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Northern Ireland Travel – So Much To See And Do

Northern Ireland has it all, sports, events, shopping, great days out, but one of the best things I like about this friendly and cultured province is the beautiful scenery…it’s so green and luscious.

Hi, I’m your friendly travel and tourism guide. You’ll see what I mean about the scenery when you discover Northern Ireland.

The rest of the province is also extremely interesting with many great attractions and a fabulous place to come for an exciting holiday or vacation. More about that later! So…What would you like to know about my country?

The currency used here is the pound sterling or ‘£stg’. Some places accept the Euro, which is the currency that is used in the Republic of Ireland and the rest of Europe. The population is around 1.75 million for 2008.

The weather here is varied. Regular rainy spells, provide a blanket of green creating the exceptional scenery. On warm sunny days in the summer the temperature can rise to around 25 degrees Celsius. The winter is usually wet and mild with temperatures staying just above freezing, mostly around 4 degrees Celsius.

Need Belfast Airport Parking? – If you require Belfast International airport parking, why not browse through BCP’s Belfast airport parking packages as they are sure to have a deal that suits you.

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Northern Ireland Attractions

There are so many great attractions to choose from…

  • Giant’s Causeway
  • Mount Stewart House And Gardens
  • Exploris Aquarium

…to name but a few! There’s so much useful information about these attractions in my Travel guide and you can find out more about them at Northern Ireland Attractions.

The main attractions this country has to offer are divided nicely into the six counties. You’ll love it! Everything you need to discover this beautiful country at your finger tips.

If you’re visiting Belfast, don’t miss out on the opportunity to add your name to a piece of history by signing the peace wall. Take a Black taxi tour with Belfast Cab Tours and their friendly tour guide, see the World Famous Wall Murals of West Belfast and find out lot’s more about the political and historical background of this famous city!

The beautiful picture below was taken at the Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim. Probably one of the best and most unique attractions in the world! And now for something that goes hand-in-hand with the great attractions in the province is the
entertainment.

Northern Ireland Entertainment

What do you do when you are not sight-seeing? You might want to try something different and out of the ordinary when you are away on holiday.

What about relaxing in a spa, fishing, taking in a round of golf or even just a leisurely stroll in a beautiful forest park?

Whatever your interests are, I’m sure that you’ll find something exciting and fun to do while enjoying your stay. Earlier, I mentioned a little about holidays.

A comprehensive list of places you can stay, whilst travelling in the ‘six counties’, can be found in my hotel guides for each county.

I have even included a special listing for Belfast Hotels, which you can see here.

They’re packed full to the brim with hotels for every budget all sorted by star rating.

Whether you’re interested in a short break or luxurious extended Northern Irish vacation, look no further. Compare hotels in Northern Ireland to find yourself the best deal.

Part of the fun of travel is staying in unusual types of accommodation. In Ireland you can find everything from local inns to timeshares in centuries-old castles and transformed country estates.

Northern Ireland Food and Drink

What else can I tell you in my Northern Ireland Travel Guide?

Well…probably one of the most important parts of any trip…the Food and Drink. After all, you’ve been out all day sight-seeing. You’ll need some refreshment.

Some of the nicest places to have food here are local pubs and restaurants in the towns and cities you are visiting.

Hotels also offer a tasty selection of food too, especially if they are by the sea. You can taste all the local seafood and fine wine.

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One of my favourite places to eat is the Causeway Hotel at the Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim. After an exhilarating walk around the causeway and taking in, the appetite building, fresh, sea air, you get a great meal here.

Wash it down with a cold pint of Guinness!

Recently I tried a new beer that has come to Northern Ireland. It’s full title is Peroni Nastro Azzurro, but most people know it as just Peroni. This beer was an instant hit with me. It’s all I drink at present when I go out anywhere.

It has a really nice mediterranean flavour to it that reminds me of being on holiday. I normally drink Coors Light, but this beer has a totally refreshing taste.

The first time I came across this beer was last week when I went out for Pizza. My wife and I found a great little Italian restaurant on Botanic Ave called Carlito’s (Use the search bar above to find website) whom are a client of my Belfast SEO services. I saw someone with the Peroni as I was going in and decided to try one. It was on draught and came in a tall, frosted pint glass. Great looking and great flavour. Totally recommended!

