Belfast & NI

skinny

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#1
Anybody been? I'm going in '16. The Crum, black taxi tour, and the Titanic museum are already on the itinerary. Recommendations from experienced posters would be appreciated, as well as any links you know of.

PS, I'll be driving myself around Ireland.
 
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#2
skinny said:
Anybody been? I'm going in '16. The Crum, black taxi tour, and the Titanic museum are already on the itinerary. Recommendations from experienced posters would be appreciated, as well as any links you know of.

PS, I'll be driving myself around Ireland.
Haven't been there for a while. Things have changed a bit but don't think its safe for you to go to the Shankill Road or other Loyalist areas unless its part of a tour.

I have to run now and will likely be offline for a week but will come back with some suggestions.
 

titch

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#3
ramon is off to paint the Shankill Road emerald green
 
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#6
titchagain said:
Sadly not.

I wouldn't mind giving them a history lesson though that the contemporary Pope supported King Billy and a Te Deum Mass was celebrated in the Vatican after news of the Battle of the Boyne came through.

The Presbyterian Apprentice Boys of Derry shut the City gates in the face of King James army and suffered 105 day siege in defence of their Civil & Political Liberties. They then lost both under the Anglican Rule of King Billy.
.
 

skinny

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#7
Best ancient heritage sites in NI? I'm going to stroll over Mt Sandel in Derry city, but what else should I go see?
 
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chris138

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#8
I've been quite a few times. I would suggest :-

Ulster Museum
Crumlin Road Jail

Have you tried a trip to the beautiful Glens of Antrim?
 

MsFortology

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#10

skinny

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#11
Ta Chris, I've heard the Antrim coast road is a very special ride. I'm driving, so I'll be on that on my way round to the causeway. I'm also developing my knowledge of the holy Game of Thrones circuit to hunt down in your digs which incorporates some moody woods and lakes. The Slemish looks fascinating. It will balance out my quest for high peaks in Donegal (Glenveigh Park and Mt Eregal(?). I've also got the Annals of Ulster sites in my sights.

I feel like I'm there already. Got three alternative itineraries for my holiday already, and they get better every time I get time to play with them. I was going to try to "do" the entire isle in three weeks and decided that was destined to stress. In the north, I'm now going to do two main legs and stay 3-5 days in each place to just give meself time to get to know the country. I'm 4 nights in Belfast doing day trips, and three nights in Derry not moving far from the pub. ;)

I've slashed the full west coast thing until another visit, although I will be in Clare for a bit and will dash to the coast for those awesome views. I need to reconnect with my Munster roots ~ Leamaneh Castle (Mary the Red is one of our old people), the Burran, Bunratty et al. Got a wee cattle shed with a fireplace booked for 3 nights just outside Corofin. That'll be the ahhhh breathe out after slugging them down in Dublin for the first week.
 
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skinny

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#12
I find Inch Abbey quite magical. It's definitely one of the old and magic places. I believe there's been something there for centuries before the Abbey.
http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/Inch-Abbey-Downpatrick-P2876
Oh and you can drive past the Rihanna Tree
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-21503200
I like to think years from now people will speculate on who Rihanna was...
Thanks, MsFort. Will look into those place names. Are you a native, or a visitor?
 

MsFortology

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#13
A blow-in! I married a native. I've lived on the Tyrone-Donegal border briefly (working in Derry) and now live in North Down.
After I posted last night I remembered a weird thing that happened to us last year when we tried to have a picnic at Inch Abbey. We overshot the quite obvious turning. Didn't think much of it so turned around. Missed it again. All in all we missed it three times. We decided we were being "nudged" away in the end in the best Fortean fashion. Who knows what would have happened if we'd made it?
 

skinny

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#14
Interesting. I'll be trucking briefly over to Drumquin where my Mum's people came from, so I'll check out the Abbey on that jaunt. If you have any more insider info come to mind, please do tell. Thanks for your advice.
 

skinny

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#15
In a recent doco (posted in the conspiracy thread on NI - The Secret Peacemaker) Brendan Duddy was shown retiring from his dark diplomatic activities to a kind of fort / ampitheatre which I assume must be close to Derry. He said he took great comfort in disengaging and "running" to this place frequently for some revival of spirits and for solitude which helped him get through some of his toughest periods in the Troubles. I'm wondering if anyone has any idea what it is and where it is. I'd like to add it to my list of sights to spend time at while I'm there next year.
 

skinny

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#16
Found it - Grianán Ailigh

Located just across the river from Derry in Donegal; "a stone ringfort, thought to have been built by the Uí Néill in the sixth or seventh century" Source: Wiki
Apparently mostly destroyed by my own ancestors around the 12thC and rebuilt in the 19th. I wonder how much of the reconstruction was original in style and how much original structure remains. (ed: actually the wiki has all the details)


Lovely! I'll be across the river a bit more now. I was aiming to spend a few days in a self-catering cottage up near Gortahok, but slashed that from the itinerary due to lack of time.
 
