Northern Ireland Day Tours
Northern Ireland Day Tours can really add a memorable experience to your trip in our enchanting and picturesque country.
The tours are great if you are on a tight schedule or just want to cram in as many Northern Ireland Attractions as you can while you are here.
I have made a list of all the best tour operators in Northern Ireland. Many of you will only have time to fit in the Belfast tours. This friendly city is steeped in history and culture and these tours are a great way to quickly get to view the whole city.
Most of the day tours leave from Belfast City Centre and will allow you to discover lots of interesting, fun and historically significant places that easily fit into one highly captivating day out touring in Northern Ireland.
The day tours will take you on an engaging journey where you can lose yourself on a voyage of discovery, gain enlightenment and wisdom or relax and break free from the stresses and worries of everyday life.Not all Northern Ireland tours are equal. Some offer much more value than others and the ones I’m featuring here are the tours that I fully recommend. I hope you enjoy your trip.
Giant’s Causeway – Fully Escorted Allen’s Tour
This fully escorted tour is organised by Allen’s tours and is all about the North Antrim Coast. Throughout your journey you will get to discover the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, Carrickfergus Castle, Dunluce Castle and Old Bushmills Distillery.This tour departs Belfast City Centre daily at 09:30 from 25 Donegall Road, just opposite the Belfast International Youth Hostel. Other pick up points, including hotels, around the city centre are available upon request.
- 09:30 Meet at 25 Donegall Road or other pick up points
- 10:00 Depart Belfast
- 10:20 Arrive at Carrickfergus Castle for photo opportunity
- 10:40 Depart Carrickfergus for North Antrim coastal route
- 11:30 Arrive in Carnlough for a comfort break
- 12:00 Depart Carnlough heading for Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge
- 12:50 Arrive at Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge
- 13:50 Depart Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge for Bushmills Distillery
- 14:15 Arrive at Old Bushmills Distillery and visit gift shop
- 14:40 Depart Old Bushmills Distillery for Giant’s Causeway
- 14:45 Arrive at Giant’s Causeway
- 16:30 Depart for Belfast (Winter Schedule)
- 17:30 Depart for Belfast (Summer Schedule)
- 18:00 Approximate arrival back in Belfast (Winter Schedule)
- 19:00 Approximate arrival back in Belfast (Summer Schedule)
What you will see on your day tour of the North Antrim coast
Allen’s tour bus will depart from Belfast around 10:00. After a 20 minute journey you will arrive at Carrickfergus castle where you will have a short break to take some photos of the castle. The bus will then head along the coastal route through Larne on it’s way to Carnlough.
The journey to Carnlough moves along the Old Antrim Coast Road and you will travel through small villages such as Drains Bay, Ballygally and Glenarm. On arrival at Carnlough, there will be a short 20-30 minute comfort break with the opportunity to wander through the village and visit the harbour.
We leave Carnlough around 12:00 and travel further along the North Antrim coast road taking in sights along the way such as Glenariff, Waterfoot and Cushendall. Moving further along the route we drive across Glencorp and over the top of Glendun past Lochareema (The Vanishing Lake).
This eventually leads us through the town of Ballycastle, where you can get an amazing view of Rathlin Island on a clear day, and onward to Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. You have an hour to spend here. It is a steady 10 minute walk down to the bridge and you can cross it if you dare! There is a small fee for crossing and the bridge isn’t open during the winter months. You can also have some lunch as there is a cafe here or you can wait for a few hours and have something more substantial at the Causeway Hotel.
We depart from Carrick-a-rede and head towards Bushmills Distillery travelling through the village of Ballintoy. There will be two short photo stops along this road which include Whitepark Bay and Dunluce Castle.
Arriving around 14:15 at Old Bushmills Distillery, you can taste some of their world famous Irish whiskey and visit their gift shop to get some souvenirs to take back home for your friends and family. I recommend the ‘Black Bush’, a favourite of mine. They also offer a very unique, personalised whiskey bottle with the name of your choice on it, that you can only get from their gift shop.
Moving on through Bushmills Village again, we head towards the Giant’s Causeway. Being the highlight of the tour, we will spend a few hours here. The Causeway also has a little bit of a walk down to it, but at certain times of the year a shuttle bus operates.
As we will be spending some time here, this is a good opportunity to get something to eat. There are a few establishments, but the one that I recommend is the Causeway Hotel. It serves great food and I have tried it several times and even stayed over on occasion.The time for returning to Belfast varies according to the season. In the Winter, the bus leaves the Giant’s Causeway at approximately 16:30-17:00 arriving back in Belfast at around 18:00-18:30 as the light at this time of the year is limited. During the Summer months, the bus leaves at about 17:30 arriving back into Belfast at approximately 19:00.On return to Belfast, drop off’s are provided at central points in the city (City Hall, Europa Station and Donegall Road). We can also arrange a drop off at Belfast International Airport on prior request.
For more information and to book the Giant’s Causeway day tour visit the Allen’s Tours website. Enjoy your exciting day tour in Northern Ireland!
Open topped bus tours of Belfast by a fully qualified guide. They last 90 minutes, are hop on, hop off at various places along the tour and operate between 10:00 and 16:00 daily.
- Tel: 028 9091 5613 Web: www.allenstours.co.uk
Belfast City Sightseeing
Open top bus leaves from Castle Place, Belfast. Tour lasts 1 hr 45 mins and operates daily between 10:00 and 16:00. Hop on, hop off. Ticket valid for 24 hours.
- Tel: 028 9032 1321 Web: www.belfastcitysightseeing.co.uk
Black Taxi Tour
See the famous wall murals of West Belfast as your tour guide enlightens you on the historical background of the city. Ask for Bill
- Tel: 07887 800 095 Web: www.belfastcabtours.com
Belfast Duck Tours
This amazing tour bus is called ‘Big Yellow’ and is an amphibious vehicle. It promises an exciting tour of Belfast City with a 20 min tour of the River Lagan.
- Tel: 028 9033 3388 Web: www.belfastducktours.com
Mini-coach Day Tours
One of the longest established day tours of the Causeway coast area. Day trips to the Giant’s Causeway and of Belfast, as well as customised tours of Northern Ireland.
- Tel: 028 9077 7440 Web: www.minicoachni.co.uk
Operating daily guided tours of the Giant’s Causeway and the walled city of Derry. Tours also include Carrick-a-rede and Dunluce Castle.
- Tel: 0800 783 4191 Web: www.paddywagontours.com
Full day tours of the Mourne Mountains area in County Down. Only available for bookings of 12 or more people.
- Tel: 028 9077 2180 Web: www.travelirelandcoachtours.com
Late Night Art
Operating on the first Thursday on every month, you can visit some of Belfast’s Galleries.
- Tel: 028 9024 6609 Web: www.belfastgalleries.com
Fortnightly music tours around Belfast leaving from the Ulster Hall.
- Tel: 028 9024 6609 Web: www.gotobelfast.com
Take a trip around the historical sites outside Belfast with a memorable story about each from an experienced guide. Luxury transport can cater for groups of between 2-8 people.
- Tel: 07912 290 935 Web: www.bespoke-tours.com
Ireland Luxury Tours
Truly customised tours of Ireland in luxury vehicles. Suitable drivers available for the tourism and corporate markets. Design your own tour and maximise your time.
- Tel: 07855 462 558 Web: www.irelandluxurytours.com.com
If you have been on a day trip in Northern Ireland recently, we would love to hear about it. Did you enjoy yourself or was it a wasted day? We want you to “tell all” and share your story with us.
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