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Posted by on Jun 29, 2011 in Belfast, Festivals, History, Northern Ireland, Q&A | 23 comments

Q & A: Should I Change My Plans to Visit Belfast and Northern Ireland?

I’m going to Belfast this summer. Don’t know whether I should be worried about the recent riots? (note: this article was originally posted in June 2011)

– Tanya Wren via Twitter

I should start by confessing my bias. I love Northern Ireland, so it pains me every time the country gets bad press.

Last week at the same time one of her own was celebrating victory at the US Open, Northern Ireland made headlines as two nights of riots on Belfast’s east side were stealing the spotlight.

Rather than drill down a list of stats illustrating facts like you are more likely to get hit by a bus than get caught up in violence in Northern Ireland or outline how recent events differ from those of the 70s and 80s, I chose to ask people who live in Northern Ireland, people who just visited, and people who will be visiting soon to share their thoughts on the topic.

Hopefully by reading what they have to say, you will either feel confident in your decision to steer clear or find your enthusiasm roused for your trip to a wonderful corner of Ireland.

A special thanks to everyone who volunteered to be included in this post both in words and photos. Feel free to leave your comments at the end.

Life Must Go On

tall ships

The Tall Ships Festival in Belfast. Photo by OlivIreland.

Cindi Callaway is putting the finishing touches on her first Irish itinerary.

I’ve not been to Belfast or any part of Ireland before. The area is so historic, how could I not visit when in Ireland? I have to admit, I’ll be traveling with my sister-in-law who was born in Belfast and she goes back every three years.

I’ve been reading about the riots and violence, and I’m not phased about it. My brother took his honeymoon there during the troubles and continued to go back. I’m not going to let some riots affect my enjoyment of a holiday. I’m from Washington, DC, so I’ve lived with the threat of terrorism my whole life, and life must go on.

I’m excited about the trip. Especially looking forward to seeing the Giants Causeway.

Putting This Part of Ireland on the Map

Students from Bushmills and Portstewart come together in a cross-community project that promotes peace by teaching them how to use a Stand Up Paddleboard.

John Bustard, a SUP’rstar from www.SurfSUPNI.com and fixture in promoting his region of Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast and Glens.

It’s been pretty disappointing for the 99% of the population who are getting on with all this and running great experiences and events and putting this part of Ireland on the map in a positive way!

I think it’s important to put things in perspective. There are always going to be areas (which in context are not exactly centres of tourism) in the US and in Ireland that may not be appropriate for visitors seeking a fun and safe experience.

That said, many folks want to visit somewhere with a little ‘edginess’ in order to make it interesting. I think our social history is appealing, and I think Northern Ireland has come along way in articulating its story in a more positive way. It’s easy to avoid trouble here. Just take the main tours and enjoy the many signature trails available.

Coastal walk at Cushendall. Photo by Christy Jackson Nicholas.

Just be open about your concerns when visiting here – say something like “I’d like to have a fun and safe trip in Northern Ireland – anything going on I should know about?” People are SO honest and friendly (even those with quite polar political opinions!). WE NEED YOU GUYS to continue to believe in us so please keep enjoying the best golf, most amazing scenery, and best experiences in Northern Ireland.

I’ve attached an image from one of our cross community projects – kids from Bushmills and Portstewart hanging out together and learning Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). I’ve been involved in this sort of cross-community stuff for 10 years, and it’s so normal nowadays to see groups coming together that the issues have dissipated on most levels.

So – if your folks are nervous, tell them not to be and just ask good questions on arrival (like I would if I arrived at New York’s Grand Central info point as a greenhorn visitor). Hey, if you’re still nervous – book a paddleboard lesson with me at www.surfsupni.com, and I’ll evacuate you from the beaches if your still a little shook – Is it a deal?!

Not Willing to Risk Becoming an Innocent Bystander

Belfast Montage

The murals of Belfast. Photo by Tony Smith.

Judy Arnold returned from her visit to Ireland last week and she intentionally avoided Northern Ireland on this trip.

As an adult I have no problem visiting Northern Ireland and have done so with my sisters.

However, I did not and will not take my grandchildren into possible harm’s way. Even if tourists are not being targeted, innocent bystanders can be just as harmed or dead.

Second Safest City in the World

crown bar belfast

The Crown Saloon, one of Belfast’s iconic pubs. Photo by Go to Belfast.

