Mount Stewart, located on the shores of Strangford Lough in County Down, is Northern Ireland’s much-loved family home. Following a three year £8 million restoration programme, this 19th- century house has been significantly transformed, making it a must-see attraction on the island of Ireland.
Voted as one of the top ten gardens in the world, Mount Stewart reflects a rich tapestry of design and planting artistry bearing the hallmark of its creator. Edith, Lady Londonderry’s passion for bold planting schemes coupled with the mild climate of Strangford Lough allows rare and tender plants from across the globe to thrive in this celebrated garden. Each of the formal gardens exudes a distinct character and appeal.
Mount Stewart is a delight for the senses with a series of formal themed garden compartments around the house including The Italian, Spanish, Mairi and Shamrock Garden. https://www.ireland.com/en-au/what-is-available/attractions-built-heritage/destinations/northern-ireland/county-down/newtownards/all/2-2873/
Explore thatched cottages, farms, schools and shops as you experience life from over 100 years ago. Set in over 170 acres of rolling countryside overlooking Belfast Lough, chat to a costumed visitor guide, admire traditional crafts and meet farm animals. https://discovernorthernireland.com/Ulster-Folk-Transport-Museum-Holywood-P2856/
At the top of Scrabo Hill, overlooking Strangford Lough and the whole of North Down, is Scrabo Tower. The tower, which was built in 1857, is one of Northern Ireland’s best known landmarks and the views from the top are spectacular. https://discovernorthernireland.com/Scrabo-Tower-Newtownards-P2886/
As with many early monasteries, it was refounded as an Augustinian abbey in the Norman 12th century. It possesses the best collection of 13th Century coffin lids with foliate lids, in the Province. http://www.visitardsandnorthdown.com/things-to-do/movilla-abbey
Late 18th-century tower mill in use until 1915 and still in working order.
Ballycopeland Windmill is the only remaining working windmill in East Down. It was built in the late 18th or early 19th century and was worked until the First World War when it fell into disrepair. It was gradually restored between 1950 and 1978 to full working order.
A small visitor centre is located inside the Millers house.
Disabled access is not possible within the windmill. This is a group of traditional buildings on a sloping site with changes of level. Wheelchair users can gain access to the exhibition but may find this difficult. Some parts of the complex are inaccessible for wheelchairs. https://www.ireland.com/en-au/what-is-available/attractions-built-heritage/destinations/northern-ireland/county-down/newtownards/all/2-2871/
This impressive building was built for the Hon Robert Edward Ward and his family in 1852. The building is situated in the grounds of Castle Park alongside the North Down Museum and is just a short walk from Bangor Castle Walled Garden. http://visitbelfast.com/things-to-do/member/bangor-castle-1
Titanic Belfast is the world's largest Titanic visitor experience and a must-see on any visit to Belfast and Northern Ireland.
Titanic Belfast, named the World's Leading Tourist Attraction at the prestigious World Travel Awards in 2016, is located beside the Titanic Slipways, the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and Hamilton Graving Dock, the very place where Titanic was designed, built and launched in 1912.
Titanic Belfast tells the story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to its maiden voyage and subsequent place in history.
The self-guided Titanic Experience extends over nine interpretive and interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. https://visitbelfast.com/partners/titanic-belfast/
W5 is Belfast’s award-winning science and discovery centre and provides a unique experience as well as fantastic fun for visitors of all ages.
Visitors can immerse themselves in W5’s new technological space ‘AMAZE’, scale the heights on the multi-storey climbing structure ‘Climbit’, meet W5’s humanoid robot ‘Robothespian, plus so much more.
In addition to permanent exhibits, W5 also presents a changing programme of temporary exhibitions and events. Visitors can also enjoy a daily programme of live science demonstrations and shows throughout the day. W5’s seasonal events are FREE with admission and tickets are valid all day. https://visitbelfast.com/partners/w5-at-odyssey/
rected in 1865 in Gothic style to commemorate Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert, the Albert Memorial Clock was built on reclaimed land from the River Lagan on wooden piles, causing the characteristic list. http://visitbelfast.com/things-to-do/member/albert-clock
Golden Thread Gallery is Northern Ireland's leading international contemporary visual arts organisation.
