About Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of four countries in the United Kingdom (UK). It is situated in the northeast of the island of Ireland and it shares it’s border with the Republic of Ireland which lies to the south and west.
Northern Ireland is composed of six of the nine counties of Ulster. These are Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone. The terms Northern Ireland, “The North”, Ulster and “The Six Counties,” are all used to describe this small, fertile and beautiful land.
In 2011, Northern Ireland’s population was estimated at 1.8 million constituting about a third of the island’s total inhabitants and about 3% of the population of the UK.
Northern Ireland Weather
The Northern Ireland Weather is considered very changeable, however it has a mild climate.
Northern Ireland’s Main Cities
Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and also the largest city. Historically, Belfast has been a center for Irish linen, tobacco production, rope-making and shipbuilding. Harland and Wolff, Belfast’s main shipbuilders, built the Titanic which sank with the loss of 1503 passengers and crew on 15 April 1912 after striking an iceberg.
Londonderry, which lies on the west bank of the River Foyle, is the second largest city in Northern Ireland. With two large shopping centers and numerous shop packed streets, the city is the north west’s premier shopping district. The weakness of the pound sterling in recent years has made border towns such as Derry attractive to shoppers from the Republic of Ireland.
Northern Ireland’s Countryside
The main reason to see Northern Ireland is the magnificent countryside.
The Glens of Antrim which are designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty, are home to wooded glens, sandy beaches, coniferous forests and picturesque villages.
The Mourne Mountains, situated in County Down in the south-east of Northern Ireland, are the most famous mountains in the country. They were made famous in the Percy French song “sweeping down to the sea” and they boast some of the most spectacular scenery in the United Kingdom.
The Giant’s Causeway is the jewel in the crown for Northern Ireland tourism. It is situated in County Antrim on the northeast coast, just a few miles from the quaint town of Bushmills. Is was formed by an ancient volcanic eruption after which the resulting lava was subjected to accelerated cooling. The Giant’s Causeway is owned and managed by the National Trust and it is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland – A Place to visit!
Today Northern Ireland seems re-energized and relaxed. The capital is bustling with activity. It has an exciting nightlife and an excellent culinary scene. Meanwhile Londonderry has made history after winning its bid to be the first ever UK City of Culture. In 2013 the city will play host to a year long celebration of culture, opening its doors to visitors from around the world.