Guy in Dubai’s Ireland adventure

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Mussenden Temple, County Londonderry

Follow the latest adventures of Guy in Dubai on Tour as he journeys around the island of Ireland

As the presenter of OSN’s Guy in Dubai TV show, Paris Norriss knows how to find an adventure wherever he is in the world. Recently, he turned his attention to the island of Ireland on the northwest tip of Europe. Join Guy in Dubai on Tour as he discovers the fascinating history, stunning landscapes and thrilling adventures around the island of Ireland.

Belfast

First stop for the Guy in Dubai tour is Belfast, the home of the Titanic. Delving into where it all began for the Ship of Dreams at Titanic Belfast, Norriss discovered the ship’s story – from creation and build to the tragedy that unfolded over 100 years ago – all explained over nine galleries and intricately detailed replica cabins. Top tip: if you’re visiting on a Sunday, be sure to book a table for Titanic Afternoon Tea, which takes place beside a reproduction of the Grand Staircase.

Belfast’s maritime legacy is fascinating, but there’s plenty more to explore around the city, including the indulgent Belfast food tour, the Belfast Traditional Music Trail and, of course, the Black Taxi Tours, which take you around the city’s political murals.

The Causeway Coast

Setting out from Belfast to Northern Ireland’s famous Causeway Coast, Norriss saddled up to experience the sights, sounds and scents of the north Antrim hills on horseback. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced rider, the expert local guides from Shean’s Horse Farm look after your every need. Back on two feet again, the Old Bushmills Distillery is just a short drive away. It’s the island of Ireland's oldest working distillery and one of the few in the world to distil, blend and bottle whiskey all under the same roof.

A trip to the geographical wonder of the Giant’s Causeway is next, including seeing it from above with the help of local guides from the Clifftop Experience walking tour. Buzzing with stories and myth, they take you to the spots where you can get a bird’s eye view of the 40,000 or so basalt columns that tumble into the crashing waters below.

Final stop for today is the Dark Hedges – a beech-tree lined road made famous by its appearance as the Kingsroad in Game of Thrones®. Northern Ireland is, in fact, filled with real-life filming locations that double as Westeros, so if you’re a fan of the show, Giant Tours Ireland is the tour for you. It’s led by driver and tour guide Flip – a stand-in for Hodor in the series – who thrills people with a host of wonderful stories and anecdotes from his filming days.

Other must-see Game of Thrones® locations include Ballintoy Harbour, a picturesque port that became Pyke, home of the infamous Ironborn; the 400 million-year-old Cushendun Caves, where Melisandre summoned a shadowy demon to kill Renly; and Murlough Bay, where Tyrion Lannister was captured by slavers on his journey to Meereen.

Portrush

It’s a very early start for the Guy in Dubai tour as the Sunrise “catch your own” Breakfast Experience sets sail before dawn. Breakfast all depends on what’s caught, but once the fish is cleaned and prepped, a local chef pairs it with fresh, seasonal produce for a delicious home-cooked meal.

After breakfast, Blokarting is on the agenda: this is a thrilling mix of dinghy sailing and kite buggying on a three-wheeled cart with a sail. With Ireland’s coastal winds, you can speed along the beach at more that 60km per hour. Not wanting to lose the adrenaline rush too soon, the team finishes the day with a hovercraft race, which takes you over land and water on a purpose-built grass track… but keep watch for water hazards and tricky hairpin bends as you go.

Derry~Londonderry

For a small city, Norriss found there was quite a lot to see and do inside and outside of its 400-year-old walls. Although Derry~Londonderry’s extraordinary history is told in several museums, the best way to discover the city’s secrets is by joining the Unlocking the Walled city walking tour. Listen to the locals as they proudly recall the city’s 6th century origins, as well as the personal accounts of the Troubles and the stories behind the political murals.

The view from the Peace Bridge is rather special, but Norriss preferred to see it from a different perspective, so stand-up paddle boarding, was his method of transport for the day. Swapping board for kayak, he continued his trip down river with a relaxing Moonlight Kayaking journey into the Foyle Estuary!

Dublin

America has its baseball, Japan has its sumo wrestling. Here in Ireland, we have our Gaelic games and if you’re heading to Dublin, you simply MUST visit Croke Park. Home of the GAA (Gaelic Athletics Association) Headquarters in Dublin, it holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Irish people. Naturally, Norriss had to give the sport of hurling a go! Often said to be the world’s fastest field game, hurling is a stick and ball game with teams of 15 on a rectangular grass pitch and H-shaped goals at either end. Connecting the sliotar (ball) to stick is the easy bit…

Then it was time for another local tradition: a trip to the Guinness Storehouse. The site has been home to the Guinness Company since 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed the now-famous 9,000-year lease on the Brewery. Today it’s Ireland’s number one visitor attraction – a multimedia exhibition on everything from retro advertising to the craft of brewing, topped off with the 360-degree Gravity Bar.

Topping off his day in Dublin, Norriss went white water rafting on the river Liffey. Starting just 20 minutes outside the city centre, this thrilling ride follows the river through the beautiful Strawberry Beds, navigates the weirs and dams that regulate the river, and offers you the chance to see the wildlife that calls the River Liffey home.

Connemara

Described as "a savage beauty" by author and playwright Oscar Wilde, Connemara is rural Ireland at its most dramatic. Surrounded by towering mountains and overlooking the Bundorragha River, the four-star Delphi Resort is a hidden gem in the midst of this wilderness. And, of course, there are plenty of activities to choose from – kayaking, raft-building and surfing, abseiling, bushcraft and mountain biking. Norriss opted for the thrilling 220m zip wire across the Delphi Forest and got his hands extremely dirty on the uniquely Irish obstacle course, including balance wires, muddy tunnels and those mucky bog water pools.

Kildare

From down in the mud to the lap of luxury, the final destination of the Guy in Dubai Ireland Tour was Kildare and the legendary five-star hotel, spa and country club, the K Club. Set on 550 acres of pristine parkland on a mile-long private stretch of the River Liffey, the K Club is home to two championship golf courses – The Ryder Cup Course and The Smurfit Course – which have hosted numerous international tournaments, including the aforementioned Ryder Cup!

Renowned for its excellence in horse racing, a trip to The Irish National Stud explores this county’s unique connection to equine perfection. Also within the grounds are the world-famous Japanese Gardens, laid out in the early 20th century by Japanese craftsman Tassa Eida and his son Minoru. Tracing the "Life of Man" from birth through to the afterlife, the gardens boast plants, stone lanterns and elegant Scots Pines as well as cherry trees, tunnelled pathways and an ancient fir tree, symbolising knowledge.

Saying goodbye in style, it was time to head to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, so Norriss put on his top hat and tails for what is renowned as the highlight of the Irish flat racing season. A great race day, combined with a wonderful social occasion and Norriss and the Guy in Dubai Ireland Tour was at an end…

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