Northern Ireland climate
Northern Ireland – the six counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone on the north east side of Ireland – has a temperate maritime climate, like the rest of the country. It is influenced by the Gulf Stream which makes Ireland warmer than it should be given its latitude. The summers are warm and the winters are mild. Rain, however, is never far away, and the north of the country gets more snow than the republic during the winter.
When to fly to Northern Ireland
The summer months of July and August generally enjoy the best weather. This is festival season so Northern Ireland flights and accommodation are in high demand.
There is no off-peak season, per se. The cities of Londonderry and Belfast have become popular city-break destinations year-round. Northern Ireland's winters are mild with very little snow.
Getting around Northern Ireland
The province is so small that it is not necessary to take Northern Ireland flights to get around. There are efficientpublic transport
(bus and train) links. Many visitors from the UK bring their cars on theferries
that ply the seas between Ireland and the UK. Majorrental-car
companies are represented at the region’s airports.
Northern Ireland insider information
- The Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast is a luscious gin palace. It is the only bar owned by the National Trust. Black-taxi tours of the Shankill and Falls Roads, Protestant and Catholic areas divided by peace lines, shine a light on more troubled days. Other tours take in the university quarter and the Titanic trail (where visitors can take a virtual tour of the Titanic story using the latest GPS-based technology, the Node explorer), the ill-fated ship was built in the Harland and Wolff shipyard. Carrickfergus, a well-preserved early medieval castle, sits on the edge of Belfast Lough. Touring the castle, there are life-size historic figures depicting everyday scenes.
- Londonderry: the city walls that held firm during the Siege of Derry in 1658 can be walked.
- The Giants Causeway in Antrim – a grouping of about 40,000 basalt columns, the result of a volcanic eruption some 60 million years ago – is Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage site. According to legend, the Irish giant, Finn McCool built them in order to reach his love, a giantess who lived in Scotland), there is a visitors’ centre and a souvenir shop. The Bushmills Distillery is just two miles away and is open for tours. It is the only active Irish distillery open to visitors. Carrickarede rope bridge – 24 metres (80 feet) up - in Ballintoy can be crossed for the princely sum of £2 between the months of April and September.
- Florence Court in county Fermanagh dates from the 18th century, where the Earls of Enniskillen lived. The house and grounds are open to the public. Mount Stewart on Strangford Lough in Down is also open to the public and its grounds, created in the 1920s are said to be among the greatest in the UK.