17 days in Northern Ireland Itinerary

17 days in Northern Ireland Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Northern Ireland Itinerary

Start: Birmingham
Foot + Fly:  2​h 45​min
1
Belfast
— 1 night
Bus:  1​h 45​min
2
Derry
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h
3
Castlerock
— 1 night
bus:  30​min
4
Portrush
— 4 nights
Drive:  15​min
5
Bushmills
— 2 nights
Drive:  15​min
6
Ballintoy
— 2 nights
Drive:  15​min
7
Ballycastle
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
8
Whitehead
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  4​h 30​min
End: Birmingham

1
night
Belfast

Belfast ©
A city with character, Belfast remains a great place for a leisurely exploration, as it is still relatively undiscovered by foreign tourists, who usually opt to visit Dublin instead.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): get engrossed in the history at Museum of Orange Heritage, then admire the masterpieces at Ulster Museum, and then contemplate the long history of Crumlin Road Gaol. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Fri): stroll around Cave Hill Country Park, see the interesting displays at SS Nomadic, then see the interesting displays at Titanic Belfast, then get a sense of history and politics at City Hall, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Belfast Cathedral - The Cathedral Church of St. Anne.

To find where to stay, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Belfast day trip planning site .

Birmingham to Belfast is an approximately 3-hour flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of train and flight. In December, daytime highs in Belfast are 10°C, while nighttime lows are 5°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Enniskillen.

Things to do in Belfast

Museums Historic Sites Parks
Highlights from your plan
Crumlin Road Gaol ©
Crumlin Road Gaol
Cave Hill Country Park ©
Cave Hill Country Park
City Hall ©
City Hall

2
nights
Derry

Derry ©
Ancient yet modern, Derry has a photogenic location on the River Foyle and features a series of historic defensive walls that are the most complete in Ireland.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sat): take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Eugene's Cathedral, get to know the fascinating history of City Walls, and then pause for some photo ops at Hands Across the Divide Monument. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Columba's Church (Long Tower), admire the landmark architecture of Guildhall, and then snap pictures at Peace bridge.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Derry day trip app .

Take a bus from Belfast to Derry in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. December in Derry sees daily highs of 10°C and lows of 7°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to drive to Castlerock.

Things to do in Derry

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
St. Eugene's Cathedral ©
St. Eugene's Cathedral
City Walls ©
City Walls
St. Columba's Church (Long Tower) ©
St. Columba's Church (Long Tower)

1
night
Castlerock

Castlerock ©
Castlerock is a seaside village in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Start off your visit on the 31st (Tue): get outside with Gortmore Viewpoint, then contemplate the long history of Mussenden Temple, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Downhill Beach.

For maps, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Castlerock trip planner .

Getting from Derry to Castlerock by car takes about an hour. December in Castlerock sees daily highs of 10°C and lows of 7°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can go by car to Portrush.

Things to do in Castlerock

Outdoors Historic Sites Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Downhill Beach ©
Downhill Beach
Downhill Demesne & Hezlett House ©
Downhill Demesne & Hezlett House

4
nights
Portrush

Portrush ©
Portrush is a small seaside resort town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, on the County Londonderry border. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Portrush East Strand and Causeway Coastal Walk. There's lots more to do: step into the grandiose world of Dunluce Castle, kick back and relax at Portrush Whiterocks Beach, go for a walk through Portstewart Promenade, and have some family-friendly fun at Goldrush Entertainment Centre.

For traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Portrush sightseeing planning app .

Portrush is very close to Castlerock. In December, daytime highs in Portrush are 10°C, while nighttime lows are 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Bushmills.

Things to do in Portrush

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Portstewart Promenade
Highlights from your plan
Portrush Whiterocks Beach ©
Portrush Whiterocks Beach
Portrush East Strand ©
Portrush East Strand
Dunluce Castle ©
Dunluce Castle

2
nights
Bushmills

Bushmills ©
Bushmills is a village on the north coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): explore the ancient world of Dunseverick Castle, stop by McConaghy's Souvenir Shop, then take in the dramatic natural features at Giant's Causeway, then kick back and relax at Bushfoot Strand, and finally take a memorable drive along Causeway Coastal Route. On your second day here, get lost in a book at Ballymoney Library, delve into the lush surroundings at Portglenone Forest, and then make a trip to Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey Monastery.

To see traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Bushmills online tour planner .

Bushmills is very close to Portrush. In January, daily temperatures in Bushmills can reach 9°C, while at night they dip to 5°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Ballintoy.

Things to do in Bushmills

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Portglenone, Ballymoney Library
Highlights from your plan
Giant's Causeway ©
Giant's Causeway
Causeway Coastal Route ©
Causeway Coastal Route
Portglenone Forest ©
Portglenone Forest

2
nights
Ballintoy

Ballintoy ©
Ballintoy is a small village, townland (of 274 acres) and civil parish in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): get outside with Antrim Coast Road, then take in the views from Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, and then take a leisurely stroll along Ballintoy Harbour. On the 6th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: head outdoors with The Dark Hedges, then contemplate the waterfront views at White Park Bay, and then don't miss a visit to Dunseverick Harbour.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Ballintoy trip planner .

Ballintoy is just a short distance from Bushmills. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Ballycastle.

Things to do in Ballintoy

Outdoors Scenic Drive Nature

Side Trips

Dunseverick Harbour, Antrim Coast Road, The Dark Hedges
Highlights from your plan
White Park Bay ©
White Park Bay
Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge ©
Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge
Dunseverick Harbour ©
Dunseverick Harbour

2
nights
Ballycastle

Ballycastle ©
Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): get great views at Larrybane Quarry, then get a new perspective on nature at The Causeway Coast Discovery Centre, then make a trip to Ballycastle Harbour, and finally take in the exciting artwork at The Puffin Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: kick back and relax at Ballycastle Beach, tee off at Ballycastle Golf Club, steep yourself in history at Torr Head, then get engrossed in the history at Rathlin Boathouse Visitor Centre, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Breakwater Studio.

To find where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Ballycastle trip itinerary planner .

Ballycastle is just a stone's throw from Ballintoy. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Whitehead.

Things to do in Ballycastle

Outdoors Museums Beaches

Side Trips

Rathlin Island, The Causeway Coast Discovery Centre
Highlights from your plan
Ballycastle Beach ©
Ballycastle Beach
Larrybane Quarry ©
Larrybane Quarry
Rathlin Boathouse Visitor Centre ©

2
nights
Whitehead

Whitehead ©
Step off the beaten path and head to Donaghadee Harbour and The Bank House.

To see reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Whitehead trip planning app .

Getting from Ballycastle to Whitehead by car takes about 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 9°C in January, and nighttime lows around 4°C. On the 11th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Whitehead

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Donaghadee, Kilcoan Gardens
Highlights from your plan
Donaghadee Harbour ©
Donaghadee Harbour
The Bank House ©
The Bank House
Templecorran Graveyard ©
Templecorran Graveyard

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