6 months ago

magazine on travel

With a growing array of

With a growing array of open-air bars, arts venues, and restaurants, Belfast is quickly becoming an attractive destination for travelers. Stay at the design-forward Bullitt Hotel (inspired by the Steve McQueen film), which opened in October with casual, well-appointed rooms and complimentary grab-and-go breakfast granola. Check out arts organization Seedhead, which runs street-art tours and hosts pop-up cabarets around the city. The Michelin-starred OX and EIPIC lead the fine-dining pack, but also visit Permit Room, with its internationally inspired breakfast and locally roasted coffee. Noteworthy new nightlife spots include the Muddlers Club, a stylish restaurant and cocktail bar in the trendy Cathedral Quarter, and Vandal, a graffiti-adorned pizza place that turns into a late-night club, on the top floor of a 17th-century pub.—Nell McShane Wulfhart If you’ve a taste for whiskey, then your exploration of the coast should include a visit to the distillery at Bushmills, only 4km southwest of the causeway. It’s been distilling whiskey since 1608, making it the world’s oldest (legal) distillery. Along the way, you’ll discover that it’s made with Irish barley and water from the local river before being matured in oak barrels. All very interesting, sure, but the reward for the crash-course in distilling is a sip of the blessed stuff. The nearby Bushmills Inn is one of the best places to stay in Northern Ireland, with a superb restaurant and lovely rooms. A spectacular ‘fore!’ “… I went to Belgrade with no expectations of décor, images, gaiety, anything interesting, and Even the casual hacker now I am a complete victim of its seductive will know that Royal Portrush is regularly featured on any list charm that I must say goodbye to it with the of the world’s best courses. It will play host to the Open Cham-greatest pain. This is a new sensation: falling in pionship in 2019, but in the meantime, you can challenge yourlove with a city. self on its most famous holes, including the waters-edge White Rock (5th) and Calamity (14th), one of the hardest par- threes in Ireland. The lesser-known but equally beautiful Portstewart Golf Club is only a few kilometers away; its Strand championship course hosted the 2017 Irish Open. And, if you’re looking for a memorable bite, the local strand is home to Harry’s Shack, a fabulous restaurant in an old shack managed by the National Trust. You’ll need sea legs and a steady gaze to cross the 20m-long, 1m-wide rope bridge that links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrick-a-Rede. The bridge sways and lilts 30m above the swirling sea below, but don’t worry: it’s closed if the winds get too hairy. Once you’ve reached the island, there are gorgeous views of the rugged coastline and Rathlin Island. It’s incredibly popular so be sure to turn up early to secure a ticket in high season . It’s not often that a classic bucket-and-spade beach town emerges as a gourmet hotspot, but that’s exactly what’s happened to Ballycastle, at the eastern end of the Causeway Coast. Highly recommended is Caroline Redmond’s Ballycastle Food Tour, a three-hour exploration of the very best of local producers, including the seafood chowder at the Central Wine Bar and the friands – sweet almond cakes – from the Ursa Minor Bakery. In between you’ll try locally made black puddings and cheeses – and keep an eye out for smoked fish from North Coast Smokehouse and beer from Glens of Antrim Craft Ales & Beers ( Also worth checking out is Thyme & Co and, of course, Morton’s – maybe the best fish and chip shop on the whole island. Walk along the King’s Road When James Stuart built Gracehill House in 1775 and then planted an avenue of 150 beech trees to impress visitors, he couldn’t have guessed that two centuries later his eerily beautiful road would be an eye-catching feature in the hit series Game of Thrones. The Dark Hedges is now one of the most photographed sights in Northern Ireland – and its fame brings the crowds. Thankfully the road will soon be closed to traffic, meaning visitors can appreciate this stunning bit of green-fingered artistry without the cars. If you’re looking for more Game of Thrones locations, Ballintoy Harbour, Cushendun Caves, Downhill Beach and Murlough Bay also appear in the show. 6

1/ The commune is situated on the coast of Northern France and is famous for the amazing cliffs. For ages the rocky arches were visited and painted by artists like Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet. Today the scenic spot attracts many tourists and photographers 3/ This is one of our most favorite natural wonders! The fjord is a favorite tourist destination in New Zealand and owns a legendary appraisal by Rudyard Kipling, who called it the eighth Wonder of the World. The fjord has two waterfalls – Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls, accompanied by the hundreds of temporary falls after a heavy rain. Well developed tourism provides with the best service and tours to this magnificent place. 7

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