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My Ireland

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  • #CultureandHeritage
  • #OutdoorActivities
  • #Landmarks
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    4 days 359 km

    Flavours of Northern Ireland

    • #NorthernIrelandEmbraceAGiantSpirit
    • #FoodandDrink
    • #PubsandRestaurantswithRooms
    From Belfast city to Ballygally Castle
    Nearest Airport Belfast International Airport, Belfast City Airport
    Attractions Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Giant’s Causeway, Titanic Belfast
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    Set out on a food trail of local specialties and gourmet treats across Northern Ireland, and prepare for a taste sensation

    Our culinary trail kicks off in the city of Belfast, winds through the gastronomic heartlands of County Down and the orchard heaven of County Armagh, before exploring the lakelands of County Fermanagh and tranquil County Tyrone. We’ll dip into Derry~Londonderry city before tracing the Causeway Coastal Route along Antrim's coast and back to Belfast.


    Day 1

    75 km


    Day 2

    131 km


    Day 3

    64 km


    Day 4

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    Day 1 Belfast to Shimna Valley

    Day 1

    Starting in Belfast, this tasty tour brings you through some of the most beautiful scenery the island has to offer with top gourmet stops along the way.

    Explore Day 1

    Find out why Belfast tastes great

    Belfast Food Tour, Belfast city

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    Eating out in Belfast is an exciting mix of homegrown flavours, modern techniques and the best local produce, with a restaurant scene that takes in everything from the Michelin-starred Eipic and Ox to the down-home tastes of Long's Fish and Chips. Get to know the secret delis and traditional pubs of this vibrant city on the Belfast Food Tour in the company of passionate foodie, Caroline, which kicks off at 19th century St George's Market (Fri-Sun). Or maybe book a table for sumptuous Afternoon Tea at Titanic Belfast on a Sunday. Either way, your tastebuds will thank you for it.
    If you have more time, and even if you don’t stay at The Merchant Hotel. You’ll want to sample at least one creation from its famous cocktail list.

    23 km

    Spuds, walks and award-winning seafood in County Down

    Comber potatoes

    © Shutterstock

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    From urban buzz to rural bliss next at The Poacher's Pocket, an award-winning gastro pub and a great place to refuel before exploring the local area. The old-fashioned front bar has retained its traditional charm, but the dining area boasts an effortless style, and is the perfect backdrop for dishes that make the most of the excellent local produce. Comber, where the pub is located, is also famous for its Comber Early Potatoes, which have European Protected Geographical Indication and are prized for their nutty flavour. While you’re here, head to nearby Strangford Lough, a haven of wildlife and the largest sea lough in the British Isles. Studded with 100 islands, the lough boasts numerous walking trails, including the Castle Espie Woodland Trail with a mix of estuary views, salt marshes and Ireland’s largest collection of native and exotic waterbirds.
    If you have more time, call in at the Old Post Office Tea Rooms in Lisbane for delicious homebaked scones, pastries and pie. A great little find.

    4 km

    Rich pickings and natural beauty along Strangford Lough

    Tracey's Farmhouse Kitchen, County Down

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    Next on the list is Balloo House, and this really is one that shouldn’t be missed. This 400-year-old inn offers two distinct dining experiences, with a fine dining restaurant above and a relaxed bistro below. Focusing strongly on local and seasonal produce, expect dishes such as venison liver, with creamy mash, crispy onions, bacon and red wine jus, as well as Northern Ireland’s highly regarded Himalayan salt-chamber aged beef from Hannan’s. It's worth staying overnight at the Mill House B&B – from here you can enjoy more of the County Down countryside including scenic walks and panoramic views of Strangford Lough.
    If you have more time, try out your baking skills at Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen. After being welcomed into her thatched cottage, you’ll be asked to roll up your sleeves, put on an apron, and start kneading dough for soda and wheaten breads in the traditional way.

    31 km

    Films, food and fabulous fish

    Mourne Seafood Bar, County Down

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    Heading south through the town of Downpatrick, where the mortal remains of St Patrick are said to lie within Down Cathedral, you'll reach the village of Dundrum. Beautifully situated on the edge of Dundrum Bay and backed by the moody Mourne Mountains, the go-to eatery here is most definitely the Mourne Seafood Bar, which uses impeccably fresh seafood from local ports and their own shellfish beds. The area is a heartland of quality food from artisan honey to the super-creamy Abernethy Butter, used in some of the world's top restaurants. To find out more, why not take the Mourne Foods & Films Cycle Tour, which leaves from Spelga Dam. Highlighting the link between a heather-rich land and delicious local produce, the tour takes you through the valley's filming locations for Philomena, Game of Thrones, The Fall and Dracula Untold.
    If you have more time, on the Bike Mourne’s Trails & Ales Tour, you can explore the majestic Mournes and work up an appetite. Afterwards, visit Whitewater Brewery for some craft beers and food made with local ingredients!

