101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

I was born in Northern Ireland and have spent many happy days looking for Irish landmarks and historical sites for my own personal Irish bucket list. Putting together a list of 101 Northern Ireland Landmarks was an easy enough task and of course anyone who has been here will know there are many more than 101 landmarks to see in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland is of course a part of Great Britain and as such has a different government from the Republic of Ireland. However, these days, if you have rented a car you would be hard-pressed to know if you have crossed the border from the North to the South unless you see the road signs changing to kilometres from miles. A tip here – make sure you have both currencies on you so if this does happen you will be able to purchase a coffee or snack when you come to a cafe or petrol station.

The ruins of the Dunluce Castle on the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland. Photographed at sunset.
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  1. 101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

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Black Arc tunnel  and Causeway Coastal Route. Scenic road along eastern coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK. Aerial view in sunrise light 101 landmarks in Northern Ireland

101 Famous landmarks in Northern Ireland

There are so many cool places to go in Northern Ireland it would take a huge book to catalogue them all. This list comprises some of the most visited places in Northern Ireland including major N. Ireland tourist attractions such as the Giant’s Causeway, and the Causeway Coast, Bushmills and several castles and ghosts. Northern Ireland is famous for its stunning landscapes, the “troubles”, the murals of Belfast, and of course the Titanic and they are all included here.

Alec the goose

This lovely little sculpture sits just outside the entry doors to St. George’s Market in Belfast. It is dedicated to a popular goose who belonged to a local vendor and who used to wander around the area in the 1920’s. Legend says that he accompanied the local children to school in the mornings.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Antrim Castle Gardens

Antrim Castle Gardens are  400 year old gardens  where you can walk into the past as you stroll around this magnificent setting, visiting beautiful features such as the Large Parterre, Her Ladyship’s Pleasure Garden and Yew Tree Pond.  Within the heart of the Gardens is a unique visitor experience, the refurbished Clotworthy House. Visit the Garden Heritage Exhibition where you can read about the history of the Gardens and the story of the Massereene family.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Ballintoy Harbour

The small fishing harbour can be found at the end of a small narrow steep road down Knocksaughey Hill, which passes by the Larrybane and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge entrance. The village itself, which is just one kilometre from the harbour, has a charming array of small shops, two churches, including the quaint white Ballintoy Parish Church on the hill above the harbour, as well as tourist accommodation, restaurants, commercial and social facilities.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Ballygalley Castle

Only 26 miles from Belfast and set on the spectacular Causeway Coast Ballygally Castle faces the sandy beaches of Ballygally Bay. The hotel has a host of amenities and a Door of Tours carved door from the Dark Hedges along with its resident ghost.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Ballynoe stone circle

Ballynoe Stone Circle can be found around a kilometre from Downpatrick near the old train station where there is a long footpath to the circles. This is a very large site with over 50 closed spaced stones in the stone circle. Within the circle is a small mound of stones supporting a platform.

Ballynoe stone circle, a prehistoric Bronze Age burial mound surrounded by a circular structure of standing stones dating from the Neolithic period, County Down, Nothern Ireland

Bangor castle and walled Garden

The garden is divided into four different sections, each with its own horticultural personality. It also boasts two unique pieces of sculpture inspired by the Borough’s maritime history. 

The Ward family designed Bangor Castle Walled Garden in the 1840s. It was previously closed to the public and was considered by many as a secret garden! North Down Borough Council restored this beautiful Garden and it was officially opened as a visitor attraction in April 2009.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Barbican gatelodge

Along the Causeway Coastal route, this charming gate lodge sits on the end of a stone bridge over the Glenarm River and part of the Glenarm Castle Estate. The Barbican Gatelodge comes complete with gothic windows and a stone turret staircase.  For a special view, head up to the roof garden in the early evening for some spectacular views of the coastline.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Beaghmore Stone Circle

Near Cookstown in Co Tyrone, the Beaghmore stone circles were excavated from a blanket bog in 1965. This site is a complicated arrangement of Cairns, rows of stones and stone circles. These remains seem to be orientated towards the midsummer sunrise.

Belfast Castle

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. The location of the castle is named for the five caves located on the side of the cliffs. Cave Hill’s most famous feature is called Napoleon’s Nose, and it is believed to have been the inspiration for Jonathan Swift’s novel, Gulliver’s Travels.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Belfast Entries

These are a series of old narrow passageways mostly in the areas of High Street and Ann Street in central Belfast. Apparently, when the city was first laid out these alleyways led into the very dense residential areas. The surviving Entries contain several Victorian and pre-Victorian pubs which still exist and are great places for a bit of Irish craic

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Belfast Giants

Want something to do that is totally out of the ordinary? This is one of the many fun things to do in Belfast – take in a hockey game. Yes, Belfast has a hockey team the Belfast Giants. Created as an activity that everyone could support (in other words Protestants and Catholics) the Belfast Giants provide some great hockey in a city that doesn’t produce any homegrown hockey players. The SSE Arena can hold 7000 for a game and it is usually packed.