The gallery is actively committed to enhancing and widening the cultural experience for those living in, working in and visiting the region. Golden Thread Gallery prides itself on offering a friendly, open space where everyone is welcome. For those who have never visited the gallery before, why not pay a visit and get a taste of what's available?
From its beginnings in a former linen mill on a contested ‘peace line' in North Belfast, Golden Thread Gallery has delivered annual programmes of exhibitions and activities designed to make a real contribution to the visual arts and wider communities in Northern Ireland. Golden Thread Gallery has developed a reputation for its engagement with recent histories and re-imagined futures.
Golden Thread Gallery publishes and sells a wide variety of art books, periodicals and journals. Artworks are also available for sale through the gallery's dedicated sales area for all art lovers and collectors to enjoy. The gallery also offers a unique artistic encounter and is located on Great Patrick Street between Belfast's Cathedral Quarter and the historic Sailor Town area of the city. https://visitbelfast.com/partners/golden-thread-gallery/
One of Belfast's most iconic buildings, Belfast City Hall first opened its doors in August 1906 and is Belfast's civic building.
Free public tours of Belfast City Hall are available. Led by an experienced guide, they last around one hour and uncover the history of Belfast City Hall, while exploring some of its finest features. You can also visit the Titanic Memorial Garden and a number of monuments and memorials in the grounds.
Look out for the Belfast City Hall illuminations as they light up the building in a variety of colours and combinations at night, showing off the building's beautiful architectural features. https://visitbelfast.com/partners/belfast-city-hall/
Botanic Gardens is an important part of Belfast's Victorian heritage and a popular meeting place for residents, students and tourists.
Botanic Gardens was established in 1828 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society, in response to the public interest in horticulture and botany.
Originally known as the Belfast Botanic Garden, the site contained exotic tree species and impressive plant collections from the southern hemisphere, many of which can still be seen in the park.
Today, the park is popular with residents, students and visitors and is an important venue for concerts, festivals and other events. It is home to the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine. https://visitbelfast.com/partners/botanic-gardens/
The building itself is Romanesque, giving it a lofty grandeur associated with that style; semi-circular arches and massive pillars, vast and high single windows, and possessing an uncluttered spaciousness. The Cathedral contains mosaics designed by Sir Charles Nicholson, as well as sculptures by Rosamund Praegar and Maurice Harding. http://visitbelfast.com/things-to-do/member/belfast-cathedral-1
Come face to face with dinosaurs, meet an ancient Egyptian mummy and see modern masterpieces with a visit to the Ulster Museum.
As Northern Ireland's treasure house of the past and the present, the Ulster Museum is home to a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences and is free to all visitors. The museum tells the story of the people of the north of Ireland from earliest times to the present day. Impressive galleries and interactive discovery zones bring history, science and art collections to life for visitors of all ages. Enjoy a bite to eat in the cafe, then get face to face with dinosaurs and up close Takabuti, the famous ancient Egyptian mummy, who experts believe suffered a violent death by a knife attack. Learn about who she was and how she came to arrive in Belfast in 1834.
The Ulster Museum is part of National Museums Northern Ireland, which also includes the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Ulster American Folk Park, the W5 Science Centre and Armagh County Museum. And best of all, admission is free. https://visitbelfast.com/partners/ulster-museum/
The Crumlin Road Gaol is a 19th century Grade A listed jail, open to the public for tours, concerts and events.
Take a tour to experience all aspects of the Gaol from the tunnel linking the courthouse on the other side of the Crumlin Road to the hanging cell, Governor's office, hospital and graveyard.
Crumlin Road Gaol first opened its gates to prisoners in 1846 and for 150 years was a fully operational prison. On March 31, 1996, the Governor of Belfast's Crumlin Road Gaol walked out of the fortified prison and the heavy air-lock gates slammed shut for the final time.
