Ulster in Pictures 9 counties 9 pictures
Ulster is the Northern provence of Ireland and although it is used to describe the 6 counties under British rule this is incorrect as Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal are part of the Irish republic. The 9 counties of Ulster have many beauty spots some of them very well known such as the Giants causeway but we will try to feature less know yet fantastic spots within each of the counties.
Everybody knows the Burren in Co Clare but there is a Burren area in Cavan as well. There is limestone Plateau in West Cavan on the slopes of the Cuilcagh mountains, It has a contrasting landscape with woodlands mountains and open terrain and there are a number of neolithic sites on in the area. Click for more details on the Cavan Burren. Cavan is noted for its Drumlins(hills) rivers and lakes and many people enjoy taking a cruise on the Erne or kayaking on the rivers. Cavan has always being a favourite destination for Fishermen both domestic and foreign and if fresh water fishing is your sport of choice Cavan is the perfect destination.
Lough Muckno is a lake beside the town of Castleblaney in County Monaghan. The terrain here is Drumlin hills and valleys which leads to many lakes and rivers being formed, the best way to explore these regions is on the water and I would highly recommend a canoe trip. Monaghan is also the heartland of country music and is the home of Philomena Begley and Big Tom, For festivals events and all things country Monaghan is the place to go. For further details of things to do and places to visit contact the Monaghan tourist office.
Armagh is widely known as the Orchard of Ireland and is fantastically beautiful when the orchards are in full bloom. Moving through the seasons the orchards hold a different beauty from autumn colours to bare trees with a coating of frost or a sprinkling of snow in the winter. For information on things to do and places to visit in Armagh contact the Armagh visitor information centre.
County Down is a stunningly beautiful county and the Mourne mountains are the jewel in the crown.The Mourne mountains are a designated area of outstanding natural beauty and have been proposed as the first national park in Northern Ireland. They are particularly beautiful in the Autumn months when the heather has a purple colour creating an almost surreal vista. The Mourne mountains Fantastic place to go hiking and camping and walking the Mourne wall is a challenge for any hill walker or mountaineer. Enjoy but do be prepared for the elements! For more information on places to visit and thins to do in Down contact the Newcastle visitor information centre.
Antrim is the best known of all the counties in Norther Ireland and for good reason. It is home to the Giants causeway a natural attraction of 40,000 interlocking bassalt columns, This was formed 60 million years ago when molten lava cooled quickly and contracted to form this unusual landscape or it was formed by Finn Maccoole in a row with a Scotish Giant. The Antrim coastline is Stunning and in my opinion the coastal stretch between Ballintoy and the causeway is one of the most beautiful places in all of Ireland. Today we have chosen to put up a picture of the Glens of Antrim. There are 9 glens carved into the Antrim landscape by glaciers during the last Ice age, the landscape is stunning and the area is steeped in history. For more information on where to visit and what to do in Antrim contact the Antrim visitor information centre
Derry is famous for the city of Derry and its walls and there is no doubt that the city is a great place to visit but like all counties in Ireland the landscape is beautiful. Derry has beautiful green landscape and the Sperrin mountains stretch across county Tyrone and Derry and is perfect for hill walking. The coastline of Derry also holds some fantastic surprises, Downhill strand also known as Benone strand is a fantastic beach stretching for seven miles along the coast. Click for more information on what to do in Derry .
Donegal has stunning scenery everywhere you look, for me it is the most under rated county in the whole of Ireland. It is home to the highest sea cliffs in Europe, Slieve league is three times higher than the Cliffs of Moher and the views are stunning. It has mountains sandy white beaches and green lush countryside contrasting with the boglands along the mountain ranges. Glenvagh national park is stunning a perfect place to spend a few days hiking. Pictured above is Silver stand Malinbeg. Click for more information on where to visit in Donegal
Like five of the counties in Northern Ireland Tyrone touches the banks of Lough Neagh Ireland and England’s biggest lake and ranking 31 on the list of largest lakes in Europe. It also has the Sperin mountains cutting through the county creating stunning vistas and providing an excellent destination for out door enthusiasts. for more information on where to visit in Tyrone contact any of the tourist offices in the relevant areas.
The Fermanagh landscape is dominated by water with the river Erne dissecting the county and forming two spectacular lakes the upper and lower Lough Erne. This is perfect territory for those who like to explore the country on its waterways. Another fantastic feature in Fermanagh is the Marble Arch Geo park which is now a Unesco designated site.
For fantastic landscapes and as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts from walkers to Kayakers or for the sightseeing visitor or for cruising on the rivers and Lakes Ulster offers the perfect destination. It is not as popular as other areas of Ireland with oversees visitors but in my humble opinion it is a destination with unspoiled landscapes friendly people and the possibility of an experience that will stay with you forever. To get a taste of Northern Ireland you coud do our Belfast day trip or our Giants causeway tour