Northern Ireland Transport

Apart from the places to see, things to do, eating out, etc. I haven’t told you how you are going to be getting around these beautiful sites. My excellent transport guide presents many different ways to get around these top tourist attractions.

You can tour by bus, hire car, train or even walk. It’s up to you. Learn more about these various methods in the getting around guide. Incidentally, if you are hiring a car, make sure you have car insurance.

Last, but not least, is another important point to note when planning your trip to Northern Ireland. Don’t forget to book your travel insurance. Annual travel insurance is often the best value. Don’t let something trivial like losing your suitcase or baggage ruin your trip.

Take advantage of competitive prices and comprehensive cover from a good holiday insurance provider before you travel.

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Fascinating Travel Destinations

I would like to introduce you to some other fascinating travel destinations throughout the world. Northern Ireland Travel is building relationships with like minded travel sites all over the globe.These sites will give you a valuable insight into other countries and exciting places around the world, which you may also like to visit.I have organised all these fascinating travel destinations into their groups of geographical location. I hope you will find it as easy as possible to navigate.

If you think that I could improve it in any way, please send me a note through Contact Me.

Fascinating Travel Destinations By Location

Isle of Wight Holidays 4 allWritten by Isle of Wight residents, this ongoing website aims to provide tourists with friendly, unbiassed advice, helping them decide where to go and what to do. It covers ferries, campsites, caravan parks, pubs, beaches, holiday accommodation and visitor attractions.

Discover Scotland

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The Discount Travel Guide

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Jamaica Beaches Lovers

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Discover Vancouver Island

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Everything Niagara Falls

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Russia Ukraine Travel

Russia travel guides for over 60 cities throughout Russia, Ukraine and the former Soviet Union. These are some of the most fascinating travel destinations in the world.

Travel Russia

Tourism and travel guide, find the best of Russia. More fascinating travel destinations.

Vietnam Travel

Vietnam travel agent specialist. Professional in offering unique tour programs, travel service and hotel online reservation. Prompt response and reliable customer’s service.

Vietnam Tours

Vietland Explore is a professional company limited that offers great travel services to thousands of happy clients. Whether you seek action and adventure, cultural odysseys, classic highlights, off the beaten track or luxury, Vietland Explore are here to show you the majestic of Indochina.

Vietnam Travel Channel

Premium travel information about Vietnam for business and leisure travellers including Tours, Hotels, Destination, Travel Services, Travel gallery, Travel Video clips… Learn what happens, where to go, how to make your journey safe and as fast (and as fun) as possible with Vietnam Travel Channel

Cambodia Adventures

Specialists in quality tours throughout Cambodia. Let us take you there!

Travel Hong Kong Attractions

This site offers you an ultimate virtual guide on how to get there, to the Hong Kong attractions and where else you can go from there. Save your time and money to your Hong Kong journey, know before you go!

China Travel Golden Route

Travel China with a native Chinese. Learn about Chinese history, culture, artifacts, plan a fascinating itinerary and even learn a few Mandarin phrases.

Goa Holidays Advisor – Travel and Accommodation Guide

Goa, the ultimate tourist destination with its exquisite mix of sun, surf and beaches. Discover the best beaches, hotels, restaurants, villas & resorts in Goa, India.

Personal Online Guide to Hyderabad, India

Hyderabad Tourist and Travel Guide. Complete information on Real Estate, Restaurants, Hotels, Entertainment, Maps, Weather and Attractions in Hyderabad, India.itravelnet.com Destination Travel GuideWorldwide travel and tourism information destination guides. Really beautiful and fascinating travel destinations for everyone.

Luxury Resort Bliss

Looking for the perfect luxury resort? We list the best of the best luxury resorts, give reviews and information about each one. Check us out for your luxury vacation!

