Northern Ireland – Discover the Home of Titanic, Game of Thrones and more…

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Ready for wonderful views, great music, top-notch food and a land that can soothe the spirit? This is the place for you.

A quintet of cities

Despite their proximity, each of Northern Ireland’s five cities has its own distinct character. Belfast is the birthplace of Titanic, a foodie destination and musical hotspot. Derry-Londonderry has its fascinating history framed by 400-year-old stone walls, not to mention a lively culture scene; while Armagh’s two cathedrals illustrate its strong ties with St Patrick that stretch back more than 15 centuries. Two smaller cities make up our quintet – both raised in status during Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee celebrations: Lisburn, at almost touching distance from Belfast, boasts attractive 18th century streetscapes and a distinctive legacy in linen; and Newry, a modern urban hub laden with shops, Christian heritage and ancient castles.

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Causeway Coastal Route

Dramatic cliff-top castles, vast white-sand beaches, charming little villages – the Causeway Coastal Route delivers an incredible amount of beauty within just 195 miles. Frequently cited as one of the best touring routes in the world, it’s no surprise that the Causeway Coastal Route is a genuine joy to drive. Starting in the vibrant city of Belfast and finishing in Derry~Londonderry (or the other way around if you prefer), the route is all about taking your time and savouring the sights, sounds and flavours of this spellbinding coastline. The breathtakingly varied scenery includes the Gobbins Cliff Path, the Glens of Antrim, the exhilarating Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the magnificent Giant’s Causeway. On the way, you’ll pass Royal Portrush Golf Club (home of The Open 2019), and Portstewart Golf Club (venue for the Irish Open 2017). Both outstanding golf courses that draw players from all over the world, and are welcoming to non-members so you can follow the footsteps of the greats as you tread the fairways.

 

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Mythical mountains

Head for the hills. The Sperrin Mountains on the border of counties Tyrone and Londonderry form the largest mountain range in Ireland, and have beguiled people for millennia: here you’ll find the ancient Beaghmore Stone Circles, more than 90 of them, aligned with the heavens. The Mourne Mountains in County Down, meanwhile, are another must-see, full of oddities, such as the Mourne Wall that stretches across the summits, paths made by 18th century smugglers, plus Slieve Donard, the highest peak at 853 metres. It’s said such was the beauty of the Mournes that Belfast-native CS Lewis drew inspiration for his description of Narnia. Conquer the peaks alone or join the party…both the Sperrins and the Mournes have walking festivals.

Fermanagh Lakelands

Swaying reeds. Rippling waters. Fields blanketed in vivid green. The Fermanagh Lakelands are a place of profound tranquillity, offering a continuous stream of quiet moments and hidden gems, from ancient statues to forest trails. From its rugged peaks to its gentle valleys, this landscape has been shaped by water, and there’s fantastic coarse and game fishing to be had. Full of lakes, rivers and inlets scattered with mysterious islands (154 of them, to be precise), take a boat or, even better, paddle yourself by kayak over the silent waters of Lough Erne, where Fermanagh’s islands offer ruined churches and ancient carved statues. Devenish is one of the most famous. A monastery was established here in the 6th century, before being raided by Vikings and later burned. But the oratory of St Molaise and the 12th century round tower have survived, painting a vivid picture of the island’s monastic past. Keep an eye out, too, for Boa Island, with its 1,500-year-old statues; White Island, also boasting ancient stone figures; and Lusty Beg, a 30-hectare resort with self-catering and B&B accommodation, along with activities that range from clay-pigeon shooting to off-road driving.

Set in picturesque locations, Fermanagh’s magnificent mansions and gardens bask in beauty. There’s Crom Estate, an 810-hectare demesne on the shores of Upper Lough Erne; there’s Castle Coole, one of Ireland’s finest neo-classical mansions with sumptuous Regency interiors; and there’s Florence Court, the former home to the Earls of Enniskillen, with glorious walks through native woodland.

 

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Strange tales

This landscapes of Northern Ireland have stirred many imaginations, including that of Belfast-born author CS Lewis, creator of Narnia. But Narnia is only one imaginary world inspired by the views. HBO’s smash hit, Game of Thrones, has been filmed all over, earning Northern Ireland the deserved moniker: Game of Thrones Territory. Avid fans can grab their broadswords and take a tour of the filming locations, from Cushendun Caves to Castle Ward, Dark Hedges to the gothic follies of Tollymore Forest Park.

Food and drink

With a deep respect for local ingredients, boundary-pushing chefs and a convivial atmosphere in pubs and restaurants, Northern Ireland is one of Europe’s most exciting food and drink destinations. The rich land and waters provide the ingredients and you can even learn how to use them yourself at Belle Isle cookery school in Fermanagh.
Another booming industry to satisfy discerning tastes is that of craft beer. Small breweries have popped up all over the place, but Hilden and Whitewater are the most established – although even Hilden, the older, is only 35 years old. For something more historic, settle down with a wee dram of Bushmills after a visit to Ireland’s oldest working distillery in County Antrim. You deserve it after the adventures you’ve been on!

 

published with permission from www.ireland.com

National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History

Museum of Ireland

The Irish Silver collection is one of the largest in the world and this exhibition traces the development of the silversmith’s craft from the early 17th Century to the present day.

Museum of Ireland Silverware

The way we wore –  exhibition displays stylish clothing and jewellery worn in Ireland principally from the 1760’s to the 1960’s. This is an eye-opening look at Irish fashion through the ages, showing how new clothing technology and European influences affected.

Museum of Ireland Fashion

 

The Eileen Gray exhibition posthumously realised one of Gray’s last ambitions – to have her work brought back to Ireland. Regarded as one of the most influential 20th Century designers and architects, the exhibition includes such important items as the adjustable chrome table and the non-conformist chair.

Eileen Gray

Eileen Gray Chair

The exhibition also values Gray on a personal level, including family photographs, her lacquering tools, and personal ephemera. It illustrates an account of her professional development from art student in London and Paris to mature, innovative architect.

The exhibition honours the memory of Eileen Gray, modern self-taught architect and designer.

Museum of Ireland Asian Art

’A Dubliner’s Collection of Asian Art: The Albert Bender Exhibition’ opened at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks in November 2008.

Since its opening it has helped bring to the public’s attention (both Irish and international) this highly important Asian art collection given to the National Museum during the 1930s by the great Irish-American Albert Bender.

On exhibition in the National Museum, Kildare Street up to the early 1970s, this is, however, the first significant modern display of objects from the collection in over three decades.

You can view a few of the outstanding examples of Asian art on display in the exhibition via the links below, but why stop there? Come and discover this beautiful collection for yourself.

1916 rising

The 1916 rising exhibition examines the decade of disturbance between 1913 and 1923, from the Dublin Lockout, through the Easter Rising to the end of the Civil War.

Broken down into three themes, the Soldiers and Chiefs exhibition looks at Irish soldiers at home, Irish soldiers abroad, and Irish soldiers in the 21st Century.

This exhibition traces Ireland’s military history from 1550 into the 21st Century and on display are over 1,000 objects from all over the world. It is on permanent display over eight galleries, covering 1,700sqm in Collins Barracks.

+ there is so much more to offer in this museum.

Info via http://www.museum.ie/Decorative-Arts-History

Collins Barracks
Benburb Street
Dublin 7

Opening times : Tuesday – Saturday : 10am – 5pm Sunday : 2pm – 5pm Closed Mondays , Christmas Day & Good Friday