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Now the troubles have largely been put to rest, Northern Ireland is awash with expectation. Being freed from the gun has boosted the economy, injected its people with a new lease on life and rejuvenated its urban spaces. Officially part of the UK and not much bigger than Yorkshire, there are myriad opportunities for visitors to indulge in this lovely country. The infamous Irish craic (fun) is best experienced over a pint of Guinness in Belfast's traditional pubs, stylish bars and throbbing nightclubs. The country's thousand shades of green and deep blue skies are best appreciated in walking boots along the 560-mile Ulster Way, where the ...

Now the troubles have largely been put to rest, Northern Ireland is awash with expectation. Being freed from the gun has boosted the economy, injected its people with a new lease on life and rejuvenated its urban spaces. Officially part of the UK and not much bigger than Yorkshire, there are myriad opportunities for visitors to indulge in this lovely country. The infamous Irish craic (fun) is best experienced over a pint of Guinness in Belfast's traditional pubs, stylish bars and throbbing nightclubs. The country's thousand shades of green and deep blue skies are best appreciated in walking boots along the 560-mile Ulster Way, where the spectacular views (especially around the coast) will set your heart soaring. And then there's Northern Island's biggest attraction - the photogenic Giants Causeway - thousands of hexagonal, basalt columns extending into the sea. A good time to be here is in November during the Belfast Arts festival, the second-largest in the UK, and in late July/August during the Celtic Fusion International Musical Arts Festival, when Celtic music in all its forms is belted out.

Alan Murphy
About the Expert

Alan Murphy is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Britain, Scotland, India and North India. He has been writing and updating travel guidebooks for the past 12 years.

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Alan Murphy for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland. It is variously described as a country, province or region of the UK, amongst other terms.
  • Language: English, Irish (Gaelic), Welsh
  • Currency: Pound Sterling
  • Research: Wikipedia
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