During those 150 years, the Gaol has housed murderers, suffragettes and loyalist and republican prisoners. It has witnessed births, deaths and marriages and has been the home to executions, escapes, hunger-strikes and riots. https://visitbelfast.com/partners/crumlin-road-gaol/
Belfast Castle is located in the Cave Hill area of north Belfast. It was built in the 1860s and is one of the city's most famous landmarks.
For generations, Cave Hill has been synonymous with Belfast, with its imposing outline visible throughout the city. The landmark, named for the five caves located on the side of the cliffs, contains a wealth of natural, archaeological and historical features, including Belfast Castle.
Its most famous feature, known locally as Napoleon's Nose, is believed to have been the inspiration for Jonathan Swift's novel, Gulliver's Travels.
The park is home to the Cave Hill Adventurous Playground, archaeological sites, Visitor Information Area in Belfast Castle, eco trails, walking and orienteering routes.
The estate contains landscaped gardens and mature mixed woodland and offers superb views of the city from a variety of vantage points. It is home to many different species of wildlife, including long-eared owls, sparrowhawks and Belfast's rarest plant; the town hall clock. https://visitbelfast.com/partners/belfast-castle-estate-cave-hill-visitor-centre/
Belfast Zoological Gardens is home to more than 140 species of animal, many of which are in danger in their natural habitat.
As one of the oldest visitor attractions in Northern Ireland, many visitors have fond memories of visiting the gardens, which have been home to the animals since 1934. Belfast Zoo is now a leading and award-winning visitor attraction in Northern Ireland, with more than 200,000 visitors each year.
Popular attractions include the Asian elephants, Barbary lions, Rothschild's giraffes, California sea lions, penguins, apes, Malayan tapirs, giant anteater, Malayan sun bears, Visayan warty pigs, Goodfellow's tree kangaroo, red-backed bearded sakis, crowned sifaka, ring-tailed lemurs and reptiles. https://visitbelfast.com/partners/belfast-zoological-gardens/
Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in south Belfast is one of the city's most popular parks.
The park is home to the City of Belfast International Rose Garden, which attracts thousands of visitors to Rose Week celebrations which take place in July each year. Covering more than 128 acres, the park is made up of rolling meadows, copses, woodland and gardens and is home to a wide range of plants and animals.
An ideal base for exploring nearby Lagan Valley Regional Park, it contains international camellia trials, a walled garden, a Japanese-style garden with water features for quiet contemplation, children's playground and orienteering and eco trails. There is also a bottle bank, barbecue area, picnic tables and full car parking facilities. https://visitbelfast.com/partners/sir-thomas-lady-dixon-park/
The gardens are a complex living museum containing over four centuries of culture and heritage. Within the heart of the 60 acre gardens is a unique visitor experience, Clotworthy House. http://visitbelfast.com/things-to-do/member/antrim-castle-gardens-and-clotworthy-house
This is a very sheltered part of Islay's east coast. The road towards Claggain Bay is wonderful and offers a wide variety of landscapes, views and great distilleries to visit. Here 3 major distilleries offer tours and a dram and are not to be missed when visiting Islay. After you pass the distillery of Ardbeg the road becomes smaller and passes some sheltered bays on the right where lots of seals bask in the sun. I have counted as much as 27 seals one time. A little further down the road, one of the most interesting historical sites on Islay can be visited. Kildalton church and Cross. The Kildalton cross is well preserved and of great detail and is one of the few remaining in Scotland. Built in the Iona tradition with Pictish, Irish, Northumbrian and Celtic motives. The cross is 2.7 metres tall and can be dated back as far as 800AD. A few miles down the road the most beautiful bay on Islay reveals itself: Claggain Bay. An idyllic and totally unspoilt sandy beach with colourful pebbles waits to be discovered. Lovely birds seek shelter here and the views towards Kintyre are stunning. Claggain Bay is probably one of the most beautiful bays in the whole of Scotland, at least in my opinion. If you park the car on a sunny day without wind and just sit around and watch the views and enjoy the wildlife in this quiet and remote part of islay you never want to leave Islay. https://www.islayinfo.com/claggain.html
Malahide Castle, set on 250 acres of park land in the pretty seaside town of Malahide,w as both a fortress and a private home for nearly 800 years and is an interesting mix of architectural styles.
