Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland

Hotels in Northern Ireland

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When Northern Ireland opted out of the Irish Free State in 1921 and decided to join Great Britain, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was formed. But the secession of Northern Ireland was not without conflict; in fact, all over the country you can see standing monuments to the backstory of The Troubles, a three-decade long ethno-nationalist conflict that ended in 1998 and left hotels in Northern Ireland empty for many years.

Now that crossing the Irish Sea is safer and booking accommodation in Northern Ireland easier, you will get the chance to see bullet-riddled historic landmarks and better appreciate what the Peace Bridge in Derry stands for. You will also get to walk around the ramparts of Ireland’s 400-year-old but most intact Walled City and listen to the haunting tales of the Siege of Derry which laid the ground for future ‘Troubles.’

The Giant’s Causeway

Setting aside the human dimension of Northern Ireland's history, you will be pleasantly captivated by the sheer magnitude of its untrammelled beauty. Formed by receding glacial ice, Northern Ireland is carved out by glacial 'lough' (lake), drumlins (weathered hills looking like inverted spoons), glens, basalt plateaus and granite mountains hiding rich deposits of gold.

Then there's the geologically errant Giant's Causeway made of interlocking hexagonal and sometimes octagonal basalt columns, some reaching 12 metres high and 28 metres thick. It is the crown jewel of the Causeway Coast where a string of bed and breakfast in Northern Ireland lines one of the world’s most scenic drives.

Where to stay in Belfast

While much of the capital city, Belfast, was bombed in WWII and again suffered in the protracted conflicted of The Troubles, there remains a legacy of shipbuilding as you tour around the slipway that launched the RMS Titanic, and a 5,000-year-old henge of The Giant's Ring less than five miles from your city centre accommodation in Northern Ireland.

There are also plenty of ruins to explore starting at the Castle of Dunluce which perches atop a vertiginous cliff and overlooks Ireland's oldest Distillery, Old Bushmills, a few miles inland. Castles are also wantonly scattered along the Game of Thrones tourist trail starting at the 14th century Shane Castle in Antrim, and the 18th century Castle Ward south of Belfast. The scenic Causeway Coast and Glens figure prominently in the TV series, while the Mourne Mountains also earned earlier fans from the makers of the Chronicles of Narnia.

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