Belfast and beyond: six of the best Northern Ireland day trips

T

Thomas Breathnach

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Belfast makes an ideal base from which to explore many of Northern Ireland’s lesser-known treasures

Murlough Bay
While many Game of Thrones locations have become besieged by fans in recent years, Murlough Bay on the North Antrim coast is a sight bypassed by even the most die-hard. Tucked off a hairy byway along the Torr Head scenic drive, the stunning bay, which wows with views stretching to Scotland, will be recognised by fans as Slavers’ Bay from season five of the series. For further coastal adventures, grab a sea safari with the water activity firm Aquaholics and journey around Antrim’s headlands, starting from Ballycastle. Skirt the coast from there to the Giant’s Causeway, taking in sights from Ballintoy Harbour (another Game of Thrones hotspot) to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. The attraction is out of bounds on terra firma, so the boat tour offers the best chance to get up close. Weather permitting, you’ll even be invited to take a dip in its shadows. You may be joined by company en route – season depending, nature buffs should keep an eye out for dolphins, puffins and more.
The Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede boat trip costs £35pp (aquaholics.co.uk).

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