The Talbot family lived here from 1185 to 1973, when the last Talbot died. The house is furnished with beautiful period furniture together with an extensive collection of Irish portrait paintings, mainly from the National Gallery. The history of the Talbot family is recorded in the Great Hall, where portraits of generations of the family tell their own story of Ireland's stormy history. Many additions and alterations have been made to this romantic and beautiful structure, but the contours of the surrounding parklands have changed little in 800 years, retaining a sense of the past.
A major feature of Malahide Castle Demesne is the beautiful Talbot Botanic Gardens. The gardens, as they exist today, were largely created by Lord Milo Talbot between 1948 and 1973. https://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/malahide-castle-and-gardens
The Round Church stands in a magnificent location at the head of the village of Bowmore's Main Street. From here it dominates the village and offers views down the centre of Main Street to Loch Indaal and beyond. It has been described as Islay's best known building, and, give or take a few distilleries, that is very probably true.
The Round Church is the commonly used name for what is formally know as Kilarrow Parish Church. It was built between 1767 and 1769 by Daniel Campbell of Shawfield and Islay, who at the time owned Islay in its entirety. The following year work began on a planned village which greatly expanded the existing settlement of Bowmore. Campbell's development of Bowmore was not driven solely by altruistic motives. The new settlement was intended to generate increased rental income, and to allow the clearance of the area's main settlement of Kilarrow, near Bridgend. This in turn was intended to remove development from the area around Campbell's hereditary home, Islay House, and allow its gardens and grounds to be extended. A cynic might suggest that the development of the church was intended to help gain the acceptance of those being moved from Kilarrow to new planned village at Bowmore. https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/islay/roundchurch/index.html
The Islay Museums Trust was formed in 1976 by the Islay Historic Works Group and the Natural History and Antiquarian Society of Islay. A Management Committee was formed of Trustees resident on the island and other interested islanders. The Museum building, the former Free Church of Port Charlotte, was purchased for a nominal sum in the same year and work was started on converting what was a dilapidated ruin.
The aims of the Museum: To hold in trust collections reflecting the history of the island of Islay, for the advancement of the education of the general public, and to maintain and enhance those collections. The Museum holds around 2,000 objects over a wide range of subject areas. The Museum has developed a policy for the display of the collection, allowing the rotation of existing items in and out of storage, as well as providing space for short term displays linked to a particular theme, for example, the shipwrecks, the wee museum of childhood and Islay House upstairs and downstairs. https://www.islayinfo.com/islay_museum_of_islay_life.html
Bruichladdich is living proof that the traditional whisky regions of Scotland make no sense. Built in 1881 when puffer-supplied coal was available as an alternative fuel to local peat, it is likely that Bruichladdich was specifically designed to produce the purest unpeated spirit possible. The great Alfred Barnard supports this view with a tantalising clue – the Laddie is the only distillery on Islay that he does not describe as drying its malt using peat in his fascinating exploration of the island’s distilleries in 1885 https://www.bruichladdich.com/
The Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed public park in any capital city in Europe.
It was originally formed as a royal hunting Park in the 1660s and opened to the public in 1747. A large herd of fallow deer still remain to this day. The Park is also home to the Zoological Gardens, Áras an Uachtaráin, and Victorian flower gardens The Phoenix Park is only a mile and a half from O’Connell Street. Both passive and active recreational pursuits may be viewed or pursued such as walking, running, polo, cricket, hurling, and many more. The Glen Pond is set in very scenic surrounds in the Furry Glen. There are many walks and cycle trails available to the public. http://www.phoenixpark.ie
Collins Barracks in Dublin City could be said to be the National Museum of Ireland's largest artefact, having had a unique history all of its own in another life. https://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/national-museum-of-ireland-decorative-arts-and-history#53.348059|-6.285298|16
Apart from the amazing art and exciting exhibitions, there are many more reasons to spend time at the National Gallery of Ireland!
