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Devenish Island in Co. Fermanagh. Photo: Chris Hill for Tourism Ireland.

Unleash the Giant Spirit in Northern Ireland

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Tourism Northern Ireland’s tourism campaign, “Unleash the Giant Spirit,” is intended to get visitors excited about what’s on offer in the province.

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Torr Head on the Causeway Coastal Route in County Antrim. Photo: Stephen Barnes, Getty Images.

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There are a number of experiences that can be enjoyed in Northern Ireland at any time of year.

The ones below, however, are being promoted as part of the tourism board's fall campaign.

They include coastal adventures, golfing, historic and literary attractions, water activities, and of course Titanic Belfast, the region’s most popular tourist attraction.

The tourism campaign is based on the idea of Northern Ireland’s “giant spirit,” which is reflected in its people and its culture.

Here are some of the destinations that are being promoted in the “Unleash the Giant Spirit” campaign.d

The Causeway Coastal Route

This 200-mile (321-km) stretch of roadway goes from Belfast to Derry (Londonderry) and includes everything from stunning castles, a collection of unusual basalt rocks, Game of Thrones filming locations, whiskey distilleries, fabulous beaches, and much more.

The beautiful Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland. Photo courtesy of Tourism Northern Ireland.

If you are visiting Northern Ireland, you simply must put this exciting road trip on your itinerary.

Some of the highlights include The Gobbins, the Dark Hedges, the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the nearby Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Bushmills Whiskey Distillery, and Dunluce Castle, to name a few.

Read more: Take a Self-Guided Tour of the Game of Thrones Filming Locations

Want to Play Golf?

While the entire island of Ireland is perfect for golf, there are quite a number of stellar golf courses in Northern Ireland.

In County Down alone, you’ll find three great courses, including the well-known Royal County Down, the Warrenpoint Golf Course, and the Ardglass Golf Club.

The Royal County Down Golf Course. Photo courtesy of Tourism Northern Ireland.

Other favorites include The Royal Portrush in Co. Antrim and Galgorm Castle Golf Course, also in Antrim.

Read More: 10 of the Best Affordable Golf Courses in Ireland

Where Myth Meets Reality

History is ever-present on the island of Ireland but there’s one place where myth and reality come together.

An Iron Age dwelling at the Navan Centre in Co. Armagh, a popular tourist attraction that is among the places suggested by Tourism Northern Ireland's Unleash the Giant Spirit campaign. Brian Morrison Photography. Copyright of Banbridge & Craigavon

The Navan Centre & Fort, located in Co. Armagh was once the ancient seat of kings and the earliest capital of Ulster.

It is considered one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites, with evidence of life going back 2,000 years.

A guided tour reveals the story and the mythology surrounding this interesting place while living history characters invite you to experience life as a Celt and discover how they survived and thrived.

You’ll also learn the stories of Ireland’s most revered mythological heroes, including the mighty Cu Chulainn.

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Northern Ireland’s Literary Great, Seamus Heaney

The Seamus Heaney Homeplace is a must-see on your journey through Northern Ireland.

The museum, located in Heaney’s hometown of Bellaghy, charts the poet's life and his works.

Two Great Cities: Derry and Belfast

The stories of Derry (Londonderry) and Belfast are different in many ways, but both speak to the resilient spirit of the citizens of both great cities.

a high wall unleash the giant spirit
The Derry City walls. Photo courtesy of Tourism Ireland.

Derry’s 17th-century walls are unique since they enclose the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland.

Take a tour of the walls and learn about the city’s history and how the walls were constructed.

While you’re there, you can even take a self-guided “Derry Girls” tour and see the locations where the popular series was made.

Belfast’s claim to fame as Ulster’s industrial powerhouse in the late 19th century was no accident.

The city led the world in ropemaking and the production of linen and tobacco. Its shipbuilding industry was also thriving, with a workforce of around 15,000.

All of these factors were pivotal in Belfast becoming the site for the building of the infamous Titanic.

a large white building unleash the giant spirit
The exterior of Titanic Belfast, the city's most popular tourist attraction. Photo: Titanic Belfast.

At Titanic Belfast the city’s — and indeed Ulster’s — most popular tourism attraction, you’ll learn about the evolution of Belfast as well as that of the ill-fated ocean liner itself.

Another treasure trove of history can be found at the Ulster Museum where there are plenty of ancient and modern history exhibitions that tell the story of how this part of Ireland evolved over the centuries.

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Fermanagh’s Lake Country

Take a boat ride on Fermanagh’s beautiful lakes and you’ll soon find yourself on one of its intriguing islands.

Devenish Island is the site of a sixth-century monastic settlement that contains one of the finest examples of a 12th-century round tower on the island of Ireland.

old buildings what is Fermanagh famous for
The monastic site at Devenish Island in County Fermanagh's Lakelands. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

Within the monastic walls, you’ll find the oratory of Saint Molaise, who established the monastery.

The Devenish monastery became a center of scholarship and learning that was raided by the Vikings in 837 and burned centuries later in 1157.

High Energy Attractions

If high-entry activities interest you, Northern Ireland has plenty to offer.

Some of them include Todd’s Leap, where blindfold driving, ziplining, paintballing, clay pigeon shooting, archery, and more are available.

a man on a bicycle Unleash the Giant Spirit
Biking in the Davagh Forest in Co. Tyrone is one of the activities that Tourism Northern Ireland is promoting in its Unleash the Giant Spirit campaign. Photo courtesy of Tourism Northern Ireland.

Experienced mountain bike enthusiasts should check out the bike trails in Davagh Forest near Cookstown, while high-octane rides and leisurely cycles are both available at the beautiful Blessingbourne Country Estate near Fivemiletown.

All of the attractions above are located in Co. Tyrone.

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