Dr. Tim Campbell of the St. Patrick Centre in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, shared his thoughts.

Belfast was recently voted the second safest city in the World after Tokyo. No matter where your visitors are coming from it will be more dangerous to stay at home than come here.

News reports about Belfast always get worldwide attention, but a little disturbance in one street far from the city centre for two nights is hardly worth reporting and has already been forgotten about here. Most cities have areas you’d rather not go to, but Belfast is actually safe in all parts, bar some very rare and isolated incidents like this one.

NO Issues of Feeling Unsafe

Dunluce Castle along the Causeway Coast. Photo by Christy Jackson Nicholas.

Christy Jackson Nicholas just returned home to the US from Northern Ireland with more cherished memories and artwork.

We didn’t stay in Belfast, but we did land at Belfast Airport. There was no indication anything was more militant than anywhere in the US — in fact, it was a lot friendlier than the TSA (Transporation Security Administration) in the US usually is :)!

We had NO issues of feeling unsafe as we stopped in a town near Belfast on our way to points north. We stopped in a mall for some supplies, and I honestly didn’t even stop to think about the fact that we were near Belfast.

The people are friendly and treasure the Irish tradition of hospitality. We had no worries in the small towns at ALL. Even in Derry, a larger town, there were no issues – and this was just a few weeks ago.”

Respect Through Music and Action

Literary Pub Crawl 5

Music session during the Fiddler’s Green Festival in Rostrevor Co. Down, Northern Ireland. Photo by arndt_hoppe.

Kerry Dexter, a frequent visitor to Northern Ireland and a writer at www.musicroad.blogspot.com, appropriately chose music in her reply.

The people of Northern Ireland are warm and welcoming, and as with the rest of the island, history is a living thing. The best piece of advice I can offer is respect. Before you go, listen to the song “There Were Roses” written by Tommy Sands from County Down and sung by Cara Dillon from County Derry… then go, have a great time, and be respectful.

In terms of respect, taking photographs of murals is fine, whatever neighborhood you are in. Taking pictures of people in these areas is often seen as intrusive. Laughing or joking about murals may also be seen as offensive. Taking photos of police stations and PSNI members (police officers) is also not wise as it may put them on edge.

Mountains of Mourne, County Down. Photo by Kerry Dexter © all rights reserved – used with permission.

It’s not necessary, or advisable, to share your opinions about “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland no matter how friendly your companions may be or how many pints you’ve drunk. Most people in Northern Ireland want to get on with their lives.

Yes, tensions may run higher during what’s known as Marching Season in July when the Orange Order host parades, but as mentioned before, most people in Northern Ireland just want to get beyond this.

Republican colors are green, white, and gold; Unionist are red, white, and blue. It can be seen as disrespectful to sport one side’s colors when you are in an area or a pub clearly marked with the colors of one side.

It’s important to remember there is a lot to explore in Northern Ireland, so be sure to take in these songs that celebrate its beauty: Hills of South Armagh sung by Briege Murphy and County Down sung by Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh with Dan.

It Would Be a Shame

Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall. Photo by Iker Merodio.

Moya McAllister, a native New Yorker just returned from Northern Ireland.

I was there in May and had a lovely time both in Belfast & with family in County Down.

There are so many beautiful places to see in Northern Ireland, like the Giant’s Causeway, the rope bridge at Carrick-a-rede, music and dancing in Cushendall (where my parents met), and the Glens of Antrim — especially Glenariff, Queen of the Glens. It would be a shame to let the actions of a small few who won’t let go of the hate, or worse, who use the hate for their own financial ends, drive away much needed tourism. Their bad behavior reflects poorly on the very real, wonderful, warm, lovely people who live in Northern Ireland.

I’d Travel to Northern Ireland Any Day

The 12th of July Parade in Belfast. Photo by Corey Taratuta

Bernd Biege live in the Republic of Ireland and writes About.com‘s Ireland Travel section.

To be honest – I’d travel to Northern Ireland any day. Even watching the parades on July 12th is now big deal these days for visitors.

Northern Ireland’s security situation is complicated – so much so that visitors might be scared away despite only a minimal risk. A risk much lower than the risk of being a traffic victim.

Read more from Bernd in this post >>

Trouble-Free for Nearly 20 Years

Belfast Zoo

Belfast Zoo by Go to Belfast

Joy Harron works with B&B owners in both the Republic and Northern Ireland through B&B Ireland.

