Coastal Towns

Portstewart A fine sandy beach and upmarket promenade.

Ballycastle Family-friendly seaside town with an emerging food scene.

Newcastle Sandy beaches in the shadow of the Mourne Mountains.

Cushendun Pretty conservation village with a wide sandy beach.

Bangor Bustling seaside town within easy reach of Belfast.

Glenarm Elegant castle town on Antrim's eastern coast.

Portrush Bucket-and-spade beaches, funfairs and surfing.

Cushendall Characterful coastal town in the Antrim Glens.

Birdwatching

Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre Spot puffins and other seabirds nesting on nearby sea stacks.

Castle Espie Wildfowl & Wetlands Centre A haven for huge flocks of geese, ducks and swans.

Oxford Island Watch Lough Neagh's birdlife from a series of hides.

Crom A beautiful place for observing birds in Upper Lough Erne.

Castles

Dunluce Castle The kitchen of this castle famously fell into the sea.

Carrickfergus Castle Norman knight John de Courcy's former residence.

Castle Coole Palladian mansion near Enniskillen.

Hillsborough Castle The Queen's official residence is open for tours.

Kinbane Castle Old MacDonnell castle on a dramatic headland.

Gardens

Glenarm Castle & Walled Garden Visit during the spring Tulip Festival to see the gardens in full bloom.

Mount Stewart Stately home with unusual subtropical gardens that pull in the crowds.

Hillsborough Castle Glorious grounds with a moss-covered lime-tree walk and planted bed.

Antrim Castle Gardens Historical gardens restored to their former glory.

Botanic Gardens Impressive greenhouses full of exotic plants in Belfast.

Seaforde Gardens & Tropical Butterfly House 18th-century walled garden with ornamental flower beds.

Bangor Castle Walled Garden Tranquil gardens that make a good picnic spot.