What is it about this island on the very edge of Europe that attracted the attention of one of the cycling world’s greatest road races? If we’re honest, it wasn’t just one thing, it was many. Take the Causeway Coastal Route – it harkens back to mythical Ireland and ancient volcanic eruptions, but those craggy cliffs, tight corners and sweeping scenery keep it very much in the present.
Northern Ireland’s exceptional landscapes are so cinematic that HBO was drawn to make it one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones. While if you head up to the nine Glens of Antrim, you might find a legend or myth for every blade of grass in the ground.
And then there’s the Boyne Valley, where history comes thick and fast with high kings, high crosses and passage tombs that predate the pyramids. Not forgetting, of course, the lively city of Dublin with its cosy pub corners, chatty locals and a world-famous literary legacy. This is the stuff memories are made of.