in the views of Silent Valley and Ben Crom Dam. The coastal drive from Newry to Newcastle takes in the seaside towns of Rostrevor, Kilkeel, Annalong into Newcastle town itself. A few miles north of Newcastle will bring you to Ireland’s first Nature Reserve, Murlough Beach, a great stop for scenic views and wildlife. Home to 23 species of butterfly, it’s well worth exploring the vast sand dunes and heather-lined walks.

Check out the latest hotel deals in the Newcastle area and organise a few days of walking among the magnificent Mournes.

10 Ballymena

Ballymena is known as ‘The City of the Seven Towers’ due to its highly visible seven towers in bygone days. Today the town offers visitors a wealth of award-winning hotels, heritage sites and family activity centres. There are many exciting options when it comes to exploring this County Antrim town. Start off with an impressive view over Ballymena from Slemish Mountain, the supposed home of patron Saint Patrick and the last remains of an extinct volcano. Within Ballymena Town the kids will love a trip to The People’s Park playground. Nearby you will find a number of indoor activity centres with climbing frames, slides and ball zones. Ballymena’s ECOS Centre showcases local environmental issues through a number of interactive exhibits and high-tech galleries. It is suitable for all the family. Explore the peaceful nature walks, with a duck pond, cycling routes and fishing spots dotted throughout the park.

Find the latest hotel deals near Ballymena for an opportunity to discover the town’s great surrounding sites.

 

What is your favourite town to travel to in Northern Ireland?

Share your favourite Northern Irish town in the comment section below.

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