How to experience the best of Northern Ireland

Today’s post was written by Femke Gow.

When travelling to Northern Ireland, budget can be one of the main worries for a backpacker. On average a pint of beer in capital city of Belfast costs around £3, and a pub meal usually around the £8 mark. It’s not hugely expensive for western europe, but on a backpackers budget it does really become important to be able to find a good deal on things like transport and accommodation so that they can free up some cash for the more expensive aspects of Northern Ireland. A rail and sail deal, which includes travel from London and then onto Belfast later on is something you may wish to consider. It cost me £27 each way.

If you go to Northern Ireland, I highly recommend visiting the Mourne Mountains. The Mourne Mountains are said to have inspired C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. After going there, it’s not hard to see why. The majestic mountains, and vast area make you feel so small. There are also many activities and tours you can do in the area. For outdoor enthusiasts in particular, there is so much to offer here. You can go rock climbing, hill walking, horse riding, and fishing! However, if you do decide to take park in these activities, be sure to prepare for the weather! Like the rest of Ireland, and also the UK, Northern Ireland is particularly unpredictable. Just because there is sunshine in the morning, does not mean you might not experience heavy rain in the evening!

You may also wish to visit the Fermanagh Lakelands. This area was more flat, allowing a different experience to that of the Mourne Mountains. If you are looking for something more relaxed, and surrounded by bodies of water then this is the place to go. Here you can also find the Mable Arch Caves. Distinguished by the natural waterfalls and streams, they snake through the caves, offering some interesting sights. You can go on a 75 minute tour of the caves, which I must say can be quite exhausting! You’ll need comfortable shoes and warm clothing, as it does get quite cold down there.

Other highlights include the Porridge Pot and the Guardian Angel. From the cielings of these caves you can see naturally formed stalactites.

Visiting Northern Ireland is something I would highly recommend. If you want to experience the outdoors, underground caves, and some stunning scenery, it really has it all there for you.

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