Coast - Carnlough
Ireland,  Northern Ireland

5 Reasons you will love Northern Ireland…

Over the past 18 months I have been lucky enough to make regular visits to Country Antrim and the surrounding area, and have fallen in love with what I have found there. Often overlooked because of its history and separate status as part of the United Kingdom, it is less visited than the southern part of Ireland, but has just as much to offer. Here’s are some of the reasons why I love Northern Ireland!

love northern ireland
Glenarm, Co. Antrim

1. The landscapes

This was a wonderful surprise when I first started exploring Northern Ireland. As an outsider, the images we get are those from the news: central Belfast, grey and depressing with its concrete walls and violent struggles. So I was overjoyed to find a beautiful landscape waiting for me, with cliffs, glens, moors and everything in between. I’m not done exploring yet, and I can’t wait for more.

love northern ireland
Sunset over the east Antrim close near Carnlough

2. The greenness

Now, there are pluses and minuses to the fact that Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle. Of course, the reason the countryside is so green and lush is because it rains – a lot! But the rain makes the countryside so beautiful, and flying down into Belfast airport is always a joy as the green patchwork spreads out before you. OK, so the weather isn’t always that great, but it’s totally worth it. At least for a few days at a time!

love northern ireland
Lough Neagh, Antrim

3. The loughs

Yes, loughs, not lochs. Northern Ireland’s answer to Scotland’s jewels, the loughs are something special. Lough Neagh, Lough Erne, wherever you are there is an expanse of water nearby that sparkles in the summer sun or tosses angrily in the wind and rain. I love to be near water, and you are never far away from it in Northern Ireland.

love northern ireland
Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh

4. The sense of community

We know that the region gets a bad press due to the divisions between communities, and I consider myself neither qualified nor knowledgeable enough to comment on the politics of the province. But my personal experience has been that there is far more of a community spirit in Northern Ireland than anywhere else in the UK. It is made up primarily of small towns and villages, and everybody seems to know everybody else. This gives a friendliness and intimacy that is unlike anything I’ve known having grown up in south-east England, and is very appealing to me.

love northern ireland
Glenarm, Co Antrim

5. The craic

Oh, this is a cliché, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true! Everyone talks about the Irish craic, and there just isn’t a better single word to describe the humour, banter and general good-natured interaction that takes place throughout Ireland as a whole. And Northern Ireland is no exception. I look forward immensely to my trips over there because I know that there will be plenty of laughter, even in the most serious of situations. It does pay not to take yourself too seriously, though!

love northern ireland
Giant’s Causeway, north Antrim coast

Have you been to Northern Ireland? What did you enjoy the most? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Jill, and I'm a British blogger who has been travelling for two decades, visiting more than 70 countries on 6 continents. I love to travel both solo and with groups, and to discover the cultures and peoples of the countries I visit. And I love to share a good story or two along the way!


  • Danijela WorldGlimpses

    Oh, you’ve explained it so well – what’s there not to like! I’m always stunned by the landscapes of Ireland, so breathtaking! Still haven’t been and always feel even more impatient when I read something like this! 😀 Thanks!

  • Ketki

    Emerald Isle in real sense of the term. Looks like a must visit place for raw beautiful nature. Beautiful photos.

  • Ana

    Nice post! I have to admit I lived in Ireland for a while and ended up moving out because I could not stand the bad weather 🙁 but you are very right about the landscapes and the greenness, these are stunning 🙂

  • Kristin

    Gosh I would love to visit the countryside of Ireland. Those landscapes are just breathtaking! I look forward to getting a feel for the craic if I ever get to visit.

  • Maria Angelova

    I have never been in the wild of Northern Ireland. Do you know if it’s allowed to camp around the loughs?

    • Jill Bowdery

      You can’t wild camp in Northern Ireland – all the land is privately owned and there are no public access rights. But there are plenty of campsites around the loughs!

  • Marvi

    What a gorgeous place! Everything looks so green, it’s heavenly to the eyes. No wonder you fell in love with Northern Ireland. I’m sure I would too!

  • ada

    Northern Ireland is so beautiful! I was meant to go there last year but I had to change my plans. But its definitely on my list! Looks so calm, green and wonderful!

  • Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate

    Northern Ireland is every bit as beautiful as Ireland but often overlooked, wouldn’t you say? Lovely photos!

    • Jill Bowdery

      I would absolutely say that! People are scared by the politics, but that really isn’t relevant these days. It’s gorgeous, and definitely should be included in a visit to Ireland!

  • Stefinia

    Country Antrim looks beautiful… I would love it for the landscapes and greenery!! Also love being near water and it’s so nice that there are many loughs in Northern Ireland(: …lovely…I love rains too, makes surroundings very beautiful.

  • Eva

    I am headed to Northern Ireland in late September and I can’t wait! Since you’ve been to the Giant’s Causeway, would you recommend it at sunrise or sunset? I am bad at sense of direction and the fact that it is in the north of the island doesn’t really give me a precise clue… when would you argue it’s at its best for photos? Yours looks like a sunset? Thanks!

    • Jill Bowdery

      Yes, I went at sunset. The Causeway faces due north, so it really doesn’t matter, but I’d imagine it would be pretty cold at dawn! Either way though you’ll need plenty of layers and rain gear in September, but you’ll have a great time!!

  • John Oyston

    Excellent visitor’s eye view of the region. I have shared it on 100 Days Out in Northern Ireland, which has more ideas of great places to visit.

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