Belfast Murals

Most of the murals in Northern Ireland are a symbol of the past and present political and religious strive, during the “Troubles”. There are approximately 300 murals on display commemorating various aspects   an idea or message and could generally be seen as reflecting values held dear to that community.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Belleek Pottery

Established in 1857 Belleek Pottery holds a very special place in the cultural and commercial heritage of County Fermanagh. Nestling on the banks of the River Erne this imposing building is home to the world famous Belleek Fine Parian china and also to one of Irelands top five visitor attractions.

Benone Strand

Benone Strand, is a  Blue Flag Award, beach with 7 miles of golden sand and a stunning mountain backdrop. The beach is home to all the usual seaside activities and is a haven for nature lovers. Benone Beach is also Northern Ireland’s first fully inclusive beach with specialist beach access equipment for limited-mobility users. 

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland
©Discover Northern Ireland

Binevenagh Mountain

The Binevenagh Mountain in County Derry was where the Dothraki horde captured Daenerys after Drogon rescued her from the attack on Daznak’s Pit in season 5. It’s also where Jorah – in what would be considered a minor miracle – found the ring she dropped as a clue to where she could be found. Panoramic views from the summit stretch for miles. On a good day, the north coast is visible, as is Scotland when you hike up the mountain.

Black Nun’s Gravestone

Just outside Ballycastle lies the ruin of Bunamargy Friary, which is famous for its “Black Nun”. The nun wished to be buried at the entranceway of the chapel so that “she might be trodden under the feet of all who entered”. Her grave is marked by a round holed cross the only one of its kind in Ireland.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Bloody Sunday Memorial

A simple granite obelisk found within the Bogside area of Derry commemorates the massacre of 14 civilians who were shot dead by the British Army on Bloody Sunday, 30 January 1972.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Boa Island

Boa Island is located in Lower Lough Erne which is in Fermanagh. Lough Erne is located in the north-west corner of Ireland. The Janus Stone on Boa Island predates Christianity and it is believed that it goes far back in time to pagan Ireland. The stone itself is over 2000 years old and is one of the most famous carved stones in Ireland today.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Bonamurgy Friary

Bonamargy Friary is located off the Cushendall Road near Ballycastle. The locked vaults of the Friary are said to hold the remains of Sorley Boy MacDonnell and several of the Earls of Antrim.

Bushmills Distillery

Bushmills Irish Whiskey is made at the world’s oldest licenced working distillery in County Antrim. The Distillery original grant to distil whiskey was signed in 1608 by King James 1st and there has been distillation on this site since then, using the unique water from their own stream and Irish barley. Enjoy a tour of the distillery and tastings on-site and then you can pick up some great whiskey in the shop.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Carrick-a-rede rope bridge

The bridge itself is a crossing between N. Ireland to the Island of Carrick-a-Rede. It is made of planks, wire, rope and netting suspended 100 feet in the air and crossed 60 across the water to the Island. The rope bridge is maintained and managed by the National Trust which ensures that the bridge is safe to cross.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus is a Norman castle in Northern Ireland, set in the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. Besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French, the castle played an important military role until 1928 and remains one of the best-preserved medieval structures in Ireland. You can wander the grounds and climb the tower and it’s an interesting castle to visit. 

Medieval castle in Carrickfergus near Belfast

Carrickfergus Witches’ Pillory

A replica memorializes the site where women were punished after the last witchcraft trial in Ireland. Sited next to what used to be Castle Worraigh, which held cells on the ground floor for criminals waiting for their punishment. Carrickfergus was one of the last places in Ireland where a town witnessed a witchcraft trial and punishment.

Castle Espie

is a wetland reserve managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust on the banks of Strangford Lough, three miles south of Comber, County Down, Northern Ireland, in the townland of the same name. It is part of the Strangford Lough Ramsar Site.

Castleward

A unique architectural manor house in Downpatrick built in 1762 for the Viscount Bangor and his wife. Castle Ward’s entrance façade is Palladian style and the front of the house facing Strangford Lough is Gothic as his wife preferred that style of architecture. This is also one of the many locations for Game of Thrones the HBO TV drama.

Castlewellan Forest Park

Outdoor activities include camping and touring, walking, cycling, horse riding, fishing on the lake, canoeing and orienteering and of course the famous Peace Maze.