Northern Ireland is a very safe destination, it is mainly rural and has been trouble-free for nearly 20 years. Belfast is very safe as well, it has seen a little disturbance in recent weeks but overall is a beautiful Victorian city and well worth a visit.

In Belfast tourists can take scheduled tours of the troubled spots of the past, they are very interesting for people who have an interest in Northern Ireland’s history. This site has further details – www.belfastcitytours.com.

As for safety, the same rules apply for Northern Ireland as do any other destination.

Marches are common around this time of year, but are well-policed by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The Marches can be very interesting for tourists to see, they are part of Northern Ireland’s heritage.

It is All a Matter of Perception

paella for anyone

Paella is one of the wonderful foods served at the Christmas Continental Market in Belfast. Photo by Patrick Conlin 822

Michele Erdvig is the author of Ireland Dream Trip and hosts an Ireland travel forum at www.IrelandYes.com from her home in the US.

Traveling in Northern Ireland or anywhere else is all about “perceived threats”. How do we look at the world around us and what threatens to kill us every day?

Should you avoid a trip to Northern Ireland because you might be blown up? Should you skip that tropical vacation because a tsunami might wash you away? Should you forget about a cruise because the ship might sink? It all depends on your comfort level with those scenarios.

Terrorists use the press to spread their terror. In turn the press inadvertently becomes their tool by concentrating on “newsworthy” events – most of which are negative. Good news is always eclipsed by bad news. The Belfast riots get the headlines on page one; US Open Champion Rory McIlroy’s homecoming to Northern Ireland is buried in the sports section. It is all a matter of perception.

Northern Ireland is a beautiful little corner of the world where I have never once felt threatened. I have just safely returned from a visit. I drove Newtownards Road (where the recent riots occurred). I drove through Belfast. I drove through Derry. I saw no problems, no riots and no terrorists. I wasn’t even accosted by a pickpocket.

The worst thing that happened was that a bird bombed my husband, and I had to clean up the mess! As a tourist I was warmly welcomed by the friendly people of Northern Ireland. I enjoyed the beautiful countryside, the Antrim coast, and a festival at Mount Stewart.

Will I continue to visit Northern Ireland as I have for the past 38 years? My perception is that it is worth the risk. But it is your perception that counts for your trip. Only you can make that decision.

Much Safer Than Any of the Big Cities

Belfast. Photo by Bit Devine

Bit Devine was touring Belfast and Northern Ireland the week of the riots and many of her Ireland photos can be viewed at www.rinconcreekstudios. zenfolio.com.

Our friend who gave us our one-hour whirlwind tour of Belfast, covering all the main points, kept talking about the ongoing riots. He even drove us through where the riots were happening. Much to his dismay, it would seem, there was no action taking place and the area was calm. We were on Falls and Shankill roads taking photos of the murals. We were downtown taking architectural and street scene photos. It was just another day in any large city.

I wish people would understand that anywhere in Northern Ireland is much safer than any of the big cities in the US. I have never felt unsafe anywhere in Northern Ireland whether traveling by myself or with others.

We Fell in Love With the North!

Belfast's Laganside

Fireworks in Belfast. Photo by gotobelfast.

Maura McDonough Shay was in Northern Ireland doing a bit of “research” with her husband who happens to be the chef at McCarthy’s Tea Room in Bethlehem, PA.

We were in Belfast last month for three different days, and I never felt scared. The only time I felt a little uneasy was in Armagh because one of the streets we were walking was so quiet and empty – I was worried maybe we were in the ‘wrong’ part of town. But I was never fearful.

We stayed in Annalong but traveled all over. We loved Downpatrick, Newcastle, Bushmills, and Glenarm. St. George’s Market in Belfast is fabulous! Loved the St. Patrick Centre in Downpatrick and also the Down Museum — so much history!

We fell in love with the North! We want to move there. The people were very friendly and always helpful. We actually liked that it wasn’t as touristy as the Republic.

One of the main reasons we went to Belfast was to meet up with the author Tony Macauley. He wrote a book called Paperboy, about his time as a 12-year-old paperboy in 1975 Belfast. He gave us a tour of the city using the book as a reference. His goal in life is to bring the two sides together. It was a very powerful experience!