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Northern Ireland Entertainment – Things to do in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Entertainment
Things To Do

Northern Ireland entertainment is captured in so many ways. On one hand you have the buzzing nightlife in the cities of Belfast and Londonderry and on the other you have the tranquil scenery of the countryside.There’s lots things to do because it’s one of the most diverse and also cultured countries in the world. It’s steeped in history and the people are very friendly and welcoming. It really is a great place to come for a city break or long holiday.

Apart from the mainstream entertainment, you can take part in a variety of other activies such as, fishing, golf, cycling, walking, etc.

There is something for everyone. Young or old, male or female. If you enjoy doing it, Northern Ireland is bound to have it! Do you like the theatre? Nearly every large town in the province has a superb theatre and theatre company. Northern Ireland is also a popular stop for touring West End musicals, drama and dance hits.

What is your favourite form of
Northern Ireland Entertainment?

Things To Do In Northern Ireland

angling-2510424 Fishing in Northern Ireland is something that you can do all year round. There is plenty of variety no matter what discipline you are passionate about.There is excellent Course fishing in Lough Erne, Fermanagh and the Upper Bann River area. There are also many coastal areas offering Sea fishing trips if you like getting out in the fresh sea air.

If you are into Fly fishing, there are many fisheries in Northern Ireland offering Salmon and Brown Trout. You also have access to the many reservoirs scattered around the province. Most are populated with various species of fish.

160429b-tif-ncs Cycling

Cycling in Northern Ireland. If you are staying in the Belfast area, why not try a sight seeing tour with Belfast City Bike Tours. They offer a safe and informative tour of 30 different points of interest throughout Belfast.

hillwalking-7166967 Walking

Walking in Northern Ireland

If you live in Northern Ireland, with all these superb activities on your doorstep, why would you want to go anywhere else?

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Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is located on the North Antrim Coast between Ballycastle and Balintoy harbour.

It’s close to other great attractions such as the Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle.

All lie within about a 10 mile stretch of County Antrim coastline.Local fishermen have kept a bridge here since the mid 1600s. The name Carrick-a-Rede (Carraig-a-Rade) means the rock in the road. The road being the sea migration route of salmon past the island to which the bridge crossed from the mainland.The waters around this area of coast are often too rough to be reached by a small boat and it was due to this that local fishermen kept the bridge in order to reach the best places to catch the migrating salmon.

The rope bridge is approx. 70ft across and spans a chasm 80ft deep above the sea.

The bridges construction once consisted of a single, rope, hand rail and widely spaced slats. The single handrail was subsequently replaced by a dual hand railed bridge. The current caged bridge was installed by the National Trust during Easter of 2000. It was a further safety measure, although no-one has ever fallen off any of the bridges. Normally erected in the spring and taken down in the autumn, a salmon bag net is checked and emptied daily between June and August except weekends when it is not fished. The bridge is maintained by the National Trust.Visitors bold enough to cross from the cliffs to the rocky island (which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest) are rewarded with splendid uninterrupted views of Rathlin, the Scottish islands and fantastic bird-watching.

I find walking over this 80 foot high, wind swept bridge, quite scary. I don’t like heights though!

It’s a little walk out to the rope bridge. It’s a cliff path and a distance of approx. half a mile (20 minute walk). The path is quite steep in some places with rough steps.Strong boots or good walking shoes are recommended, but the views and adventure make the hike all worthwhile. The facilities here include a Tearoom. Toilets are located beside the main car park.For those interested in bird-watching, like myself, may get the opportunity to see: Eiders, Fulmars, Kittywakes, Guillemots, and Razorbills. The island to which the rope bridge leads is an important breeding ground for these birds during the months of April to July.

Location

Carrick-a-Rede,
119a Whitepark Road, Ballintoy, Co. Antrim BT54 6LS

If you are travelling by car it’s on the B15, 7ml East of Bushmills, 5ml West of Ballycastle.

The drive time from Belfast is approx. 1.15 hours.

For car hire information, checkout, Getting Around.

Going by Bus? Ulsterbus 172, 177. Causeway Rambler bus (Ulsterbus 376) between Bushmills and Carrick-a-Rede operates in summer; or Ulsterbus 252 is a circular route via the Antrim Glens from Belfast. Both stop at the Rope Bridge.