    17 km

    Afternoon tea in old-world surrounds

    Killowen Distillery, County Down

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    Nestled into the lush surrounds of the Shimna Valley, the Enniskeen Country House Hotel boasts almost impossibly beautiful views over the peak of Slieve Donard and out to the Irish Sea. There couldn't be a better location for a sumptuous afternoon tea than within the elegant old-world dining room here. Developed to celebrate the very best local produce, the Mourne Honey Afternoon Tea is an indulgent delight showcasing tasty treats, including Mourne Honey baked Armagh ham sandwiches, poached Irish salmon and the classic freshly baked scones. While you’re here, try the Killowen Distillery Tour and sample their whiskies, gin and poitín.

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    Day 2 Newforge House to Lough Erne Resort

    Day 2

    Descend from the mountains and into the lakelands, discovering succulent treats at lavish country houses and culinary creations on the shores of Lough Neagh.

    Explore Day 2

    A country house breakfast

    Newforge House, County Armagh

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    If there is a better way to start the day than with a breakfast at Armagh's Newforge House we've yet to hear it. This gorgeous family-run country house puts on a legendary spread with an Ulster Fry laden with Moyallan dry-cured bacon, Madden's award-winning sausages and freshly laid eggs from chickens that roam the orchard. After that, pay a visit to the Armagh Cider Company to see how the magic happens from the 80 acres of beautiful orchards to the final product, before heading back to Newforge for a delicious three-course seasonal dinner.
    Come at festival time, County Armagh is famous for its delicious Bramley apple and in September the Armagh Food and Cider Festival celebrates the harvest with a packed programme of events, including foraged lunches, artisan markets and orchard tours.

    45 km

    A perfect deli in County Tyrone

    Wee Buns Cooking School, County Tyrone

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    To get a great flavour of the lush landscapes of County Tyrone, set your course for Dungannon's Deli on the Green, a perfect stop for lunch. Located in Beechvalley, Dungannon, this part-deli, part-bistro is a fine place to sample fresh, locally sourced food, including crab from Kilkeel in County Down. Delicious. While here, test out your cooking skills at Wee Buns Cookery school where Mary Anne will show you how to bake desserts, bread and traditional Irish baking.
    If you have more time, it's hard not to love the quirk and eccentricity of Tomney's pub in Moy, County Tyrone. In the same family for 300 years, it's warm, welcoming and unforgettable.

    64 km

    Stunning cookery on the edge of a lough

    Belle Isle Castle, County Fermanagh

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    If you're of the belief that beautiful landscapes inspire beautiful cookery, then make your way to Belle Isle. Surrounded by the lakeland landscapes of County Fermanagh, which produce some of the best dairy on the island, Belle Isle Cookery School sits on the edge of Lough Fyne. It's really a sublime destination, a place to relax and hone your cookery skills with both private cookery classes and general cookery courses.
    If you have more time, detour south to the Watermill Lodge, a lovely restaurant and guest house in the heart of the lakelands.

    22 km

    Gourmet delights on the shores of Lough Erne

    The Boatyard Distillery, County Fermanagh

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    Perfectly placed for exploring some of the area's top attractions including the Marble Arch Caves, Florence Court and Castle Coole House, the Lough Erne Resort is one of Northern Ireland's most luxurious retreats. And, naturally, the food here is of the highest possible quality. Chef Noel McMeel is devoted to using the very best local produce and has cooked for some of the world's most discerning diners. At the Catalina Restaurant, you can find dishes of the very highest standard with local superstar-produce on the menu, including Baronscourt Venison, Thornhill Duck and Keenan Seafood.
    If you have more time, head to the delightful town of Enniskillen and enjoy a foodie tour around the city on the Enniskillen Taste Experience Tour. Or pay a visit to The Boatyard Distillery for a tour and taste experience where you can meet the team and discover the secret behind its famous "Érainn" Copper still.

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    Day 3 Belleek to The Walled City

    Day 3

    As you set out from Fermanagh, you'll find perfectly baked scones, masterfully made bread and a walled city filled with delights to discover...

    Explore Day 3

    Pure charm in a thatched cottage

    Ulster American Folk Park, County Tyrone

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    Belleek might be famed for its pottery but it's loved locally for The Thatch, a re-thatched coffee shop where you can pick up everything from home-baked goodies to fishing tackle. Set within a charming 18th century cottage, it's the perfect place to cosy up with tea and fluffy scones. Winners of a Great Taste Award for its wild venison French rack, Baronscourt Estate rears the crème de la crème of wild game. If you're in the area, why not opt for a self-catering stay on the magnificent estate?
    If you have more time, pop into the Ulster American Folk Park for an immersive recreation of Northern Ireland’s emigrant story. Or head back to class at the Gin School of the Wild Atlantic Distillery. But, if you’d rather cast your eyes to the skies, the Stars and Stones tour takes you where you’ll see magnificent views from the OM Dark Sky Observatory.