Cathedral Quarter Belfast

A vibrant neighbourhood in Belfast full of hotels, clubs, superb restaurants and bars and often hosting festivals and artistic events. The Merchant Hotel is located here and even if you can’t afford to stay drop in for a superb cocktail and to check out the outstanding interiors. The district was named after St. Anne’s Cathedral, with tall spire that the locals call “the rod to god”.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Causeway Coastal Route

The Causeway Coastal route begins in Belfast and ends in Derry (London/Derry) and covers over 120 miles or 190 km of the North Coast of Ireland. There are over 50 stops along the Causeway Coastal road and that isn’t the least of the scenic views and points of interest. From the Nine Glens of Antrim through to the views of Donegal the Causeway Coastal Route is simply one of the most scenic drives in the world.

Black Arc tunnel  and Causeway Coastal Route. Scenic road along eastern coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK. Aerial view in sunrise light

Cave hill Country park

Cave Hill or Cavehill is a rocky hill overlooking the city of Belfast, and its distinguishing feature is ‘Napoleon’s Nose’, a tall cliff which resembles the profile of the emperor Napoleon and is said to have inspired Swift’s Gullivers Travels. The Park features include Cave Hill Adventurous Playground, archaeological sites, Cave Hill Visitor Centre, an ecotrail, gardens, orienteering routes, refreshments in Belfast Castle, scenic views and waymarked walking trails suitable for casual walkers or serious ramblers.

Che Guevara mural Derry

One of the many murals in Derry but this one commemorates Che’s visit to Ireland the land of his ancestors – his grandfather was Irish.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Claddagh Clen

Beautiful little glen with the prettiest waterfall by the trail halfway along and also the exit to the Marble Arch river cave at the top end. Dramatic! Lovely spot and full of bluebells April time into May. It’s also a good spot to start the stairway to heaven walk up Cuilcagh, about a mile’s walk from the Marble Arch caves carpark though parking would be limited at the Claddagh glen entrance.

Crawfordsburn Country Park

Located on Helen’s Bay County Down the park has 3.5km of lovely beaches and riverside rambles that form part of the North Down Coastal Path. With two excellent beaches, spectacular scenery and views across Belfast Lough, tranquil walks through peaceful meadows and wooded glens and a stunning waterfall, Crawfordsburn Country Park provides a relaxing natural retreat.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Crown Pub Belfast

Directly across the road from the Europa (the most bombed hotel in Belfast) is the eponymous Crown Pub Dating back to the 1880s, The Crown is a gem of the Victorian era. Formerly known as The Liquor Saloon in Great Victoria Street, this was a true “Victorian Gin Palace” and it still retains many of the original features which include the authentic gas lights.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Greggandevesky

Greggandevesky Court tombs or ‘horned cairns’ are the most common Neolithic structures in the north of Ireland. The court tomb at Creggandevesky, near Carrickmore in Co Tyrone, is one of the most impressive. Probably in use around 3500 BC, the tomb was excavated from the bog in the 1980s. Cremated bones and grave goods were found in the interior chambers and 11 other court tombs have been discovered within a 10-mile radius of this site.

Crumlin Road Gaol

In 1996 the Crumlin Road Gaol finally closed its infamous doors. These days a guided tour of the Gaol will cost around £9.00 for an online ticket. You will take a guided tour and hear the entire miserable history of the site. Dating to its early days in the 1800’s up to the days in the 90s when the prison contained both Republican and Loyalists prisoners.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

CS Lewis Square

The C.S. Lewis pocket park is located in East Belfast and is a little gem in the centre of the community. The square celebrates the life and work of one of Belfast’s most celebrated writers, C.S. Lewis, and contains seven magical bronze Narnia themed art sculptures created by Irish artist Maurice Harron.  Featuring characters from ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’, they include Aslan, The White Witch, Tumnus, The Beavers, The Robin and The Stone Table, it is a stunning display of public art.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Cushendun caves

The Cushendun Caves were formed over 400 million of years of extreme weather conditions. Find them just beyond the beautiful coastal village of Cushendun, walking down next to the Cave House. TV fans will be interested to know that the caves provided the background for The Stormlands in Game of Thrones.

