Friendly, outdoorsy, historic and fun Northern Ireland is very good at family holidays.
It’s an astonishingly beautiful country and not too big, so exploring from end to end is easy to do.
There are mountains and glens, vast forests, ancient castles and World Heritage sites to discover.
Festivals all year round celebrate everything from Bramley Apples to St. Patrick’s Day. And it couldn’t be easier to hop on a plane or car ferry and be there in a few hours, so it’s just about ideal for half-term breaks, a few days in summer or even a winter weekend.
Direct daily flights from London to Belfast all year round take just 1 hour and 40 minutes.
The Mourne Mountains and Antrim Coast.
GoT locations all over Northern Ireland to visit like Co. Antrim’s Dark Hedges and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.
The Fermanagh Lakelands for outdoor activity centres and extreme sports.
Surfing on huge Atlantic beaches and family summer holidays in pretty seaside resorts.
Dozens of National Trust properties including the World Heritage Giant’s Causeway, Minnowburn Woodland and Castle Coole.
Heritage experiences like the Ulster American Folk Museum and Titanic Belfast.
Northern Ireland’s capital is lively and modern with a deeply historic heart, a love of festivals and a talent for making everything from creepy prisons to legendary shipwrecks fun for kids. It’s also an amazingly green city covered in pretty parks from impressive Belfast Castle to the beautiful Botanic Gardens. And for a quick city break, Belfast is good value with loads of free museums and galleries, year-round offers on transport and accommodation and family tickets for everything from Belfast Zoo to the brilliant Titanic Experience.
This is the county for outdoor adventure, endless freedom and fun days out that can easily turn into entire holidays. Cycling, sailing, walking, hiking and island-hopping are just a few of family activities in and around the enchanting Fermanagh Lakelands. And the county’s nestled on Northern Ireland’s border to the west so it’s wonderful for exploring ancient, fortified castles like Enniskillen and romantic Castle Balfour.
County Antrim’s dominated by a magnificent coastline of cliffs and headlands staring down into the wild Atlantic. It’s here you’ll find the Giant’s Causeway, one of Northern Ireland’s most famous landmarks, a World Heritage site and all-out wonder of the world. Coastal road or path, driving or walking this is a stunning country to roam around and as filled with myths and legends as it is with natural phenomena.
Armagh’s small and easy to get around, packed with history, myth, legend and overflowing with fantastic natural wonders. It’s the spiritual heart of Northern Ireland, where St. Patrick founded the first church in 445AD – Northern Ireland’s Cathedral stands on the same site today. Sometimes known as ‘Orchard County’, Armagh has an Apple Blossom Festival every May and is also home to Slieve Gullion the extinct volcano at the heart of the Ring of Gullion which kids will love for tales of the Giant , Finn McCool.
County Down is where the 60 plus peaks of the magnificent Mourne Mountains dominate the landscape, glorious sands are edged with enormous cliffs and pretty towns offer seaside family fun, all-year-round. Cranfield Beach proudly flies its Blue Flag here and Tollymore Forest Park is where to find all sorts of action from horse riding and hillwalking to bouldering, canoeing, abseiling, climbing and mountain boarding.
Derry-Londonderry’s Northern Ireland’s second city and the only remaining completely walled city in the country. Base a holiday with kids here for exciting living heritage museums, beautiful countryside and colourful events all-year-round.
Drive the roads around Tyrone’s Sperrin Mountains and it’s easy to see why they’re included in the World’s Best 101 Scenic Routes. It’s a wonderful county for walking too and dozens of the well-marked routes are perfect for younger kids.
Northern Ireland’s surprisingly compact for a country with such a remarkable landscape. Come by car ferry or hire a car and drive thousands of famous scenic routes, it’s the best way to see the countryside with kids. The rail network is excellent if you want a break from driving and there are local bus services from morning till late in the evening across every county. City centres are easy to walk around and good public transport is available to all the major attractions.