A Quick but Fun Trip Around Northern Ireland
So we decided to take a fun road trip around Northern Ireland and visit some popular locations that we hadn’t been to before. Living in Northern Ireland you kind of forget all the great places that are on your doorstep. So if you’re a local or tourist, we think the best way to explore Northern Ireland is through a road trip. Take your friends and family, get in the car and go explore all the great things this country has to offer. Keep reading to find out where this road trip around Northern Ireland took us…
First Stop: The Amazing Castlewellan Forest Park
The first stop on our road trip was to Castlewellan Forest Park that lays north of the Mourne Mountains. This place is full of beauty, surround by stunning trees, home to a Victorian castle and a history peace maze. If you haven’t had the chance to visit Castlewellan Forest Park you are missing out. The forest park offers stunning views of the Mourne Mountains that looks like something found on a postcard. You can explore a variety of walking and biking trails around the forest park.
Our favourite attraction here was the Peace Maze which if you didn’t know is one of the largest mazes in the world. It was created in 2000 and is seen as a symbol to represent a peaceful future for everyone in Northern Ireland. The Peace Maze is lots of fun exploring and trying to find your way out.
This is a great place for families and children with a fun play structure called ‘Animal Wood’s’ located next to the Peace Maze. But Castlewellan Forest Park is a great visit for anyone who wants to explore some history and enjoy the amazing forest surroundings.
Second Stop: Seaside Town of Newcastle
Next, we headed towards Newcastle on our road trip around Northern Ireland. Newcastle is known to be a small seaside town in County Down, Northern Ireland. It lies on the Irish sea on the foot of Slieve Donard, not far from Castlewellan. When we arrived in Newcastle it was a bit windy but the sun was still shining. Newcastle has great beaches that you’ll find busy during the summer months.
This seaside resort has so much to offer from sea views, fun activities and great places to eat with a variety of restaurants and cafes. If you’re ever in Newcastle you have to hit the amusements and have some fun playing a range of arcade games. Or head to Newcastle Parks and get in the popular pedal swans and go around the lake. Newcastle is also a great place to walk around and enjoy the unspoilt views and welcoming atmosphere. Also, no trip to Newcastle is complete with getting yourself some ice cream!
Third Stop: Tollymore Forest Park
The third stop on our road trip around Northern Ireland was to another great place; Tollymore Forest Park. It was the first state park opened in Northern Ireland and it’s a beautiful place to visit. Again like Castlewellan Forest Park, it’s surrounded by stunning mountain and sea views. It’s a great place to get involved in some outdoor activities such as walking, horseriding, camping and more.
Located in the forest park you will find the Tollymore National Outdoor Centre to enjoy activities such as canoeing and mountaineering, climbing walls and mountain biking. No matter your experience the trained staff will help you feel confident in the activity you choose. Also found in Tollymore Forest Park is a fun children’s play area that will keep them entertained. We Highly recommend taking a trip to this impressive Forest Park to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings.
Final Stop: Dundrum Castle
On our way back to Belfast we decided to make one more stop on our road trip around Northern Ireland. Which was to the impressive medieval castle known as Dundrum Castle located in County Down.
The castle was built by a famous knight called John de Courcy around 1180. Built on a rocky hill that provides unmissable views south over Dundrum Bay and the Mourne Mountains. It’s one of the most historic castles on the island of Ireland and you need to explore it on your travels around Northern Ireland. We had a great time visiting the castles and looking at the amazing ancient architecture it provides. Highly recommend checking this out if you can.
What did you think of the places we visited? Have you been to any or would you like to visit in the future? We would love to hear from you! 🙂
Also, don’t forget to check out some other great places we have visited such as Glenariff Forest Park, Redburn Country Park, Downpatrick Town, Helens Bay Beach, Holywood Town, Exploring Carrickfergus Town, Celtic Sea God; Gortmore Viewing, St. Georges Market, Rostrevor County Down, Best Cities to Visit in Ireland