Cushendun Goat

On your way to the Caves you will spot a goat grazing by a statue of a goat. Johann, the goat, was a feature of the Cushendun harbor area for many years, grazing the riverbank but sadly Johann had to be put to sleep due to Hoof and Mouth disease that devasted N. Ireland in the early 2000’s. These days though you will spot Miriam who carries on Johann’s legacy so don’t forget to take some carrots with you

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Dark Hedges

In the Game of Thrones it was the Dark Hedges that stood in for the Kings Road and these days the Hedges have become a tourist hot spot. The rows of beech trees were planted over a hundred years ago to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to the Georgian mansion, Gracehill House. Sadly these trees are starting to die off naturally as they don’t live much longer than 100 years.

tips for travel to Ireland the Dark Hedges

Derry Girls mural

The large mural on the side of Badgers Bar in central Derry was originally commissioned by Channel 4 at the start of 2019. It shows the five teenage stars of the acclaimed sitcom in their school uniforms.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Derry Murals

On any tour of Derry you will head to the “Bogside” where you can see the 12 murals that decorate the gable ends of houses along Rossville St, and the Free Derry Corner. Called the People’s Gallery they are the work of Bogside Artists Kevin Hasson, Tom Kelly, and William Kelly.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Devenish Island Monastery

Devenish Island in the Fermanagh lake district contains a 6th century monastic site that was built on the pilgrammage route to Croagh Patrick. The monastic settlement was raided by the Vikings in 837 and was burned in 1157and again in 1360. The earliest stone buildings on the island are St Molaise’s House, a small oratory or tomb shrine, and the magnificent round tower. The island is covered with earthworks that pre-date the stone buildings.

Divis and the Black Mountain

Divis and Black Mountain are the highest points boasting views across the north. Divis or Dubhais meaning ‘black ridge’ refers to the dark basalt bedrock. Divis and the Black Mountain rest in the heart of the Belfast Hills and provide spectacular views over the city. The landscape is comprised of a mosaic of grassland and heathland bog, are is home to a host of wildlife and archaeological remains.

Dún Mór

Dún Mór was a fortified fortress/residence most likely occupied around 800 AD through to about 1300 AD. It can be found on the Fairhead Road from Ballycastle. The ancient site has been excavated on two occasions. It was believed that the fort at Dún Mór was most likely a Motte and Bailey Castle, built by the Anglo-Normans, who conquered much of the north Antrim. However, the artefacts found by both excavations demonstrate that while it may have been occupied during the Anglo-Norman era, it had older origins. An easy fort to find it is on private land an the farmer charges you £3.00 per car to park and walk around the ruin.  

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle clings to the side of a cliff on the Causeway Coastal Route of Northern Ireland. The castle kitchens collapsed from the rest of the building taking the entire kitchen and servants with it. Their screams are said to be heard on foggy stormy days. This is a really evocative site as it rises up when you go round the Causeway bend in the road.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Dunseverick Castle

Dunseverick Castle lies west of the village of Dunseverick, in County Antrim and is considered an important ancient site in Ireland as one of the royal roads from Tara ends here.

In the 5th century the fort was visited several times by Saint Patrick who even baptized a local man here who later became Bishop of Ireland. A well, which existed a few feet from the cliff edge, was named after St. Patrick and was reputed to be one of the ‘holy’ wells of Ireland.

Enniskillen Castle

Enniskillen situated beside the River Erne in County Fermanagh was built almost 600 years ago by the ruling Gaelic Maguires. Guarding one of the few passes into Ulster, it has been strategically important throughout its history. Today, the historic site houses two museums, Fermanagh County Museum and The Enniskillen Museum

Europa Hotel

is a 4-star hotel in central Belfast with the dubious honour of being the most bombed hotel in Europe during the “Troubles”.

the Europa hotel Belfast

Fair Head

Fair Head is a mountain cliff at the North-Eastern corner of County Antrim . Located East of of Ballycastle, this 5 kilometre cliff is very different from the others cliffs in Ireland. The cliff is made of distinctive vertical columns of dolerite, which forms a striated, cracked wall, reminiscent of organ pipes and reaches up to 100 metres high. It’s considered one of the favourite expanses of climbable rock by climbers.

Game of Thrones

There are over 31 filming sites for Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland and most can be visited either with an organized tour or it’s pretty easy to self-drive and see the particular sites you want to see. Game of Thrones has changed Northern Ireland irrevocably for the good, bringing in hundreds of thousands of tourists a year.

Slavers bay sign at Murlough Bay Game of Thrones

Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway is one of those incredible natural sites that simply take your breath away. Formed millions of years ago the basalt columns are mainly hexagonal though there are some with up to eight sides. Some of the formations have names such as the Chimney Stacks, The Harp, The Organ and the Camel’s Hump.