I Pictured Things Would Be Different

Border lines and signs

An example of an unmarked border between rural Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Photo by dr_urbanus

Pat Hayes’ accidental trip to Northern Ireland conjured an unexpected reaction among his family from the US.

We chose to play it safe and skip Northern Ireland this trip. We thought we were on a secondary road in County Monaghan when we stopped for gas and found out we crossed the border and didn’t even know it. There were no checkpoints, not even a sign on that road.

I guess we pictured things would be different. Once we were there, my mother, who was the most worried about going to the North, asked, “How far are we from the Giants Causeway?” Unfortunately, we were too far away for a day trip.

A Peaceful City, Proud of Its Heritage

Rolling hills of Northern Ireland. Photo by Sandra Gray.

Sandra Gray from Canada visited the area her father was born and shares photos from the trip at www.aquinnahimages.com.

I was incredibly blessed to travel to Ireland with my dear 80-something dad this time last year. He took me to the ancestral farm where he grew up in Dundonald, Belfast. I had the most incredible trip meeting aunts, uncles, and cousins!

There were many times that I was prompted to consider the “troubles” that had occurred in this region over the years, however, not once did I feel even remotely threatened or unsafe. We even toured the city of Belfast aboard an open-topped double-decker bus, travelling through neighborhoods where extreme violence was rife for many years.

I was thrilled to see Belfast promoting itself as a peaceful city, proud of its heritage, and what it has to offer to tourists the world over. I found the people of Belfast to be kind, warm, friendly, and helpful to say the least. I plan to return many more times to pursue my love of photographing this incredibly beautiful, inspirational country!

Leave Your Comments Below

Your comments are welcome. If you reference a particular statement from above, be sure to note it. And above all, BE NICE :)!

PS – I should note that many of these entries resulted from a call I put out to our Twitter and Facebook followers.

Additional Reading
Northern Ireland Security Situation – About.com
Northern Ireland- A Dangerous Place? – About.com
The Truth About Belfast’s Riots – The Guardian
Conflict and Politics in Northern Ireland – University of Ulster
Belfast Bonfires & Marching Days – Irish Fireside Podcast
About Those Northern Ireland Travel Warnings – Irish Fireside Podcast
BBC Northern IrelandBelfast TelegraphBelfast In Your Pocket

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23 Comments

  1. Thanks for including my comments – I think you covered the question rather well. I grew up in Miami, so danger, riots and violence are simply part of the randomness of life. No place is completely safe, and trying to keep safe is a great way to lose out on a lot of what life has to offer. Northern Ireland is one of the most beautiful, breathtaking places I’ve been, please go and see for yourself!

  2. We were not in NI during the riots, we were in the Republic. We purposely did not go to NI because of the safety issue. At the B&B we stay at there was a guy from NI, we asked him about the riots. He said that was an everyday occurrence. We told him we were too scared to go up, and he laughed and said it was no big deal just get out and start taking pictures!!! Apparently they don’t think it’s any big deal!

  3. Glad you talked about the elephant in the room, Corey. Northern Ireland is a lovely peaceful place and like most of those quoted here, I would go back anytime. I’m more nervous about some places closer to home!

  4. I went to Northern Ireland last year with my mom. We stayed in Randalstown, which had a car bomb explode outside the local P.D. just a week before our trip. I had concerns, but we still went. We wanted to see Belfast & the rest of The North…. The day we arrived in Belfast, we unknowingly drove into a political march. We had concerns, but we chalked it up to the “Belfast scene” and continued on. The rest of the trip was without incident, and we plan to go back to The North in a couple of months. I was more concerned about our safety driving on the M2 & M5 than I was about anything political. lol.

  5. I think Kerry Dexter’s post says it all. (And, incidentally, anything by Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh worth listening to. Wonderful voice and a singer with roots in a real traditional style.)

    • thank you, Felicity. agree completely about Murieann — delighted to see she won the Gradam Ceoil award for singer this year, too.

      • Did you see the presentation of the Gradam Ceoil? I didn’t but I’m told she was looking great and very pregnant, and Brendan Begley, who was presenting the award, took the opportunity to give the (wholly Irish-speaking) audience an Irish lesson. ‘When you meet a woman in Ireland you say “Día dhuit”. When you meet a pregnant woman you say “Día dhíbh”.