If you would like an accurate map reference location for the Rope Bridge, type the postcode, BT54 6LS into Google Maps

If you would driving directions to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge from anywhere in Northern Ireland, use Route Planner

Getting there using a Bicycle. National Cycle Network (NCN) route 93 runs past the Rope Bridge.

The bridge is open, weather permitting, every day between the 1st March – 2nd November, 2008.The opening times are: 1 March 08 – 25 May 08, 10:00-18:00. 26 May 08 – 31 August 08, 10:00-19:00. 1 September 08 – 2 November 08, 10:00-18:00.Admission Price:Adult: £3.70, Child £2, Family £9.40.

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Causeway Hotel Review

Causeway Hotel Review
4/5 For Overall Value

I stayed in the hotel at the Giant’s Causeway on 10th January 2010 while I was attending a wedding at Ballintoy, further along the north Antrim coast. My wife and I stayed for one night in a double room which cost £70 and included breakfast.First, a little bit of background on the hotel from their website.The Causeway Hotel was opened in 1836 and is right beside the world famous national heritage site of ‘The Giant’s Causeway’. It’s a two star hotel and occupies a grade B listed building.It has been renovated and restored to include modern amenities in the guest rooms such as central heating, TV, en-suite bathrooms and tea/coffee making facilities while still retaining its charm and grandeur. I have been to the Causeway Hotel before, but only for lunch. I must say that the food was well above standard and very substantial.

I had steak and chips after a long walk along the coast from Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. I was quite hungry at the time and came away feeling very satisfied.

Rooms

The room we stayed in was very spacious and bright. There was both a double and a single bed, TV, bathroom, patio-area balcony and the usual tea and coffee making facilities.The décor in the room was modern and colourful. Most importantly to me, the room and en-suite bathroom were clean.The bathroom had a bath as well as a shower with the usual sink and toilet. The shower wasn’t as powerful as some hotels I’ve experienced, but it was adequate. The bathroom was clean, but there was some mould around the edges of the bath where it was sealed to the tiles.The double bed was a standard King-sized bed, but was a little uncomfortable during the night as I wasn’t used to the mattress. The room was well heated, but a little noisy during the night due to the winds which are quite gusty along the north coast of Northern Ireland.

I would rate the rooms as 4/5 for this grade of hotel.

The breakfast was excellent with plenty of choice. There was a buffet area for fruit juice, fruit, yoghurts and cereals with a good variety to choose from.A waiter then took my order for a cooked breakfast. I had a standard Ulster fry, although there were smaller fry’s available as well as a vegetarian option.

I have always had good service in the Causeway Hotel when it comes to eating and drinking. As I mentioned before, I have had an excellent lunch here and would rate the overall food a 5/5.

I found the staff at the Causeway Hotel to be very friendly and helpful. I spoke to members of the hotel staff which included the breakfast waiter, receptionist and the cleaners. All were polite and helpful and were able to deal with any questions or queries I had.

I was only there for one night and only met a small selection of staff, so I will give them 5/5 based on the people I spoke to.

The location of the hotel is superb if you are visiting the various sights and tourist attractions along the North Antrim coast.

It is directly above the Giant’s causeway and a short drive or scenic walk from other attractions such as Dunluce Castle, Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, Ballintoy Harbour and White Park Bay beach. Note: The rope bridge is furthest away at 12 miles. The Causeway hotel is also about 60 miles from Belfast City.

I would say that staying in the Causeway Hotel represented good value for money. It is a 2 star hotel and I think it is as good as any of the 3 star Holiday Inn’s I have stayed in.

Some B&B’s around the north coast area would also charge you similar prices for 2 persons staying one night with breakfast. Overall, I would give this two star hotel 4/5.

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Giant’s-Causeway

The Giant’s-Causeway

The Giant’s-Causeway is Northern Ireland’s premier tourist attraction. The site and 15 miles of footpaths along the Causeway Coastline are owned and maintained by the National Trust who work in close co-operation with Moyle District Council who manage the car park facilities. In November 1986 the Giant’s-Causeway received major recognition from The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), when it was included on the World Heritage list making it Ireland’s first World Heritage site.This area from Portnaboe to Benbane Head was also designated by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland, as a National Nature Reserve in recognition of the importance of its geology and of the plant and animal life.