A visit to the National Gallery of Ireland is free. Since 1854, when it opened its doors for the first time, the National Gallery of Ireland has always believed that the National Collection is the nation’s collection and as such is available for your pleasure almost all year round. https://www.nationalgallery.ie
Christ Church Cathedral is Dublin's oldest building, a leading visitor attraction and a place of pilgrimage for almost 1,000 years. Renowned for its beauty, architecture and exquisite floor tiles, it is home to the famous 12th Century crypt, one of the oldest and largest in Britain and Ireland. Perfectly located in the heart of Medieval Dublin, it was founded in 1030 by Sitriuc, King of the Dublin Norsemen and was incorporated into the Irish Church in 1152 and eventually led by the famous Archbishop and patron saint of Dublin, Laurence O’Toole.
Over the years, Christ Church has borne witness to many significant events including the crowning of Lambert Simnel as Edward VI in 1487. Today, it houses the important Treasures of Christ Church which features manuscripts and ancient artifacts as well as a spectacular exhibition of original 16th Century costumes from the historical series 'The Tudors'. Designed by Emmy award winning designer Joan Bergin, the opulent costumes from the drama have travelled the world including a display in Macy’s New York. https://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/christ-church-cathedral#53.343459|-6.271123|16
Erected in the early thirteenth century on the site of a Viking settlement, Dublin Castle served for centuries as the headquarters of English, and later British, administration in Ireland. In 1922, following Ireland’s independence, Dublin Castle was handed over to the new Irish government. https://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/dublin-castle#53.342900|-6.267419|16
Discover the fascinating history of Dublin at the Little Museum of Dublin in the company of friendly experts. From the visit of Queen Victoria to the global success of U2, this handsome museum is full of amazing things to discover.
From James Joyce to John F Kennedy, you will meet some fantastic characters on our famous guided tours. No wonder the critics agree: “The Little Museum is a brilliant new addition to the cultural map of Ireland's capital.”
If you want to know all about Dublin, visit the Little Museum today. https://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/the-little-museum-of-dublin#53.339601|-6.258328|13
St Stephen’s Green Park is a historical park and garden, located in the centre of Dublin city.
Cared for by the Office of Public Works, the park is an important public resource in the area, and provides an oasis of green calm in the middle of a bustling city. Its four centuries of history are eventful and complex, involving such important figures as Arthur Guinness, 1st Baron Ardilaun, and Countess Constance Markievicz. The park itself hosts a large number of important sculptural monuments to Irish history. Many species of birds and plants also call the park their home. Public facilities at St Stephen’s Green Park include a playground and a garden for the visually impaired. http://ststephensgreenpark.ie
Guinness is synonymous with Ireland and no visit to Dublin is complete without a trip to the Guinness Storehouse – the Home of Guinness.
Located in the heart of the legendary St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin, this production site has been home to the Guinness Brewery since 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed a lease for 9,000 years. The Guinness Storehouse building dates back to 1904 and is built in the style of the Chicago School of Architecture. It was once the fermentation plant of the brewery and is now a seven-storey visitor experience dedicated to the history of the making of this world famous beer.
