Things to see and do in Northern Ireland

With world-famous tourist attractions and lesser-known hidden gems, our list of great days out includes the best things to do in Northern Ireland. From the north coast of Ireland to the tranquility of the Fermanagh lakelands, discover experiences old and new with our bucket-list of brilliant places to visit this summer. How many can you visit and which one will steal your heart?

This article was created before the coronavirus crisis, and may not reflect the current situation. Please make sure you check web pages for individual places before you travel, to see where is open and where you may need to book, as well as the most up to date information about visiting.

View of the Giant's Causeway

Visit the Giant's Causeway 

Northern Ireland’s number one visitor attraction and only UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway is a must-see destination. Steeped in myth and legend, discover the incredible landscape of basalt columns with a guided walk or audio tour. Book your visit online today and walk in the footsteps of giants.

An image from a scene from Game of Thrones which was filmed at Castle Ward

Visit Winterfell at Castle Ward 

Summer may be here but winter is always coming with a visit to Castle Ward. This magnificent historic house and estate near Downpatrick in County Down featured in the world-famous HBO Game of Thrones as Winterfell, home of the Stark family. Fans of the hit TV show can book a visit to follow in the footsteps of Jon Snow and visit the tower where Jamie Lannister famously tossed Bran Stark to a dramatic death.

Jumping in the dunes Portstewart Strand

Swim in the sea at Porstewart Strand 

Portstewart Strand is the perfect play to play on a sunny day. One of Northern Ireland's best beaches, its two-miles of clean, golden sand is backed an ancient dunes system which is 6,000 years old. Wander the nature reserve and escape into a colourful world of wildflowers and wildlife. With birds and butterflies fluttering overhead, even on a dull or wet day it is an adventure playground. With unbroken coastline and epic views, it's also a great place for a run or walk. Book the car park online.

The old castle ruins at Crom

Go wildlife spotting at Crom, Fermanagh 

Cruise towards Crom and leave the world behind as you relax by the tranquil shores of Lough Erne. With more cuckoos than cars, enjoy picture-perfect walks in one of Ireland's most important conservation areas. Boasting land and lough, let time stand still as you wander its ancient yew trees and castle ruins spotting beautiful butterflies, fallow deer and even an elusive pine marten. Book your visit online.

Walking towards the saddle of the Mournes, Slieve Donard

Walk the Mourne Mountains 

Voted as one of the top walks in Northern Ireland, Slieve Donard sits at the heart of the Mourne Mountains in County Down. As the highest mountain in Ulster, hiking to the top of Slieve Donard tops many bucket lists. Criss-crossing its heady heights are well-trodden paths and trails which lead walkers to the highest point in the north of Ireland. As you climb, look out for the famous Mourne Wall, a 22-mile dry stone wall that navigates its way across 15 summits.

Mount Stewart House

World-class gardens at Mount Stewart 

Judged as one of the top 10 gardens in the world and short-listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the gardens at Mount Stewart are world-class. Located on the shores of Strangford Lough, the gardens enjoy a unique micro-climate which allows a surprising array of exotic and rare plants to thrive. With a Shamrock Garden, Spanish Garden, Italian Garden and stunning lake walk, escape to this horticultural haven by booking online.