One could say perhaps that the Giant’s-Causeway is now considered to be the eighth ‘Wonder of the World’ and takes its place alongside sites such as, Niagara Falls and the Great Barrier Reef.

What you should know

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The Giant’s Causeway formed 60 Million years ago as a result of volcanic eruptions. The lava cooled and hardened and formed layers of basalt rock to become the Giant’s Causeway. You can see approximately 40,000 columns of basalt rock here today. For centuries the splendid sights of the Giant’s Causeway have astounded visitors from all over the world. The main Causeway is located about 800m from the car-park. It is downhill on to main area, but quite a steep upward walk on the way back. Quite challenging if you don’t walk alot. During the peak summer season, there is a bus service operating between the car-park and the main causeway area.Admission to the Giant’s-Causeway if free, but you have to pay for car-parking.
This is a great little video about the Giant’s Causeway, with a beautiful soundtrack. You can find out more about this great attraction from The Visitor Centre or Giant’s Causeway. Giant’s Causeway, Causeway Road, Bushmills, Co. Antrim BT57 8SU

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Map showing location of The Giant’s Causeway

If you would like driving directions to The Giant’s Causeway from anywhere in Northern Ireland, use Route Planner. You might need the postcode, BT57 8SU

Travel by Bus

The Causeway Rambler (Ulsterbus No 376) between Bushmills and Carrick-a-Rede runs in the summer; or Ulsterbus No 252 is a circular route via the Antrim Glens from Belfast. Both stop at the Causeway. For more information, visit the Translink website.

Travel by Bicycle

National Cycle Network (NCN) route 93 runs past Causeway. If you would like help to find the best way to get here on Bicycle, visit the National Cycle Network website.

Travel by Road

If you are travelling by car from Belfast follow the scenic Causeway Coastal Route A2 or if you are near Bushmills, follow the B146 for 2 miles from there. The drive time from Belfast is approx. 1.15 hours. Do you need a hire car?

Travel by Train

The nearest train station is Bangor, which is 10mls from this attraction. For more information, visit the Translink website. If you enjoyed your visit to this attraction, then why not leave us a comment about it. Similarly, if you didn’t enjoy your visit, then also let us know so we can warn other visitors.

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Tollymore Forest Park

Tollymore Forest Park covers an area of approximately 630 hectares at the base of the Mourne Mountains. The forest offers first class views of the surrounding mountains and the town of Newcastle, County Down.

Within the perimeter of the forest, there is a mass of majestic trees and exquisite scenery. The gleaming Shimna river ripples through the centre of the park on its journey from the high Mournes to the Irish Sea at Newcastle.

The forest park also caters for many outdoor activities including walking, caravanning, horse riding, orienteering and countless more.

My preferred activity in the forest is the walking. There are four way-marked trails of different lengths to take you on an expedition around the most pleasant areas of the forest. All the trails are circular and sign-posted. There is at least one trail to suit every level of walking ability, although strong footwear is advised.

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The Argory

The Argory
National Trust House & Gardens

The Argory is owned by the National trust in Northern Ireland. It is a superb example of an Irish gentry house and is surrounded by a vast 320 acre wooded riverside estate.

The house was built in the 1820s and was the former home of the Bond family. The family had very Edwardian tastes and interests and you can still see these reflected in the interior design of the house, which has remained unchanged since 1900. It has been referred to, by some people, as a neo-classical masterpiece.

The grounds of the estate are also picturesque and stunning. You can enjoy scenic walks and delight in the breath-taking sweeping views of the woodland and river. There is an adventure playground for the children as well as an environmental sculpture trail to keep them entertained. If you are feeling a bit peckish, you could try a bun and some tea from Lady Ada’s award winning tea-room.