The Guinness Storehouse is the Home of Guinness, where you will discover what goes into the making of each and every pint, and learn about the incredible brand history stretching over 250 years. https://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/details/guinness-storehouse
Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 as the new County Gaol for Dublin. It closed its doors in 1924. Today the building symbolises the tradition of militant and constitutional nationalism from the rebellion of 1798 to the Irish Civil War of 1922-23. Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848,1867 and 1916 were detained and in some cases executed here. Many members of the Irish Republican movement during the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21) were also detained in Kilmainham Gaol, guarded by British troops. Names such as Henry Joy McCracken, Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin, Charles Stewart Parnell and the leaders of 1916 will always be associated with the building. It should not be forgotten however that, as a county gaol, Kilmainham held thousands of ordinary men, women and children. Their crimes ranged from petty offences such as stealing food to more serious crimes such as murder or rape. Convicts from many parts of Ireland were held here for long periods waiting to be transported to Australia. Kilmainham Gaol Museum is operated and managed by the Office of Public Works. http://kilmainhamgaolmuseum.ie/#
Loch Gruinart is perhaps one of the most beautiful parts of Islay offering stunning views combined with unique wildlife, rare birds and thousands of geese in the wintertime. From the parking close to the bird hide a track takes the visitor through some sheltered woodland offering nice views over the loch, good birding opportunities and viewing platform.
RSPB Loch Gruinart Nature Reserve lies to the north-west of Islay and covers some 1600ha. It is a special kind of nature reserve because it includes a working farm - in fact, the biggest in-hand farming operation on a nature reserve anywhere in the UK, and possibly in Europe.
There is something to see year-round at the reserve. Some say the most spectacular time to visit is in October when internationally important numbers of barnacle and white-fronted geese return from Greenland for the winter. At the same time, brent geese and whooper swans fly in from Iceland and stop for a day or two's rest before heading onwards to Ireland. This is also a good time to see birds of prey - hen harriers, sparrow-hawks, merlin, peregrine and golden eagles. Redwings strip bare the berries on the rowan trees, flocks of small birds feed in the autumn stubbles, and choughs pull apart cowpats for dung-beetle larvae. https://www.islayinfo.com/islay_rspb_loch_gruinart.html
Nine Kilometres south of Sanaigmore Bay is Islay's most beautiful bay, according to many, called Saligo Bay. The bay is accessible through a gate halfway between Machir and Ballinaby farm west of Loch Gorm. For access cross the dunes with numerous rabbits and descend to reach the breathtaking beach. Saligo Bay offers one of the most beautiful light conditions according to some photographers and is a favourite spot for people to watch and photograph an Atlantic Sunset. North of Saligo Bay is a distinctive rock formation, locally known as the "Sleeping Giant".
Cross the gate and from here it is only a short walk over the dunes directly west towards the sea to get access to Saligo Bay. Here wonderful sunsets and stunning light awaits you or just a memorable beach walk. The light on this part of Islay is exceptional and by some considered to be the best in the whole of Scotland! This beach is not safe for swimming due to strong currents! https://www.islayinfo.com/islay-walk-saligo-bay.html
A Standing Stone above Finlaggan. This structure and other standing stones on Islay probably pre-date the medieval ruins on the Council Isle by around two or three thousand years. Someone on Islay raised a question about whether any of Islay's standing stone groups have solar alignments, as can be read in an article about the Winter Solstice. I know of several sites on Islay which have been linked to various astronomical events. These include the stone circle at Cultoon, the standing stones at Ballinaby and the standing stone at Finlaggan. https://www.islayinfo.com/islay-cultoon-stone-circle-ballynaby-standing-stones.html
Fun, excitement and intrigue with free interactive science shows, fun workshops like 'Flame On' and 'Hand's On DNA', the amazing BodyWorks exhibition and three floors of fascinating displays showcasing science and life. Glasgow Science Centre is a world of wonder beside the Clyde where you can. https://peoplemakeglasgow.com/things-to-do/top-attractions/glasgow-science-centre
Riverside Museum is Glasgow's award-winning transport museum. With over 3,000 objects on display there's everything from skateboards to locomotives, paintings to prams and cars to a Stormtrooper.
Get hands on with our interactive displays. Walk through Glasgow streets and visit the shops, bar and subway. Climb aboard a train, tram or bus and get a real feel for old public transport. Discover Glasgow's rich shipbuilding history, explore the car and motorbike walls and help put out a fire with our interactive fire engine.
There are over 90 large touch screens panels full of images, memories and films that tell the fascinating stories behind the objects. There really is something for all ages to enjoy at the Riverside Museum. https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/venues/riverside-museum