Fancy a break from the city? Or perhaps you're just a keen geographer? Look no further than Northern Ireland, rich with natural wonders, for your next getaway!
Escape to the north
Everyone's heard of the classic geographical wonders of the Republic of Ireland, from the great Cliffs of Moher, to the gorgeous coast of Galway and the amazing Dingle Peninsula, but what about Northern Ireland? Often overlooked, this little country actually houses some of the most stunning geographical phenomena in the British Isles, so get packing and prepare for the trip of a lifetime!
The Giant's Causeway is by far the most famous geographical site in Northern Ireland, and for good reason. This unusual rock formation looks almost manmade, it's so perfectly formed. However, this phenomenon was formed almost 60 million years ago after a volcanic eruption. As the lava cooled, the rock solidified and cracked into almost perfectly equal, hexagonal columns, of which there are over 40,000! The name of the site comes from an ancient myth about a giant named Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) who was thought to have built the causeway in order to reach Scotland and fight his enemy.
Lough Neagh (pronounced "loch nay") is the largest lake in the British Isles by surface area, covering a massive 151 square miles.The freshwater lake provides Northern Ireland with almost half of its drinking water supply, and its centre marks the point at which 5 out of 6 of Northern Ireland's counties meet. In mythology, Finn McCool is thought to have created the lake by scooping the land out and throwing it into the sea, again in a battle against his Scottish enemy!
Carraig a' Ráid
Carrick-a-rede (or Carraig a' Ráid in Irish) is a tiny little island on the north coast of Northern Ireland, around an hour's drive west of the Giant's Causeway. The island is connected to the mainland by a very precarious-looking rope bridge, owned by the National Trust, which visitors can cross for a fee. Warning: although the bridge is perfectly safe, it's a long way down to the rocky sea below, so this one's most certainly not for the faint-hearted!
Situated in the northeastern county of Londonderry, Castlerock is a stunning seaside town which boasts dramatic cliffs, deep blue sea and long sandy beaches in its surrounding area. Atop these cliffs, hikers will find the famous Mussenden Temple, a beautiful cylindrical building dating back to the 18th century and previously used as a library for the estate on which it is built. Take a stroll along the beach under the cliffs before heading into the town for a pick-me-up at one of its cute, independent coffee shops.