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Mount Stewart House & Gardens and Temple of the Winds

Mount Stewart House and Gardens including Temple of the Winds

Mount Stewart House and Gardens are situated on the shores of Strangford Lough.The famous neo-classical house and gardens at this wildlife haven were planted in the 1920s by Edith, Lady Londonderry, and are of international importance.You can take your time to explore the gardens and smell the beautiful flowers. They’re among the finest in Europe.It’s so relaxing and tranquil. There’s a new surprise awaiting you around every corner. You will admire the tranquility of the lake and detail of the lavish formal terraces. There is also a beautiful view to be had from the Temple of the Winds.Mount Stewart house and it’s contents reflect the remarkable history of the family and have been taken on board by the National Trust.

There’s a wonderful house tour, which includes world famous paintings and stories about the prominent guests and the people who have worked there over the centuries.

What you should know about Mount Stewart

This large house and it’s colourful gardens is a great family day out. You should plan to spend the whole day when visiting this attraction.There is a guided tour of the house, which lets you see all the amazing paintings and luxuriously decorated rooms as well as the full history behind them.The gardens are massive and great for kids to explore. I used to play hide and seek in these gardens with my sister when we were younger. We were running around for hoursThere’s also a beautiful walk aound the gardens called the Red Squirrel Walk. It is approx. 1.4mls and you might catch a glimpse of some of the last remaining Red Squirrels in Ireland.

More information about this beautiful place can be found at the National Trust website.

I enjoyed a lovely day out with my family and friends at this picturesque and colourful house and gardens.The weather was dry and bright and we could think of no better way to celebrate a spot of sunshine than by packing a picnic and chilling out listening to a brass band on the lawn.

We have friends that play with Ballyduff Silver Band and knew that they were going to be performing a concert that day at Mount Stewart.

It was going to be a ‘party in the park’ sort of atmosphere, so we rolled up a blanket and prepared a small picnic to take with us.

It couldn’t have worked out better.The weather was brilliant and there were lots of other people with the same idea. The lawn at the front of the magnificent house was covered with families and their picnics.We left from Belfast around lunchtime and it took us about 45 minutes driving to get there and get parked.The band played for about two hours while we relaxed with our picnic. Afterwards we went for a leisurely stroll around the great lake just behind the house.The flowers and wildlife were breathtaking. So many different colours and smells. We also saw ducks, frogs and a couple of red squirrels.

It was a great family day out. We will definately be doing it again next year. Thanks for reading my story.

Portaferry Road, Newtownards, Co. Down BT22 2AD

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Map showing location of Mount Stewart House and Gardens

If you would like driving directions to Mount Stewart House and Gardens from anywhere in Northern Ireland, use Route Planner

Travel by Bus

Ulsterbus No:10 Belfast–Portaferry, bus stop at gates. For more information, visit the Translink website.

Travel by Bicycle

There doesn’t appear to be a direct cycle route in this area. If you would like help to find the best way to get here on Bicycle, visit the National Cycle Network website.

Travel by Road

The house and gardens are located 15mls SE of Belfast on Newtownards–Portaferry road, A20, 5mls SE of Newtownards. Do you need a hire car?

Travel by Train

The nearest train station is Bangor, which is 10mls from this attraction. For more information, visit the Translink website. Exploris Aquarium – The Exploris Aquarium provides an exhilarating and enlightening day out for the whole family. You can observe many sea creatures in their natural environment including seals, jellyfish, starfish and rays. Culloden Hotel – This prestigious hotel offers a wide range of facilities for guests, including The Spa for those in need of a little pampering. It is located beside the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Approx. 4mls outside Belfast City Centre. If you enjoyed your visit to this attraction, then why not leave us a comment about it. Similarly, if you didn’t enjoy your visit, then also let us know so we can warn other visitors.

Molly Goble from UK writes:

Is mount stewart gardens wheelchair friendly?

Response From Mark (Northern Ireland Travel)

There is separate parking for mobility access, approx 100yds. from the entrance and also a drop-off point. The main building has a level entrance and has wheelchairs available to borrow. Booking is essential as there are only four. The other floors have stairs.There are toilet facilities at the reception area/car park. The grounds are partly accessible with loose gravel paths. There is a map of the accessible route around the grounds. Available to borrow are three single-seater PMVs. Again booking is essential.The shop and refreshments area also have a level entrance.

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