NORTHERN IRELAND, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14, 2016: Giant's Causeway in a beautiful summer day, Northern Ireland on June 14, 2016

Giant’s Ring

On the southern outskirts of Belfast, the Giant’s Ring is vast circular enclosure known as a ‘henge monument’. This structure encloses the remains of a passage tomb. Probably dating from around 2000BC the site’s social or ritual function is unclear, but excavations and aerial photography show that the Giant’s Ring is part of a complex landscape of tombs, standing stones and other circular enclosures in the area.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Giants Belfast hockey league

Want something to do that is totally out of the ordinary? This is one of the many fun things to do in Belfast – take in a hockey game. Yes, Belfast has a hockey team the Belfast Giants. Created as an activity that everyone could support (in other words Protestants and Catholics) the Belfast Giants provide some great hockey in a city that doesn’t produce any homegrown hockey players. The SSE Arena can hold 7000 for a game and it is usually packed.

Glenariff Forest Park

Glenariff, the Queen of the Glens, is one of the nine Antrim Glens in Northern Ireland. Glenariff Forest Park covers over 1,000 hectares with planted woodland, lakes, outdoor recreation spaces and conservation areas.

The rocky gorges of the river support a wide range of mosses, liverworts and ferns. Due to the richness and diversity of these plants, part of the Glenariff Glen has been designated as a National Nature Reserve. The timber walkway (boardwalk) that winds through the glen and alongside the river gorge was first built about 100 years ago and has been carefully reconstructed to provide a spectacular walk.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Glenarm Castle

Glenarm is the family seat of the McDonnell family, Earls of Antrim and the Castle is their private home. The Antrim McDonnells have played a key role in the story of the North Antrim coast, most notably in the 16th century under the leadership of famous warrior chief, Sorley Boy MacDonnell.

You can’t see in the Castle itself but you can take a tour of the stunning Walled Garden that dates from the 18th century. There is a Woodland Walk and a newly built heritage center will be opening soon. 

Glens of Antrim

The Glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland are some of the most beautiful places in the world and the drives will mesmerize you from start to finish. There are 9 Glens of Antrim, each and every one with its own story and its own type of beauty.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Greggandevesky Court tombs

These the most common Neolithic structures in the north of Ireland. The court tomb at Creggandevesky, near Carrickmore in Co Tyrone, is one of the most impressive. Probably in use around 3500 BC, the Creggandevesky court tomb was excavated from the bog in the 1980s. Cremated bones and grave goods were found in the interior chambers and 11 other court tombs have been discovered within a 10-mile radius of this site.

Grey Abbey

Along with Inch Abbey, Greyabbey is the best example of Anglo-Norman Cistercian architecture in Ulster and was the daughter house of Holm Cultram (Cumbria). It was founded in 1193 by Affreca, wife of John de Courcy, the Anglo-Norman invader of East Ulster. Poor and decayed in the late Middle Ages, the abbey was dissolved in 1541 but in the early 17th century was granted to Sir Hugh Montgomery and the nave was refurbished for parish worship until the late 18th century. The remains, in the beautiful parkland setting of the nearby grand house of Rosemount, consist of the church with cloister and surrounding buildings to the south.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Helen’s Tower

Helen’s Tower is hidden on the edge of a winding lane on a beautiful hillside in County Down. It is a 3 storey, stone tower with accommodation for two guests for that perfect romantic getaway.

HMS Caroline

The HMS Caroline sits in the heart of the Titanic Quarter and dates back to WWI. This vessel has an important part in the history of the wars both WWI and WWII. The interactive self -guided tour includes touch screens and panoramic views of the harbour.

Holestone

The Doagh Holestone in Antrim is one the best-preserved Bronze Age standing stones in Ireland. Located atop a seemingly out-of-place rocky outcrop in a field about a mile from the village of Doagh, its ancient origins are unclear. Theories about its purpose run the spectrum, some believe its a burial place or a pagan altar—others think it was a meeting place for Celtic kings. 

The stone began to garner popularity in later years and was known as a “lovestone,” a place associated with fertility and soon to be married couples. It’s said the hole in the stone is only big enough for a woman’s hand to pass through. As tradition goes, her fiancee or lover would hold her hand on the other side and their love was bound forever.

Inch Abbey

A very interesting site of an early Christian monastery. Contains a 30 m tall Romanesque round tower from the 12th century and ruins from the 6th century.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone

Found on the Ring of Gullion in Newry the Pillar is inscribed with various ogham and Gaelic texts, symbols and crosses. Excavation in the 1960s to the south of the pillar revealed a number of both stone-built and dug graves, probably dating from the Early Christian period. A map of 1609 shows a ruined church in this area, but there are no visible remains and no trace was found during the excavation.

Lagan Boat Tour

It was a rather chilly day when we decided to go on the Lagan Boat Tour but we were hopefully going to see some basking seals and pups alongside the Belfast Harbour. The tour takes around 90 minutes or so and the guides are very informative about the history of the waterfront. We saw the Titanic building from the water and had a close-up view of HMS Caroline and the bays where the Titanic was built. There was a huge boat getting ready to take some wind turbines out to sea and it was pretty impressive to see it rising up out of the water to load up the turbines.

