Discover the best of Northern Ireland on a scenic round-trip from its capital city
A scenic road trip around Northern Island? Count us in
THE ROUTE ULSTER’S FINEST
Take in peaceful loughs, craggy mountains and pretty
villages on this circular route through the province of Ulster, from Belfast to Lough Erne and back via Donegal, County Antrim and County Tyrone. Ulster, which covers nine counties in the north of Ireland, has some spectacular scenery, so you will soon see why it was such a rich source of backdrops in the making of Game of
Thrones. If you’re a fan, take time for a few detours to check
out some of the 15 dramatic locations
close to the route.
THE CAR SLEEK & SPORTY
As you would expect from Alfa Romeo, its first ever SUV, the Alfa
Romeo Stelvio, is a sleek, sexy model that looks more like the Giulia Sedan it was based on than the usual chunky 4x4 SUV. It’s light to drive (due to the aluminium skin, doors and front wings), and fast and sporty, with an eightspeed gear box that can handle any twists and turns the Irish roads throw at it.
THE PIT STOPS
Game of Thrones fans will be in their element,
with many shoot locations on the route
(Shane’s Castle in County Antrim and the
Pollnagollum Cave, County Fermanagh, to name but two). Make sure to stop for Wild Atlantic oysters at the Smugglers Creek Inn
which overlooks Rossnowlagh beach.
THE FINISH IN THE CITY
On the shores of Lough Erne in County Fermangh you’ll find Finn Lough (doubles from £150, B&B;
finnlough.com), a beautifully designed lakeside resort with an unusual forest spa, plus bubble domes you can sleep in for optimum star-gazing.
Once in Belfast, behind the town hall you’ll find Ten Square,
a 19th-century linen warehouse converted
into an elegant hotel (doubles from £89, room only; tensquare.co.uk).
THE SIGHTS Discover ancient ruins along the route, from rustic castles to caves
A UNIQUE STAY Rooms at Finn Lough (left and below) range from cottages to domes
EASY DOES IT The calm waters of Lough Erne (left) make for a tranquil stay