    3 km

    A home bakery to wake up for

    Bakehouse, County Londonderry

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    Close to the northwestern shore of beautiful Lough Neagh, you'll find the small village of Castledawson. At 3am every morning, while most of the village sleeps, Ditty's Home Bakery is a hive of activity, with bakers getting the store's soda farls, potato and wheaten breads ready for the day. This beloved bakery is also the source of some of the island’s best oatcake biscuits (perfect with Irish cheese) as well as wee buns and scones – the ideal accompaniment to a cup of tea. If the bakery leaves you feeling inspired, try the Bakehouse cookery school and learn how to use local, seasonal ingredients as well as how to make traditional Irish soda bread.
    If you have more time, try the Old Thatch Inn pub in Castledawson. It's one of the oldest pubs in Northern Ireland, and a real gem.

    61 km

    Urban tastes in Derry~Londonderry

    Derry Girls Afternoon Tea & Tour

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    Heading into Derry~Londonderry, a whole host of culinary treats await. There's glamorous fine dining at Browns Restaurant, creative locally inspired pintxos at the Walled City Brewery, a Derry Girls themed afternoon tea and tour, or seasonal cooking at Beech Hill Country House Hotel. Browse the city's weekly and monthly food markets for tasty delights, or sit and relax with a glass of local craft beer in one of the city's great traditional pubs.
    If you have more time, set sail from Portstewart on a Catch and Sea food experience. It’s a breakfast tour, and once the bucket is full, a local chef is waiting on shore to prepare a home-cooked breakfast to match your appetite, with your own freshly caught fish as the main ingredient.

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    Day 4 Portstewart to Ballygally Castle

    Day 4

    Sample world-class seafood beneath soaring cliffs, test out one of Ireland's most iconic drinks and taste meals inspired by legends... this is Northern Ireland at its culinary finest.

    Explore Day 4

    The foodie delights of the Causeway Coast


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    Next up, the Causeway Coast, which weaves from Derry~Londonderry to Belfast, passing by Mussenden Temple, the Giant's Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. It's also home to some truly great places to eat – the first of which is Harry's Shack on Portstewart Strand. Chef Derek Creagh and restaurateur Donal Doherty have been making international waves from this sand-strewn beach shack, serving masterful seaside fare, including fish fresh off the Greencastle boats and vegetables from their walled garden on the Inishowen Peninsula in next door Donegal.
    If you have more time, Lost & Found in Coleraine is a delightful stop-off for a breakfast of French toast or a lunch of slow cooked chicken.

    19 km

    Into the heart of whiskey territory

    Bushmills Distillery, County Antrim

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    Along the coast, past Dunluce Castle, you'll find the very charming village of Bushmills. Here, a visit to the Old Bushmills Distillery is a must. It's Ireland's oldest working distillery and the guided tour will whisk you through the workings of the distillery before a "wee dram" in the 1608 bar. Enjoy dinner in The Bushmills Inn’s AA Rosette restaurant afterwards, or explore Bushmills' French links with a quirky and casual meal at The French Rooms. Its ties to our Gallic neighbours date back to the 17th century when the Huguenots decided to settle in the town.

    70 km

    A culinary castle on a glorious estate

    Glenarm Castle, County Antrim

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    Glenarm Castle has been in the McDonnell family since 1636. The tea rooms overlook the kitchen garden and serve the award-winning Shorthorn Beef, which is aged in Peter Hannan’s purpose-built Himalayan salt chambers in Moira, County Down, before appearing on some of the region’s best menus. They also have a delectable afternoon tea option too!
    Don't miss the nearby resort of Galgorm, home to the River Room restaurant, which boasts 3 AA Rosettes for culinary excellence.

    11 km

    A sweet ending

    Ballygally Castle, County Antrim

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    Heading on from here to Ballygally, make a date with Ballygally Castle Hotel’s afternoon tea, inspired by the fact that HBO’s Game of Thrones® was filmed nearby. Where else can you feast on Dothraki Trifle with mini Dragon’s Eggs? Overnight guests can enjoy the hotel’s focus on local produce at breakfast, which includes Clandeboye Estate yoghurts produced with milk from Holstein and Jersey cows. Oh, and did we mention the hotel has a resident ghost? The Ghost of Ballygally has been around for the best part of 400 years, but Lady Isabella Shaw is reputedly a friendly spirit!
    If you have more time, get a workout before indulging with a stroll along The Gobbins, a wonderful cliff-path walk on Islandmagee.

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