Lisburn Linen Museum

The Lisburn Linen Museum’s goal is to collect and interpret artefacts from the Irish Linen industry. The exhibit from ‘Flax to Fabric: the Story of Irish Linen’. Trace the history of linen production in Ulster, from the earliest times to the present. You can see samples of the earliest linen production in N. Ireland and trace the history of this fascinating fabric.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Lough Neagh Park

The park is located on both the River Blackwater and Lough Neagh Canoe Trails with jetties on site. You can visit and take in some beautiful northern Irish countryside, then you might want to spend the day exploring the area of lough Neagh. Touching five of Northern Ireland’s six counties, Lough Neagh is the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles and boasts a variety of attractions and some great, unspoilt scenery.

Lusty Beg Island

Lusty Beg Island is a privately owned island which has its own Ferry which takes around 5 minutes to the island. Set amongst the beautiful lake-side woodlands, there is a selection of accommodation including self-catering houses and ensuite hotel style bedrooms, a restaurant, a retreat spa, an activity centre, nature trail and fairy trail. 

Marble Arch Caves

In Fermanagh, you can explore the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark which was home to the rebels that captured Arya in Game of Thrones.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Mountstewart

Owned by the National Trust the Mountstewart Estate in Ards, North Down has been voted as one of the top ten gardens in the world. 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.

Mourne Mountains

The Mourne Mountains are the highest and most dramatic mountain ranges in Northern Ireland. The Mournes are divided into 2 very distinctive areas – the Eastern or ‘High’ Mournes and the Western or ‘Low’ Mournes, each with its own distinctive hike or walking routes.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Mourne Wall

The Wall which is now a famous landmark running through the mountains was finished in 1922 after 18 years of work. The stonewall which stands up to feet high and 3 feet wide was originally built to keep cattle and sheep out of the water in the Silent Valley reservoir.

Mussenden Temple

Mussenden Temple is located in the beautiful surroundings of Downhill Demesne near Castlerock in County Londonderry. It perches dramatically on a 120 ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic Ocean on the north-western coast of Northern Ireland, offering spectacular views westwards over Downhill Strand towards Magilligan Point and County Donegal and to the east Castlerock beach towards Portstewart, Portrush and Fair Head.

mussenden temple and beach

Navan Fort

The most important and impressive of Ireland’s ancient monuments, Navan Fort is identified with Eamhain Mhacha, the capital of ancient Ireland. A few miles west of the historic city of Armagh. It is believed that the ditch and bank surrounding the fort was built in the late Neolithic period whilst the larger mound within the henge has been used as a protective “fort” in later years.

Peace Bridge Derry

The Derry Peace Bridge over the River Foyle was built as a bridge to bring together the Protestant Waterside and the Nationalist Bogside. Opened in 2011 this 235 metre long, 4 metre wide curved footpath, track and cycleway stretches from the Guild Hall in the city centre of Derry City to Ebrington Square and St Columb’s Park on the far side of the River Foyle. 

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Peace Maze

The Peace Maze can be found at Castlewellan Park in County Down it is the world’s second largest permanent hedge maze and it was designed to commemorate the peace and reconciliation efforts of Northern Ireland in the past century. The Maze contains over 6000 yew trees and covers 2.7 acres with the height being slightly lower than usual to allow for communication and interaction of visitors attempting the maze.

Peace Wall Belfast

The Peace Walls in Belfast are a series of walls erected between the Catholic and Protestant areas of Belfast to prevent outbreaks of violence. They range in length from a few hundred yards to over three miles. They may be made of iron, brick, and/or steel and are up to 25 feet high. The walls are no a kind of tragic icon in the city and have been visited by many a celebrity such as President Bill Clinton.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Portrush Whiterocks Beach

Situated just off the Causeway Coastal Route, Portrush’s Whiterocks is a stunning location, with limestone cliffs stretching from Curran Strand to Dunluce Castle.The beach is a magnet for water sports enthusiasts, especially surfers, but body boarders and surf kayakers are also regular visitors.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Portstewart Strand

Sweeping along the edge of the North Coast, this two-mile stretch of golden sand is one of Northern Ireland’s finest beaches and affords spectacular views of the Inishowen headland in Donegal and Mussenden Temple. It is an important nature conservation site with way-marked trails..

Royal Portrush Golf Course

Royal Portrush has staged national and international amateur championships for more than 100 years, and over 50 have been decided on the famous Dunluce Links.

