Crossing from the Republic into Northern Ireland you immediately notice two differences: the street signs are in miles and the roads are well maintained. Soon enough, you find that these aren’t the only differences; the accent here is distinctly different, the currency is pounds sterling and you remark again about how nicely maintained the roads are. You are now (although historically not everyone would be happy about it) in the UK.
From the looming city walls of Derry to the breathtaking scenery along the Causeway Coast to Belfast’s glorious Victorian architecture, Northern Ireland has always had a bevy of things to attract visitors. Unfortunately decades of guerrilla warfare deterred tourism and it wasn’t until within the past 10 years that it finally returned.
Today Northern Ireland seems rejuvenated. Belfast is a happening place with a stellar nightlife and an excellent culinary scene while Derry appears to be coming into its own as a cool, artistic city. The stunning Causeway Coast and its namesake, the geologically anomalistic Giant’s Causeway, get more and more visitors each year, while lesser known towns are finding that they have a tourist trade too.
That’s not to say that the scars of the Troubles have healed, but at least people are getting along, which at this point is all that anyone can ask for.