  6. I’ve been to Northern Ireland twice. Both times there were supposedly “troubles” happening and both times we had a wonderful time. I felt safe the entire time. People were friendly and places were beautiful. I highly recommend a visit. The Giant’s Causeway is the most amazing thing that I have ever seen.

  7. october 2011 seconed trip to Ireland.. Visited Northern Ireland.Loved it. Beautiful Belfast was awsome as the young ones say. Loved it would love to see again. Had no concerns about saftey. Felt most welcome.

  8. I would just like to add to our comments that I spent 4 years living in Northern Ireland in Coleraine. In all that time I never experienced any trouble or negativity. It was a wonderful experience and I still visit every summer, taking my children to Portrush and Portstewart for their holidays. I also travel to Derry, Omagh and Enniskillen on a regular basis visiting friends and shopping. I would recommend Northern Ireland as a holiday destination to anyone visiting the country.

  9. Northern Ireland is being described as a country now. lol.

    That aside, the North is fine, I would say that tourists there are safer there than the vast majority of American or European cities. Just avoid the loyalists areas and you’ll be fine

  10. Some of the comments are out of touch with reality, sadly. Disingenuous. Comparing Belfast with Tokyo! We are not speaking re the day to day atmosphere and ethos of eg Tokyo, but of an unpredictable, violent and powerful minority bent on causing mayhem . What use saying 99% don’t want this; it is here.

    Also the North is British and that alone means a great difference in culture etc.

    It is not a case of worrying you might be blown up ; and the comparison with the tsunami is rather tactless also.

    Simply of taking care and staying clear. As some very sensible ones have said here; thanks to them.

    We have repeatedly advised friends planning to the North to reroute and they have never regretted it. The Irish experience down here in West Cork is the full Irish

    We moved from a border county last year with great relief; the atmosophere is totally different down south and the ethos also. I would not go back for any money or reason. Sure, there is crime here as there is everywhere. And even here the insanity reaches out from time to time, but not as in the North where it is endemic. Sectarian violence is not always reported in international news and there is not one day when it does not happen.Kids getting their knees shot to piecesl policemen nand car bombs.

    Your choice; but sure; what has the North got that we have not got in greater beauty and abundance here? I had never been further than the midlands until last year and am awed and delighted by the scenery. Keep having to stop the car..

    And fully, totally as irish as the shamrock; the North is a pale imitation and stress is there in abundance. It is in the air and the denials here are just too vehement.

    • Well, call me tactless ;-) but has Sister ever traveled extensively in Northern Ireland or just timidly put her toe across the border for a few shopping expeditions? I would be interested in Sister’s route, what she saw, how long she was there, what she did, and what she has against the “British” and their “pale imitation” of Ireland.

      I read the Irish and Northern Ireland newspapers every day. I even read the small regional papers. If such attacks were constant instead of sporadic everyone in Northern Ireland would be dead or maimed. Rumors, gossip and hysteria always fuel any “tensions” that drift like a miasma over the borders but dissipate before reaching the picturesque midlands. Whether or not to visit Northern Ireland actually IS a case of worrying about personal safety, being blown up or injured. If there was no threat of that would we even be having this discussion?

      The question about whether citizens of Northern Ireland are Irish or British was deftly answered recently by a resident. On CNN Piers Morgan asked golfer Rory McIlroy if he was Irish or British. His answer “I’m Northern Irish.” Mary McAleese – a Belfast-born woman – is currently president of Ireland.

      In the great scheme of things Ireland has and will be a melting pot for many different cultures. Celts, Vikings, Scots, Normans, Anglo-Irish, British, English, European, etc. Does this make Ireland richer or tainted? St. Patrick was an immigrant and foreigner. Ireland’s patron saint was British and “culturally different”! But he made Ireland his own…and Ireland made him a native son.

      Yes, sadly, some are out of touch with reality. Listen to all opinions but make your own decisions. Safe travels everyone!

      Michele Erdvig
      http://www.IrelandYes.com

  11. reading the discussion between Michele and Sister above causes me to add: you really do not know who among the people you meet in the north have been affected by sectarian violence, or how they have been affected. there’s a long and at times quite bloody history in NI and along the border — history that is very often in immediate connection to people you meet. will you need to be worried about your personal safety? most often not. but, to return to the point I made in my section of the article above, respect is a wise place from which to start. respect which includes knowing that you’ll not know every side of every story as you travel through the north.

