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Northern Ireland not as popular with tourists?

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Northern Ireland not as popular with tourists?

I am noticing on these forums that most travelers (myself included) seem to be doing more traveling in the Republic of Ireland as opposed to Northern Ireland. I desperately want to see the north, but time simply does not permit it during this trip. For you Ireland natives, I am just curious to know your thoughts on this. Are there just fewer attractions in the north? From the pics I've seen online, there are so many beautiful places (Antrim is absolutely gorgeous). I actually have a huge canvas print of The Dark Hedges above my fireplace.

So is there less tourism in the North? If so, why?

Dublin, Ireland
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1. Re: Northern Ireland not as popular with tourists?

I think that on Tripadvisor much of N.I. is covered under the U.K. 'banner' - Go into the European forums and scroll down to the UK - select say Belfast and you should turn up info on that part of Ireland

Tralee, Ireland
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2. Re: Northern Ireland not as popular with tourists?

It would be a shame if you missed the chance to travel to the North. There is a lot to see and it's full of historic sites. www.discovernorthernireland.com/… The NI section of the UK forum has very helpful contributors.

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3. Re: Northern Ireland not as popular with tourists?

Are there just fewer attractions in the North?

No of course not, its just a lot smaller!! 6 counties as opposed to 26.

There are as many attraction in the North as there are in any six counties in the Republic.

Also, as said, anyone just going North posts in the UK forum.

Dublin, Ireland
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4. Re: Northern Ireland not as popular with tourists?

Perhaps more people would go if Tripadvisor did not contrive to hide its existence with some sort of political point scoring policy.

Magherafelt, United...
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5. Re: Northern Ireland not as popular with tourists?

NI is naturally rich with tourist attractions boasting 8 areas of outstanding natural beauty and a wealth of events. See www.whatsonni.com.

Rye, United Kingdom
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6. Re: Northern Ireland not as popular with tourists?

I haven't seen much of NI, but I went to Marble Arch Caves and the area around it was breathtaking :) Popped to Enniskillen as it was close also. I would love to visit Antrim coast, perhaps exploring NI should be next in my agenda.

Huntsville, Alabama
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7. Re: Northern Ireland not as popular with tourists?

Spent most of our last trip in NI and the northern parts of Ireland (just over 2 weeks in Sept/ Oct 2011)and loved it so much, it will also be the focus of our next trip....which is at the 17 night mark so far! :-) As suggested earlier, the NI forum has much more posted by people traveling in the area and of course the Donegal forum here.

Co. Kildare
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8. Re: Northern Ireland not as popular with tourists?

akandal, I don't think there is less tourism in Northern Ireland. It's just that there may be fewer overseas visitors and from Europe. And unfortunately history very likely has something to do with that.

Northern Ireland is beautiful and has so much to offer and I find the people in general very friendly.

The Antrim coast is probably the best known area of Northern Ireland but the Sperrin Mountains are wonderful, too. One of my favourite spots is Beaghmore up in the Sperrins, a site comprising several stone circles. Every time we were there we were the only visitors. How wonderful to have this fantastic place to yourself! Sshh, don't tell anyone...

As already pointed out, Northern Ireland is listed on the UK forum so that's why there aren't that many posts dealing with the six counties on the Ireland forum. Posters do try to help as much as possible but sometimes it's easier to direct the OP to the appropriate forum via the UK forum.

We take day trips up north from our house and we have visited many spectacular places and discovered some lesser known spots. Every trip was enjoyable and memorable.

Maybe sometime in the future you will be able to visit Northern Ireland. I don't think you'll be sorry.

Edited: 20 March 2013, 22:57
Whitney, Texas
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9. Re: Northern Ireland not as popular with tourists?

i'm not a native but a most fortunate traveler to ireland and i say, as others have pointed out, if you go to the northern ireland forums you'll see plenty of good ideas for visiting them someday...it is beautiful with a great deal to offer....

it's not likely people from the republic of ireland will recommend it over their own country anymore than they would recommend say scotland, france, england, etc.....i hope you do get to visit it sometime, it won't be wasted time for sure....

North Coast, N...
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10. Re: Northern Ireland not as popular with tourists?

Tarry - definitely do come further north:)

Tamillar - hopefully next time!!

The Northern Ireland forum is actually fairly quiet so I think tourists tend to be people coming for a weekend break to Belfast (so tend to not ask too many questions as they are covering the basics) or people who include a few days up north as part of an Ireland trip. We definitely don't get as many international tourists as the likes of the Killarney area or Dublin but we get an awful lot more than we would have done 10 years ago - and yes the history has had an influence on that.

As others have commented, there is a lot of positivity on this forum towards people including Northern Ireland/Donegal but time restraints tend to mean that it is not often covered on a first trip and people have to prioritise their "must sees" so quite often if something has to give, logisticially it will make sense for the extreme northern area to be dropped:(

PS - I'm editing so going to run out of time but second the Beaghmore Stone Circles recommendation. I visited it a few years ago and was telling people at work about it, and got nothing but blank looks. Even within Northern Ireland, that site is not well known....fingers crossed it stays an off the beaten track one!

Edited: 21 March 2013, 07:39