Rathlin Island

An island whose ancient history stretches back in time hundreds of years Rathlin Island has played its part in the legends of Robert the Bruce of Scotland, the massacre of Sorley Boy’s family and Viking raids. Its waters harbour shipwrecks from World War II and WWI and over 40 wrecks were lost to the cold deeps of the Sea of Moyle. Rathlin Island is where you need to go to see puffins.

rathlin island ruins Ireland bucket list

Ring of Gullion

The Ring of Gullion  is a geological formation and area, officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, (AONB) located in County Armagh. The area centres on Slieve Gullion, the highest peak in County Armagh have also been officially listed as Areas of Special Scientific Interest.

Salmon of knowledge

The Big Fish as locals call it is a mosaic sculpture that celebrates the regeneration of the Lagan River and the return of fish to the area. The Salmon of Knowledge is an Irish based on a character from the tale “The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn.” The story tells of a fish that eats some hazelnuts that had fallen into the Well of Wisdom. After devouring the nuts, the salmon gained all the knowledge in the world. According to the tale, the first person to eat the fish would then inherit all of its knowledge. 

things to do in Belfast

Samson and Goliath Cranes

An iconic site in Belfast the Samson and Goliath cranes dominate the skyline and hint at Belfast’s ship building past. Built by Harland and Wolff in the 60’s who were still one of the world’s great shipbuilders at the time and the building of the two cranes, during a difficult period for shipbuilding in Belfast, was seen as a sign of faith in the future.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Scrabo Tower

The Scrabo Tower watches over the landscape of North Down and is visible for miles. The tower is a replica of Scottish watch towers and it was built in 1857. The tower has been converted into a countryside centre for the Countryside and Wildlife Branch of the Department of the Environment and houses a permanent exhibition on the Country Park and the surrounding countryside. It is open during the summer months when visitors can climb the 122 steps to a viewing platform at the top of the tower and gain a panoramic view of the landscape.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Slemish Mountain

Slemish Mountain a flat top now extinct volcano is the legendary first known Irish home of Saint Patrick, is located in County Antrim. According to legend, following his capture and being brought as a slave to Ireland, Patrick worked as a shepherd at Slemish Mountain for about six years, It was during this time that Patrick turned to frequent prayer as his only consolation in his loneliness. In a vision he was encouraged to escape and return home. He did, became a priest and returned to Ireland, allegedly to convert his old master

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Sperrin Mountains

The Sperrin Mountains are Northern Ireland’s most extensive mountain range and can be found along the border of counties Tyrone and Derry The Sperrins span over 40 miles, and they are described in National Geographic’s. List of the world’s 101 scenic drives. The Sperrins are wild, untouched and raw and there are four scenic driving routes through, around and over the Mountains to be enjoyed.

A view to the Sperrins from Clady, near Magherafelt. The Sperrins Region is located in the centre of Northern Ireland, stretching from the western shoreline of Lough Neagh in County Tyrone to the southern portions of County Londonderry. The distinctive glaciated landscape of the Sperrins constitutes one of the most idyllic geographical areas of rural Ireland and has many waymarked ways and cycle routes.

St. George’s Market

One of the best places to see in Belfast is St. George’s market. A Belfast institution this is the place everyone comes for antiques, food, crafts and great people watching.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

St. Patricks Grave

Outside of Down Cathedral lies the grave of Saint Patrick and two other Saints, Brigid and Columcille. A huge granite stone protects the grave because those emigrating out of Northern Ireland tended to take a handful of grave dirt with them.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Stairway to Heaven hike

Another absolute must-see in Fermanagh is the Stairway to Heaven one of the best walking spots in N. Ireland. The boardwalk raises up to the sky when standing at the beginning of it and so it got its name.  

View of The Stairway to Heaven at Cuilcagh mountain from the top

Stormont

Take a tour around Stormont Parliament Buildings and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Stormont Estate. The Parliament buildings are open to the public between 9 am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. Visitors can take a free tour of the building and explore the beautiful surroundings of the Stormont Estate.

The Gobbins

The Gobbins experience is not for the faint-hearted or unfit and if you are mobility challenged you won’t be able to do this walk. Proper gear is required and safety helmets are required and supplied. You must be wearing good solid hiking boots and rugged outdoor clothing it can get very cold with the winds and the waves out there. If you can’t climb 50 stairs, you can’t do the Gobbins. It’s a narrow path hugging the cliff face that takes you around the Gobbins. Staring into the North Channel, taking in hidden tunnels and caves that were once home to smugglers and pirates the Gobbins is immensely challenging.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

The Ring of Gullion

The Ring of Gullion is a geological formation and area, officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, (AONB) located in County Armagh. The centre of the ring is Slieve Gullion, the highest peak in County Armagh. Parts of the area have also been officially listed as Areas of Special Scientific Interest.

