Lonely Planet Writer

Actor Richard E Grant explores Ireland's rugged coastline in series of online videos

Withnail and I actor Richard E Grant is currently travelling Ireland making a series of short online films showcasing the best the country has to offer tourists.

Richard E Grant at the Giant's Causeway.
Richard E Grant at the Giant’s Causeway. Image by Tourism Ireland

The actor has teamed up with Tourism Ireland and Smooth Radio in an initiative to encourage ‘culturally curious’ holidaymakers consider Ireland as a holiday destination. Viewers have so far seen three videos of the actor, who has also appeared in Downton Abbey, immersing himself in Irish culture and life in Belfast, the Causeway Coast in Antrim and the Wild Atlantic Way.

The actor’s appearances in films and TV series like Withnail and I, Downton Abbey and Hotel Secrets on Sky Atlantic have made him a well known face on British TV. In the Belfast video, the actor explores the city’s food trail, visiting Sawers, Northern Ireland’s oldest delicatessen, and the buzzing Cathedral Quarter.

The actor in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.
The actor in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. Image by Tourism Ireland

In another film, viewers see Grant travelling the Wild Atlantic Way’s rugged landscape along the western seaboard of the country, a route he describes as “captivating, stimulating and spectacularly unique. Stretching bravely into the swirling Atlantic ocean, it feels like you have left civilisation far behind you,” he tells viewers.

Visiting the the Slieve League Cliffs in Co Donegal he recounts how the area has drawn pilgrims for over 1000 years, and is told by a local woman Margaret that the cliffs are a place where people come to reconnect with themselves and the land.

The actor visited Fanad Lighthouse on the Wild Atlantic Way in Co Donegal
The actor visited Fanad Lighthouse on the Wild Atlantic Way in Co Donegal Image by Tourism Ireland

“Northern Ireland’s causeway coastal route with its ever-changing tapestry of picturesque dramatic and unforgettable landscapes regularly rates as one of the world’s premier road trips,” he declares in the video exploring the taking in of iconic sites such the Giant’s Causeway, The Dark Hedges (made famous by Game of Thrones) and towns and cities like Ballycastle and Derry.

The actor who has documented his travels on Twitter while making the series of films, is next set to explore Dublin  and Ireland’s Ancient East.

According to said Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s Deputy Head of Great Britain these videos should appeal to independent travellers looking for inspiration for a road trip.

“These are active sightseers, who are typically looking to visit new places and expand their experience by exploring landscapes, history and culture”.