The Engaging Ireland Podcast

Providing travel tips, guides to places of interest, interviews and all things Ireland – Hosted by Travis and Kathy Nelson

Ep. 28 -Part 2- Northern Ireland and Donegal Top 10

Section of the walls of Derry

7. The Walls of Derry (or Londonderry) – http://www.derryvisitor.com/

  • A good parking location is in the garage for the shopping mall, which is next to the Tourist Information office, then you can walk through the mall to get to the wall walk.
  • Costs about £1 an hour for parking.
  • Plaques and signs are located all around the walls to tell you the story of Derry and its history.
  • Places to make sure and visit as you walk the walls:
  • St. Columba’s
  • St. Augustine’s
  • Tower Museum
  • We spent about 6 hours in Derry, just walking the walls, visiting the places we mentioned, and talking to people.
  • If you’d like to do more of the walking tours (like the Bogside and Waterside walks) we’d recommend staying overnight in the area and allowing one full day or even two days for Derry.
  • You can pick up informational brochures and contact information about the city and the walks at the TI. You can also catch hop-on-hop-off bus tours out in front of the TI.
  • Derry has been named a U.K. City of Culture for 2013, so some special events are being planned in the area that might influence your travel plans.  This is also possibly the reason that so much of the city is currently under construction right now (they’re sprucing it up for the influx of tourists in 2013).

View from the top of Slieve Donard

8. Newcastle and the Mourne Mountains

  • Newcastle makes a great base for walks in the Mourne Mountains.
  • It’s a beautiful seaside town with good accommodation, beautiful views, and some of the best food we had on our trip.
  • There are multiple walks easily accessible within a short distance of the town.
  • Trail head to Slieve Donard (the highest peak in NI) and/or Slieve Commedagh (the 2nd highest) is accessed right in town at a city park (Donard Park, in fact).
  • This link on the Walk NI site shows the route we took to the top of Slieve Donard: http://www.walkni.com/Walk.aspx?ID=344
  • Be sure to look at all the great walks on walkni.com.  They’ve got lots of great walks for all still levels, including many in the Mournes.
  • If you’re planning to walk in the Mournes, also be sure to stop by the TI in Newcastle, as they have a lot of resources about hiking in the Mournes (we missed out on this while we were there, and really wish we’d stopped by to pick up some of the walking information that they have there).

Falls in Glenariff Forest Park

9. Glenariff Forest Park

http://www.dardni.gov.uk/forestservice/index/publications/forest-parks-and-drives/glenariff-forest-park-leaflet.htm

  • Glenariff has great walks (four, ranging in length between .5 miles and 5.5 miles), amazing scenery, including waterfalls, gardens, fern dells, forests and sea views.
  • Opening Hours – Open every day of the year from10.00 am until sunset.
  • Admission – Charges are displayed at the entrance to the Park. Not really a charge to get in the park, but a charge to park once you’re there. It’s disc parking.
  • Services:
  • Caravanning and Camping Sites.
  • Picnic and Barbecue areas, as well as a café/tea shop and gift shop.
  • Toilets.
  • Way-marked Trails.
  • Horse riding routes.
  • Guided Tours (bookable by organized groups).
  • Disabled facilities.

Mount Stewart House and Garden

10. Mount Stewart House and Gardens

http://beta.nationaltrust.org.uk/mount-stewart/

  • Located southeast of Newtownards on the shore of Strangford Lough.
  • The estate came to its current name in 1744 when Alexander Stewart purchased the property, which was then known as Mount Pleasant
  • The work on the house, as it looks now, began in 1804
  • The gardens in their current form are mostly due to the work of the Edith, Lady Londonderry, and the current owner of the house, Lady Mairi Bury.
  • While the house is interesting, the gardens are truly something special.  They include:
  • Sunken Garden
  • Shamrock Garden
  • Spanish Garden
  • Peace Garden
  • Mairi garden
  • Dodo Terrace (sculptures)
  • Italian Garden
  • Lake Walk
  • Tir Nan Og
  • Burial ground for the family
  • Rock Walk
  • Ladies’ Walk
  • Rhododendron Hill
  • The Lily Wood
  • Temple of the Winds
  • Built overlooking Strangford Lough
  • Commissioned in 1782
  • This building only open on Sundays 2-5 pm
  • Be sure to check the schedule on their website before you go
  • If they’re hosting a big event – say, a classic car show on Father’s Day Sunday – the grounds will be overrun by throngs of visitors.  Make sure that you’ll be able to truly enjoy this amazing house and garden.
  • General hours of the property are 10-6/House hours 12-6
  • Admission is £7 adult/£3.50 Child/£17.50 family
  • No extra cost for house tour, which takes about 45 minutes
  • To go on all the walks and see all the gardens, you’d need at least ½ a day, if you’re a quick walker

Flyfishing in Fermanagh

Bonus: Fishing the Lakes of County Fermanagh

  • Tudor Farm Country House B&B (http://www.tudorfarm.com/) Near Kesh – just to the east of Boa Island) Proprietors: Sam & Anne McCreery – arranged our fishing guide for us before we arrived and also packed us a lovely lunch.
  • We were very lucky in that we got an extremely knowledgeable guide who was great to talk to. He made the day fun, when it otherwise might have just been dreary, windy and wet.
  • This day highlights a tip that we would give to our listeners…find the things that you like to do or would like to learn to do, and then do those things in Ireland. The day was made that much more special because we were learning something new in such an amazing place.  So, learn to fly fish, to surf, to sea kayak, to paint, to hand throw pottery, to take better photographs.  Find an Irish expert and schedule a lesson while you’re on your vacation!

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Posted in Podcast 5 years, 6 months ago at 7:52 pm.

2 comments

2 Replies

  1. Dear Kathy & Travis Nelson
    could you tell me where I can find the original of this photograph Ep 28 part 2 Sections of the Walls in Derry
    Thank you
    Ann

  2. Ann,

    Unless otherwise noted, the photographs on our blogs were taken by us on our travels around Ireland and Northern Ireland. :-)


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