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Requesting Opinions about Ireland Itinerary and Northern Ireland

My wife and I are planning our itinerary in Ireland and are having a difficult decision about where we should spend an extra night. Right now we have 1 night in Derry, 2 in Portrush, 1 in Belfast. We have an extra night to apply somewhere. We will be spending 1 night in Westport and then driving north. We have never been to the North West of the Republic nor to Northern Ireland. We have been to Dublin and New grange. Should we spend our extra night in Derry or Belfast? Or somewhere else? Opinions please.

Posted by
128 posts

In view of all the current restrictions, when are you planning this trip for?

Posted by
2562 posts

If you're able to edit the heading of this thread, you might change it to Northern Ireland since it seems most of what you're asking about is in NI, not the Republic of Ireland.

Posted by
24 posts

Trip is being planned for September 2020. If needed we will postpone until next year, probably May 2021.

Posted by
2562 posts

If it was me, I'd add a second night in Belfast, mainly because I'd like to go see Mount Stewart, estate of the Marquess of Londonderry. If that doesn't particularly interest you, then I'd say it's a tossup between Belfast and Derry. I wouldn't add another one-nighter as those tend to eat up a lot of time checking in and out, unpacking and re-packing.

Posted by
24 posts

Thank you for the input. I am leaning toward a second night in Belfast as well. I agree that the single night stops are less efficient than the 2 to 3 night stays. What about lodging in Belfast? Where is the best area to stay? Rick's book doesn't list very many hotels or B and B's.

Posted by
2901 posts

Not far from Portrush is Port Ballintrae and the Bayview Hotel. That would be my choice of place to stay.

Posted by
2901 posts

In Belfast we stayed at the Premier Inn Titanic Quarter. Little character but fabulous location. Reasonable pricing, free parking, right along the river with easy walks to Titanic Experience or downtown.

Posted by
5155 posts

Add another day in Belfast.

Ditto what Carol said about the Premier Inn in the Titanic Quarter.

Be sure to visit Mournes near the Kelly Cellars Pub. Still dream of their seafood chowder.

Small pub to enjoy The Spainard.

Crumlin Road Gaol is well worth the effort to tour.

Posted by
24 posts

Thank all of you for your posts. I do have an additional request for opinions. I am going to be booking a car and as I have traveled the Irish roads before will be getting a small car for my wife and I. Would an economy car be suitable for circling Ireland (Dublin to Belfast in 2+ weeks) or would a compact car be the better choice? The difference in price is a bit more than $300.

Posted by
56 posts

you do realise that if you hire a Car in Ireland in Dublin and drive it across the border into Northern Ireland it could incur a fee for taking it into another country (Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom) also the road signage is different on both sides of the border as well as the speed limits (KPH in IRL and MPH in the UK)
remember you will need euro for IRL and Pounds for the UK

Posted by
24 posts

I was unaware of the possible issue of taking the rental car across the border into Northern Ireland. The rest I knew about. What about the size of the car on Irish roads? Any experience?

Posted by
24 posts

I just spoke to a representative at Auto Europe and Hertz allows their rental cars to be driven into Northern Ireland with no additional fees. I opted for the Economy size.

Posted by
56 posts

well just be aware that road signage in the UK (Northern Ireland) is different from Ireland
for example in dublin it would be "YIELD" and across the border in Northern Ireland like the rest of the UK its "Give Way"
below is a wiki link so you can see the diffences between the UK signage and the signage in Ireland (Republic of Ireland) ; also remember you will need euro for Ireland and UK Pounds for Northern Ireland :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_Road_Signs- speed limits in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK is in Miles per hour

in Ireland speed limits are in Kilometres