If You Were A Queen, Where Would You Visit In NI?

Her Majesty The Queen

During their recent two-day engagement in Northern Ireland Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh took some time out to enjoy the scenes.

Having spent a night at Hillsborough Castle the couple made their first ever visit to the world famous Giant’s Causeway before departing by steam train from Coleraine to Bellarena Railway Station.

Tourism NI chairman Terence Brannigan said: “Northern Ireland is brimming with exciting tourism destinations so it is a privilege that Her Majesty will experience some of our most renowned beauty spots such as the Giant’s Causeway, the village of Bushmills and the breath-taking scenery on the train journey between Coleraine and Bellarena Railway station.

“We would encourage our visitors to follow in The Queen’s footsteps and take the opportunity to experience some of these wonderful places”.

Her Majesty The Queen

Her Majesty The Queen

So if you want to follow in the royal footsteps here’s 4 places you should visit:

1. The Giant’s Causeway

Situated along the North Coast is one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic landmarks and is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which has attracted visitors for centuries. The Giant’s Causeway is also unique due to its nature conservation, landscape, archaeology and social and cultural importance.

The Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre has won many accolades including the UK Best Heritage Attraction in 2015 at the British Travel Awards and was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture in 2013.

Steeped in myth and legend, folklore says that the Giant’s Causeway is carved from the coast by the mighty giant, Finn McCool and visitors can check out the fun clues to his existence such as The Giant’s Boot and Wishing Chair.

Visitors can follow in The Queen’s footsteps by enjoying a day out at the Giant’s Causeway and experience some of the nearby attractions such as the famous Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, take in the beauty of Whiterocks Beach in Portrush or sample a tipple at the Old Bushmills Distillery.

Her Majesty The Queen

Her Majesty The Queen

2. Bushmills Village

This is another stop off for The Queen and this beautiful historical spot is ideal for admiring scenery and exploring new things. The nearby Portrush Nature Reserve is perfect for families with activities such as rock-pooling or fossil hunting.

Visitors can also enjoy the nearby Mussenden Temple which is located in the beautiful surroundings of Downhill Demesne near Castlerock. It perches dramatically on a 120ft 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.

3. Portrush Golf Club

The Queen paid a visit to Portrush Golf Club to sample a delicious lunch featuring local produce to highlight the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016. Founded in 1888, this legendary club has two championship courses, the renowned Dunluce course and the smaller but equally enjoyable Valley course which both offer impressive views across the North Atlantic with stunning views of Donegal.

Keen golfers can try a day out on the course themselves and perhaps take in some local sights afterwards such as the Old Bushmills Distillery or West Strand Beach.

4. Steam Train journey

The train journey between Derry~Londonderry and Coleraine was described by travel writer and presenter Michael Palin as ‘one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the world’. The Queen travelled from Coleraine Railway Station to Bellarena Railway Station where she unveiled a plaque to mark its opening.

Visitors can also try this memorable train journey for themselves and relax in comfortable surroundings while taking in beautiful sights such as Benone Strand, Castlerock village, the River Bann and Mountsandel Wood which is the earliest known settlement of man.

For more information on things to do in Northern Ireland go to www.discovernorthernireland.com  

About the Author

Tina Calder
Journalist, commentator, author and content creator specialising in showbiz, entertainment, business, trade, human interest and lifestyle.