The Wonders of Ulster

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Malin-Head, Inishowen, Donegal:
Malin-Head something of rare and rural beauty. You can climb Banba’s Crown and be standing at the most Northern point in Ireland and guess what? It’s not even in Northern Ireland, logic. On a windy day you’ll be graced with the Atlantic slamming against the cliffs, on a calm day you might be in luck to see some basking sharks. On a clear night? You could be greeted with the Aurora Borealis, better known as the Northern Lights. Perhaps this natural phenomenon is what enticed the cast of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, to film upon it’s fields. So climb up to the top of those mountains, buy a packet of dulse (Atlantic Seaweed, tastes nothing like crispy seaweed and everything like a mouthful of ocean) along the way and be truly at one with nature.

Clonmany Festival, Inishowen, Donegal:
This August is the 50th Clonmany Festival, and I for one have spent many a childhood frequenting there. It’s the site of my first ever ‘underage’ disco, and yes it probably did look every bit like those underage Kent memes going around. It was the beginning of a never ending tirade of Irish lads making Rihanna jokes about my name. At these underage discos a ‘junior festival queen’ is voted in. As for the title of ‘Festival Queen’, this is a group of ladies sponsored by local businesses i.e. Hotels, shops & pubs, and is taken seriously but also great craic. With fairground rides and headline acts such as Nathan Carter, a firm favourite I recommend you listen to Nathan Carter’s Wagon Wheel this St. Patricks Day. There’s no better family orientated festival out there.

Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh:
This is one for you history buffs. Travel through three centuries of Irish emigration, with over 30 buildings there’s no better place to get a feel for the Ireland of old. With live actors you can get fully immersed no matter what your age is! Get dressed up in clothing that places you in the 18th Century, have your picture taken and wait for said picture to be brought out again and again at all family occasions possible… not that I’m talking from experience.

Game of Throne’s Tour & Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills:
Whilst Game of Thrones does have some more exotic locations, you can’t deny that Northern Ireland has become one of the most used filming locations. At just £35 you can take a day tour around ‘Castle Black’ aka Magheramorne, the grounds of Castle Ward – better known as ‘Winterfell’ and ‘The Stormlands’ are to name but a few of the beautiful sites you can visit on this tour. Even if you’re not a GoT fan, take in the sights of Giant’s Causeway the most mythical place on this tiny little island.
Giant’s Causeway will take your breath away; legend has it the columns were made by an Irish Giant (Fionn). Science tells us it’s due to an ancient volcanic eruption but who cares about science when you can believe in giants?

Rianna Julian
(Image:Rianna Julian)

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