Titanic Belfast

One of the most favourite places to see in Belfast is the Titanic museum. I am not a Titanic fan per se so I really didn’t bother to go and see the Titanic Experience although I hear it is just amazing. What fascinated me was the fabulous Afternoon Tea held on Sundays in a replica of the Titanic’s grand Salon including that amazing staircase.

Titanic Belfast

Tiveragh Hill and Lurigethan Hill

Two legendary fairy sites, still revered by locals and considered to have frequent supernatural sightings. Tiveragh near Cushendall is a unique shaped hill that looks like a camel’s hump and is known as ‘the fairy hill.’ Legends say that the hill is inhabited by both good and bad fairies who live inside the hills.

Lurigethan is a very distinctive hill overlooking the east coast of County Antrim, looking out over the North Channel.

Tollymore Forest Park

Another iconic Northern Irish site used in the GOT TV show. The Park has many “follies” including a barn dressed up to look like a church, stone cones atop gate piers and gothic-style gate arches.  A walk along the Shimna river is marked by many curiosities, natural and artificial – rocky outcrops, bridges, grottos and caves. You will also find a variety of greenery and exotic trees like monkey puzzle and eucalyptus, giant redwoods and Monterey pines.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Torr Head

Torr Head looks directly across the Irish Sea to the Mull of Kintyre.  The tides of Torr Head are lethal but often it was easier to dare the crossing to Scotland as the valleys and mountains of the Glens behind were more treacherous than the tides. Follow the Torr road directly to Ballycastle.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Tour of Doors

In 2016 Storm Gertrude destroyed a number of trees within the Dark Hedges. The trees were preserved by carving them into 10 doors. These doors were intricately carved to depict a scene from each episode of Season 6 of the Game of Thrones. Each door is now on display in 10 pubs and inns across Northern Ireland.

Ulster American Folk Village  

The Ulster American Folk Village is found on the outskirts of Omagh near the Donegal border. It contains the story of the emigrants who made the journey across the dangerous Atlantic to make a new home in America hundreds of years ago. You can wander through the thatched cottages, log cabins and meet the characters who will demonstrate traditional crafts, tell a few Irish tales. Follow the path to the full-scale replica of the ships that brought the emigrants to America and then pass through the ship into the new world.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Ulster Folk & Transport Museum  

Another brilliant folk museum is located on the Eastern side of N. Ireland near Cultra around 25 minutes outside Belfast. The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum include a folk museum where you can experience what life was like in N. Ireland over 100 years ago with costumed guides and hands-on displays. The Transport Museum has one of the most comprehensive transport collections in Europe. The collections include horse-drawn carriages, vintage cars, motorcycles, and some amazing steam trains.

Ulster Museum

There are 3 routes through the Ulster Museum in the Queens area of Belfast. The Yellow Route takes you through the cultural stereotypes of Northern Ireland. The Red route is the natural route and encompasses geology, fossils and evolution. The Blue Route focuses on art both international and Irish. The Museum is free to visit.

White Island Stone Carvings

Within Lough Erne in Fermanagh lie several beautiful and mysterious islands on White Island. The Island contains the remains of a twelfth-century church and its attached curious stone figures believed to date to the 9th century. There are six carved figures and a roughly cut stone ready to be carved which historians believe meant that the figures were carved on site. It is unknown whether the figures represent pilgrims or saints.

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

Whitepark Bay

This spectacular sandy beach forms a white arc between two headlands on the North Antrim Coast. White Park Bay remains one of the most natural coastline sites in N Ireland. The beach is backed by ancient dunes and species-rich chalk grasslands, which are carpeted in rare plants, including many orchids. The site is also fossil-rich with archaeological evidence everywhere.

Women’s Quilt mural

In Derry on the Lower Shankill Road, a Women’s Group created this artwork using the theme of a traditional family quilt as their inspiration. They also wanted to highlight that woman had a pivotal role within the Shankill area and that their voices are as important as any one else’s. The artwork replaces a contentious paramilitary mural and an artwork depicting the burning of Protestant homes at the beginning of the Troubles. 

101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

There are hundreds more landmarks in Northern Island to see just rent a car and drive down some of the narrow lanes in the countryside, stop in a local pub and enjoy the craic. Talk to the people who live here and get their recommendations they often know of a site that no one else knows. Take your chances and fill your Irish bucket list with sites to see.

Here are some fantastic tours that I recommend when in N. Ireland just click the link where you can book ahead.

Black Taxi tour of Belfast

Giant’s Causeway Tour

Game of Thrones Tour

Have you been to Northern Ireland yet? What was your favourite N. Irish landmark?

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101 Landmarks in Northern Ireland

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