Northern Ireland lies on the north-eastern corner of the island of Ireland. It’s boundaries contain the busy, bustling, capital of Belfast, and the world renowned Giant’s Causeway, and has created some of the world’s best known products, such as Bushmills Irish Whiskey, and built the infamous Titanic, and is home to such well known people as St. Patrick!!
Due to the ‘Troubles in Northern Ireland’, the country has been publically broadcasted all around the world for years, to the point where place names all sound so familiar, as if you’ve already been there. Places like the Mountains of Mourne, the Glens of Antrim, Londonderry, the Bogside, Falls Creek and Shankill Road!! Now of course, the ‘Troubles’ are a thing of the past, and the country has seen a revival of interest by visitors wishing to enjoy the mythology, being home to Giants and the Little People, the history, culture and scenery. The country, is familiar and yet so different, captivating and engrossing, and with the warmth, friendliness and humour of the people, Northern Ireland is a place not to be missed!!
Northern Ireland is approximately 180 kilometres by 150 kilometres, and is home to less than 2 million people. It is comprised of 6 counties all part of Ulster, 5 of which radiate around the centrally located, Lough Neagh, being County Down, Armagh, Tyrone, Londonderry and Antrim, with County Fermanagh lying in the south-west. The landscape of the region is very diverse, ranging from the wetlands of Lough Foyle and Strangford Lough, to the farmed lowlands and river valleys, to the beautiful upland regions of the Antrim Plateau and the Glens of Antrim, and windblown moors of the Sperrin Mountains, all surrounded the changeable Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea, pounding the rocky cliffs of the Causeway Coast, or the golden sands of Magilligan Strand.
The story of the whole island starts in Northern Ireland, where evidence has been found indicating that the area was the first place settled by humans. Migration first occurred here, with the oldest evidence of Mesolithic huts being found on a bluff overlooking the River Bann at Mount Sandel. This pre-historic site has been dated around 7000 to 6500 B.C., and has strong links with similar sites in Scotland, showing that the narrow straits between the two, was the crossing point. The country has an interesting and diverse story to tell, which can be traced through the many historical sites, cities, towns and villages, and the events and festivals, which leaves you with an appreciation of the complex and interesting culture.
Northern Ireland will leave the visitor with an inner feeling that maybe there are Little People, maybe you can return next year, maybe I should have had that extra week!!