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Odradek

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#21
From rural Co Derry, went to Uni in Coleraine, live in Belfast now.

Any questions, fire away.
 

skinny

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#22
Great to have you on the thread, Odradek.
1. Don't know if you've been to Mt Sandel in Derry city before, but would love to hear about what's actually there now. A few years ago I searched online in vain. Google shows only a cul-de-sac with an info board at the end. No car park, no tourist centre. I marveled at that, given that it's one of the most important sites on the island, being the oldest human occupation site so far found - c8000BC. It might be that there's nothing much to look at apart from the mounds. The hearths excavated earlier on have probably vanished now. I'm very interested in those earliest human experiences with the land and environment.

2. Is Letterkenny as bad as they say?

3. What's to do in Coleraine apart from study and drink? It looks a beautiful town.
 

Odradek

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#23
Hi,

Mount Sandel is actually in Coleraine. The area is sort of called Mount Sandel so there are houses etc there, I'm not entirely sure if there is any sort of historic site that is marked.

But yeah very interesting, it's where people first lived in Ireland. But then Co Derry always is ahead of its time.

Haven't spent a lot of time in Letterkenny. It's OK. You might as well go to Derry city instead though.

I went to school in Coleraine for 7 years. Then went to uni there for a year. I can honestly say it is best avoided. Only thing it's good for is local shops.

There isn't a pub in the whole town I would visit and often when you're out walking in town there's someone with a loudspeaker telling you that you are going to hell. There is nice cafes though.

About two miles away is Portstewart. Lovely beach (Game of Thrones filmed there) Bit of a quiet town but good bars and ice cream etc on the Promenade. This is where everyone in the area goes for a night out. The restaurant on the beach has also been voted best in Ireland recently.

Portrush is not far off. You have to go there to visit the Harbour complex. Four or five restaurants in one building all serving great food cheap. Go at lunch an you'll get the same stuff you would at dinner at half price. Bar there is nice, but Portrush in general is a bit rough.

All three of the towns Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine are in a triangle and very close to each other.

I'd advise staying in Portstewart (Cromore Halt) and going into Portrush for the Harbour, Giants Causeway is close as is Carrick a rede ropebridge (game of Thrones again) and the ruins of Dunluce Castle.

I'll have a think about older sites.
 

skinny

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#24
Oh, I thought the site was in Derry city. Thanks for correcting me there.

A lot of fundo quackery in Coleraine? Thanks for the heads up. I'll skip it on your rec. wasn't going to be touring that coast as I'll be travelling up through Omagh to get to Derry. I'll be going to the causeway and Dunluce on a day trip out of Belfast. Well, that's the itinerary as it stands now. Plans will evolve as advice and knowledge flow in.

Thanks for the tips on the other towns. I will have a dozen more questions leading up to the trip. Good to know there are locals posting here. The more the better. Go raibh maith agat.
 

skinny

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#25
Looks like I'll be up for the trip this year after all the shenanigans of last year. Just researching Dublin and Roscommon (for the Morrigan site) and west Clare.


léiríonn go bhfuil amhrán an croí domhain ar amhránaíocht agus ceol na hÉireann.
 

skinny

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#26
Any Dubs awake tonight might make me happy with some advice on The Liberties. I'll be staying at the Ashling, heading south for breakfast and after at St James Gate and The Gravity Bar for more than one, I'll be making my way down to Arthur's for the rest. Not going to do the Temple Bar and Trinity thing until next time I visit the emerald isle. I want the west Dublin residential experience for a day. Not the rubberneck's tour of shallow shite. Give me info on the local scene, please.
 

skinny

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#27
This is my new desktop for 2016. 6 people engaging with technology and 2 with the view. Sign o the times.

 

skinny

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#28
Shame the Brit/Loyalist weeds wouldn't come to the party with a historical centre for the Kesh. It is needed.

 
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#29
Any Dubs awake tonight might make me happy with some advice on The Liberties. I'll be staying at the Ashling, heading south for breakfast and after at St James Gate and The Gravity Bar for more than one, I'll be making my way down to Arthur's for the rest. Not going to do the Temple Bar and Trinity thing until next time I visit the emerald isle. I want the west Dublin residential experience for a day. Not the rubberneck's tour of shallow shite. Give me info on the local scene, please.
In the Liberties, there is of course St Catherines Church outside of which Robert Emmett was executed. You won't be too far from Kilmainham Prison Museum either. When are yiu coming to Dublin? how Long?

Have to run now but more later.
 

skinny

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#30
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Dunno which gave out first. My keyboard or my patience. Fuck technology and god bless it all at the same time.

RM, I'll be there in September. My first Guinness will be at The Gravity, St James Gate. Second, and many subsequent, will be at Arthur's in The Liberties. It would be a privilege to share a glass or two with you, my man.
 
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