  12. Tourism Ireland to promote Orange parades in Northern Ireland and encourage visitors to attend the annual demonstrations. They are currently in talks with NI to promote the Twelfth fortnight as an international holiday event. http://t.co/qUqY9LQ

    It’s said a picture is worth a thousand words. These photos of happy people enjoying July 12th prove there is more to Northern Ireland than bombs and bonfires: http://t.co/3iwnxTo

    Hmmmm….I wonder why I didn’t see those photos on CNN? And not a mention in the international news either.

    • Sorry Michele, but it is nonsense to suggest that the Orange marches are a big holiday attraction for everyone here in the north. These marches are still one of the main obstacles to reconciliation and these marches are still used to show Protestant ascendancy. The happy faces only belong to one section of the community; the Protestants. You will not see too many smiling Catholics in attendance.
      That said, the chances of someone on a holiday running into trouble is remote, especially if they stay away from marching routes.

  13. I came upon your blog via the lonely planet website and am fascinated by this post- it’s always interesting to see how others perceive us! As someone who grew up near Belfast, has travelled extensively, and has chosen to make Belfast home again, I must say I am disgusted by the above negative,insular and ill-informed comments from a southerner. As others have pointed out, our city is friendly, vibrant and growing. Well-publicised accounts of trouble never show that it is restricted to a few mostly deprived inner city areas, while the rest of us get on with work, shopping, nights out etc! Please, have a modicum of common sense as in any city and come and help us continue to build on Belfast’s progress!

  14. There is only one thing dangerous in Northern Ireland and that is the “pastie bap”. It’s a collaboration between God and the Devil – God decided to create the most perfect fast food dish on Earth, but the Devil insisted on upping the cholesterol count! Pop into any Belfast chippy and ask for a pastie bap – it may help you to die young, but you will die happy!

    Conscious I may not be portraying the right image for Norn Iron here…! Put it another way, I live in Britain now, and I was genuinely terrified of the riots in England last year when the UK Government stood by and allowed rioters to run rampage over most of the country without any challenge whatsoever. I never felt that way back home, even when trouble was afoot. It is so much safer in Northern Ireland today – don’t let 30 years of troubles from the past cloud your perception of the present! It’s just lazy journalism tagging on baggage which is no longer relevant any time someone shouts “boo” in the north.

    It is a beautiful country, you would be mad – no, foolish – to avoid it! And you have to have a pastie bap…!

  15. I have been to Northern Ireland twice and will be returning soon. I have never felt safer. The people of N. Ireland are the friendliest, kindest and most genuine folk I have ever met. Traveling anywhere in the world is the same, do your homework, decide what you want to see, talk to the locals and heed their advice. There are places in my hometown that I wouldn’t go. Shop where the locals shop, avoid the big tourist malls. Try the local food. Talk to the locals, they love to tell stories and listen to yours. Depending on your timeline, I would avoid the bus tours offered in places like Belfast. Get a walking map and do it yourself and appreciate the area. Belfast Castle was the only disappointment for us. The building itself and the grounds are lovely, but inside it was just business offices.

    I recommend seeing Dunluce Castle and Giants Causeway. Walk the shore in Portstewart. Go to Armaugh and see both St. Patricks Cathedrals. Visit Dungannon, Lisburn. But stop on the side of the road and check out any of the ruins you see. We stop and walk around cemeteries that are in the middle of nowhere. We have seen some of the most beautiful churches in the smallest of towns. Stroll down the streets, don’t rush, take in the scenery and the feeling of the area.

    We tend to go off the beaten path onto the smaller roads, rather than the crazy highways, that way you see more of the country. An essential piece of equipment when traveling anywhere is a GPS. Not only to give directions when driving, but when walking around a town. When you park the car, put its location as ” home” and you’ll never have to worry about finding your car. The GPS also allows your passenger to see the sites rather than having their nose stuffed in a map wondering where on earth to turn next. Educate yourself about ’round-abouts’ and how they work.

    If you want a quiet, farm location to stay, I recommend a B&B just outside Keady, called Dundrum House. It is run by Liz and Larry Nugent. They are spectacular hosts and you immediately become family. We stayed here and then did day trips back and forth. They offer both the B&B stay and the self-catering B&B stay. We did the self-catering and had a great time.

    You might be able to guess that I love N. Ireland, and you would be right. I’m looking forward to my return visit.

    Relax, enjoy and be safe.

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