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Northern Ireland - 2 to 3 days

Nanaimo
Level Contributor
15 posts
36 reviews
Northern Ireland - 2 to 3 days

We will be staying in Galway in late August and then would like to head into Northern Ireland for 2-3 days.

My thought was to drive to Enniskillen and stay and explore there the first night, then drive north to connect with the Causeway Route.

I’m trying to decide if I should book my next night near the Giant’s Causeway, or if I could make a point further south after seeing the sights on the north coast.

We don’t want to be rushed, but will need to get to Dublin Airport the following night to fly out the next day.

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8 replies to this topic
Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Sligo, Charlottesville, Virginia, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
21,831 posts
290 reviews
1. Re: Northern Ireland - 2 to 3 days

Enniskillen is a wonderful location, Florence Court, Marble Arches, Devenish island.

Number of different routes to the Antrim coast. Plenty to see & do with 2 nights.

Take the Antrim Coast road to Larne.

En-route to Dublin make a stop at Monnasterboic.

Rye, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Dover, Rye
Level Contributor
7,106 posts
79 reviews
2. Re: Northern Ireland - 2 to 3 days

I like Enniskillen. Not sure if you are the sort of person to grab lunch (I am) I enjoyed a nice jacket potato and coffee in T2 coffee inside the shopping centre.

I enjoyed County Fermanagh, and Marble Arch is worth a visit (although at the time I felt rather rushed going through the Caves at the time) and I enjoy the Lough Navar Forest Drive, Cliffs of Maghos, (I think it's spelt like that is on the Lough Navar Forest Drive) off top of my head.

County Donegal...
Level Contributor
3,289 posts
171 reviews
3. Re: Northern Ireland - 2 to 3 days

Loads to do in & around Enniskillen.. To add to those already mentioned above, there's Enniskillen Castle, Castle Coole & do try to spend some time at the Buttermarket where you'll find some fantastic crafts & unique gifts

https:/…

BC
Level Contributor
5,576 posts
201 reviews
4. Re: Northern Ireland - 2 to 3 days

Hi Rosie,

I lived in Northern Ireland for awhile and made it a point to try to get to know all of the country. For me, Enniskillen was my least favourite part. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but maybe is was just more like Canada, and thus less interesting to me. We spent a long weekend in the area.

Enroute, make sure to stop at Belleek, do you know the pottery? I very much enjoyed both visits there.

The Antrim coast is gorgeous of course, and have a look at Glenariff Forest Park. County Down has so many lovely attractions. The Ulster Folk Museum, Mount Stewart, Grey Abbey, Rowallane Gardens, Tollymore park to name a few. You are right to book ahead for accommodation in August.

My daughter is visiting next week, she has not been back since she was 6 years old. She has 7 full days planned in Northern Ireland and is only visiting a couple of the parts. Such a beautiful, interesting country full of lovely people.

PS there is a Northern Ireland forum:

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowForum-g186469…

Edited: 21 April 2018, 22:54
Nanaimo
Level Contributor
15 posts
36 reviews
5. Re: Northern Ireland - 2 to 3 days

Thank you all for your input! I wish that we had another week (lifetime?) for all that Ireland has to offer, but am happy we will be able to include some highlights in Northern Ireland as well! We are trying to limit our point to point distances each day to around 3 hours, because there is so much to see in such a relatively small area, and because we are not accustomed to driving on the left!

Most of our trip in the Republic will be along the coast and so the idea of moving inland towards Enniskillen and especially the area around Lough Erne seemed like a lovely option and a good distance from Galway. Beleek is definitely in the plans!

I'm very aware that we will be travelling in high season, and that the Giant's Causeway is on many people's bucket lists (ours included). What is a realistic amount of time to spend there and perhaps at Dunluce Castle ruins given the crowds? And should we stay in that area, or venture further south for the night, keeping in mind that we will have to make it to our Dublin airport hotel before nightfall the following day?

We are more interested in small towns, natural beauty and frequent stops to hike or perhaps grab lunch in a pub rather than navigating the more major cities like Derry and Belfast, so will be happy to drive by/through those areas.

Thanking you in advance for your kind suggestions!

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Sligo, Charlottesville, Virginia, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
21,831 posts
290 reviews
6. Re: Northern Ireland - 2 to 3 days

Enniskillen Route

Enniskillen, (County Fermanagh)....The scenery & sites along the A32 > A47> B82 > A47 Kesh > A35 > A47 Boa Island Road.

Sites along the way.

Lower Lough Erne is stunning & quite a bit of historic sites nearby.

Devenish Island

Marble Arch Caves

Florence Court

Enniskillen Castle

Castle Coole

Boa Island

Castle Archdale Park, (lovely cafe inside).

Nearby is the marina, I took the White Island ferry service to see the Figures on White Island.

Boa Island

www.megalithicireland.com/Boa%20Island.htm

You might want to read link below for visiting / Viewing the Giants Causeway.

https:/…90531774

We had an early breakfast at the Causeway Hotel, (we kept our receipt ) afterwards we walked the path down to the Causeway, took the bus back to the Centre, used the facilities, had a look / see at 'The Gift Shop' & walked back to the hotel where vehicle was parked, time 2 hours?

My most recent visit to Duluce Castle I did not do the tour.. I parked nearby (careful where you park) and walked the trail down, ( it can be slippery), about an hour +.

www.walkni.com/walks/196/dunluce-castle/

This visit stayed with friends in Bushmills, however, we all prefer Ballycastle. Morton's great food & views sitting by the pier.

County Donegal...
Level Contributor
3,289 posts
171 reviews
7. Re: Northern Ireland - 2 to 3 days

As I read your itinerary, you'll be exploring on the way to Enniskillen from Galway, staying in Enniskillen that night then, heading off next morning to the Causeway & Antrim coast. I think that you'll not have time to see everything in the Enniskillen area within that time frame. There are really 3 routes (more with detours such as Derrygonnelly) from Sligo to Enniskillen - 1 via Manorhamilton & Blacklion & 2 via Ballyshannon & Belleek. - The easiest route from Sligo to the caves & Florencecourt House is via Manorhamilton & then turning off in Blacklion which means you don't have to go in to Enniskillen first. To get to Belleek, the quickest & most direct route from Sligo is via Bundoran & Ballyshannon. It's easy to get to the caves from Belleek via Garrison, Belcoo & then Blacklion. Boa Island would take you to Enniskillen on a route that takes you away from the caves. The castle is in the town, so easy to visit. Castle Coole is not too far out of the town & easy to get to. I'd suggest that you do try to save some time to visit the Buttermarket in the town

Belfast, United...
Level Contributor
4,421 posts
31 reviews
8. Re: Northern Ireland - 2 to 3 days

Best to repost on the Northern Ireland for local input. There is also a Giant’s Causeway sticky.

Edited: 22 April 2018, 21:44
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