Is it any wonder that C.S. Lewis hailed from this wondrous place or that Seamus Heaney and Van Morrison were and are so inspired by its beauty. When you are surrounded by such magical landscape and so many natural oddities and wonders, it must be hard not to contemplate, appreciate and write about them all. Northern Ireland is a pocket-sized natural paradise with a little bit of everything for every type of dreamer, thinker, would-be poet and adventurer.  

The Mourne Mountains 

On clear days, the Mourne Mountains in County Down can be seen from as far away as Dublin, The Isle of Man and Scotland. Their twelve shapely summits are peppered with lakes, granite tors and forest. Sweeping silently down to the sea, their ever-changing colour and beauty drips effortlessly from every nook, cranny and crag and the views of the surrounding land and sea are simply magnificent. 

Lough Neagh 

An enormous blue jigsaw piece on the map of Northern Ireland, Lough Neagh covers 160 square miles of Northern Ireland and is the beating heart of many of its counties.  It is a vast, beautiful and haunting wilderness of water and surrounding wetlands, filled with an array of plants and wildlife. The calmer cousin of the sometimes explosive surrounding seas, this is the perfect place for nature lovers to spend some time in beautiful landscapes and see what they can spot in a busy ecosystem. 

The Glens of Antrim 

Water, fire and ice were the original sculptors of the nine beautiful Glens of Antrim. Green, clean and tranquil, time stands still in these glens and valleys. Each of the glens has its own name, personality and charm. Around every corner you’ll come across tumbling waterfalls, rich woodland, slopes, cliffs and shores. The pure views and pure air of these outstanding landscapes simply take the breath away.  

Rathlin Island 

The wonder of Rathlin Island lies in its rare untouched and untamed beauty. Take a short boat trip from the mainland for the great variety of birdlife and a break from the everyday. There are stunning views of the Antrim coastline, the Scottish island of Islay and the Mull of Kintyre. 

The Giant’s Causeway 

Of course the giant of natural wonders in this part of the world are the strangely symmetrical stones of the Giant’s Causeway. The columns of rock reaching out into the wild Atlantic Ocean are so perfectly formed, it’s sometimes hard to believe they are natural formations. It’s that wonder that stirred our ancestors to create a magical otherworld of giants and flying chunks of rock, and it is every bit as inspirational today. 

Benone Beach 

Nearby Benone Beach with ten kilometres of golden sand must have been a great place for those giants to picnic on. This is one of Ireland’s longest beaches and probably one of its most dramatic. If the night before, you’ve had a few too many in nearby Bushmills, then this is a great place to clean out any old lingering cobwebs. 

Gortin Glen 

Moving back inland to County Tyrone, you’ll find a gentler air in Gortin Glen.  With only the sounds of babbling brooks, splashing waterfalls and birdsong in the air, nature here is at its most teasing and peaceful. Take your time to wander through soft sphagnum moss carpets and spot ferns peeking delicately through cracks and crags as red squirrels dart about, sika deer graze, and wildfowl flap and stutter.  

The Sperrins 

Wild, untouched and beautiful, the Sperrin Mountains are a natural antidote to busy city life. Spanning 40 miles, this mountain range is the largest in Ireland, with 10 summits over five hundred metres high. This is a nature lover’s space, a place to experience wildlife, stunning scenery and deep forest. 

Marble Arch Caves 

A rainy day visit to the Marble Arch Caves in County Fermanagh is an experience you’re unlikely to forget. When it pours, the show cave comes alive with the groans and echoes of cascading waters and the boom of torrent rivers forging through the passages. It’s pretty good on dry days too when you can take a subterranean boat trip as part of your tour. 

The Ring of Gullion 

Nature got to work on the Ring of Gullion some fifty-eight million years ago and left us with this unique geological landform. This ring dyke is really quite unique for this part of the world. You won’t see anything like this in Ireland or the UK and the Ring of Gullion still puzzles scientists, which of course has always been good for local folklore. 

In this little corner of the world you can roam the gentle hills and valleys down to the drama of the surrounding seas and oceans, wonder at the glories of the lakes and take it away with you forever in your mind’s eye. If there is one thing that is special about Northern Ireland it is the magic of its nature.