Northern Ireland is a great place to visit on a Christmas break. Whether you’re heading there for an early December getaway or you’re planning to spend Christmas the whole Christmas there the country has a lot of offers for visitors looking for a relaxed wintery getaway in the North of the UK.
Northern Ireland is famed for its Gaelic hospitality and you’re always guaranteed a warm welcome wherever you go in the country be it a lodge, restaurant or pub. The country is in one of the colder parts of the UK but that just means you’ve got more excuses to head to a pub with a roaring fire, grab a pint of Guinness and eat some hearty, ale stew.
If you’re looking for a rugged, hearty holiday with your partner or family a Christmas break in Northern Ireland is a must. You can experience the wonders of nature, brave the elements and end your days eating great food by a roaring fire. Below we’ve listed 4 reasons why we think Northern Ireland is a great Christmas holiday destination.
3 reasons Northern Ireland is the ideal destination for a Christmas break
There’s loads to do in Northern Ireland during the winter months and you won’t be short of things to experience when you visit in December. If you’re planning a winter trip to the country make sure you check out these 4 things to do:
Belfast is lovely in the winter
Belfast is Northern Ireland’s capital city. The home of the Titanic, CS Lewis and Liam Neeson, it boasts a rich history of culture and industry.
The Belfast docks are a marvel to behold. You can still visit the docks that built the Titanic and the accompanying museum is a popular tourist attraction. If you’re looking for Christmas magic you can also go to CS Lewis Square in the city. The author, who is famous for writing The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, has a square dedicated to himself in the city.
The square contains many brass statues of his most famous creations and is a must visit attraction in the winter months (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is a very Christmassy book after all).
The historic city has Georgian, Victorian and modern architecture and its atmospheric buildings lend themselves to exploring in the snow. You can spend hours uncovering hidden streets and bars in the warrens of the city before you decide to settle down to eat in a classic pub.
If you’re looking for a winter city break with a bit of a difference Belfast is definitely a city that should make your short list.
The dramatic Irish countryside looks great covered in snow
Head out of Belfast and the rugged and beautiful Irish Countryside stretches out before you. Famed for its stark coastline and sites like The Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede the country also has many beautiful inland attractions and walks for those looking to get their boots dirty.
The Mourne Mountains are Northern Ireland’s main mountain range and the stunning vistas and windswept peaks have inspired many painters and poets. The mountains look especially beautiful in the winter sun or snow and they’re high enough to be a challenge without requiring multiple days of trekking. That makes them perfect for a winter day trip before you retreat back to the warmth of a pub fire.
If hillwalking isn’t your thing you can ramble around the Glens of Antrim. The 9 glens often referred to as “the Glen” each have their own unique charm and topography. The valleys consist of lakes, tumbling waterfalls, forest trails, and rolling hills. If you only have time to walk one glen this winter make sure it’s Glenariff, the “Queen of the Glens,” which is the most famous of the nine.
If you want a winter break full of brisk, snowy walks then there’s no better place to go than Northern Ireland.
The stately homes on the Ards Peninsula will make you feel like you’re in a Christmassy regency novel
If you want to be transported to Christmases past you must check out the Ard Peninsula. The peninsula is a 30 minute drive directly east of Belfast but in that short time you are transported to a completely different world.
The peninsula is famed for its stately homes and lovely gardens. You can spend multiple days exploring each home and convincing yourself you’ve been transported back in time to a Dickensian or Jane Austen Christmas novel.
Some of our favourite stately homes in the area are: Mount Stewart House & Gardens, Grey Abbey House and Echlinville Manor House.
There’s nothing more Christmassy than an old home and you’ll be spoilt for choice exploring the Ards Peninsula.
Do you need somewhere to stay during your winter visit to Northern Ireland?
If you’re planning a winter visit to Northern Ireland Encore Parcs has holiday caravans to rent and own right on the Ard Peninsula. We Have 3 lovely holiday parks that are open all year round and serve as the perfect bases of operation for discovering all the wintery fun Northern Ireland has to offer.