The North West

The North West comprises the counties of Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Derry as well as sections of counties Cavan and Antrim.

Ireland was once known as ‘the Land of Saints and Scholars’ and the North West, an area steeped in myths and legends, has long been a cultural and spiritual hub. The region’s wild and rugged landscape has inspired many artists and been home to such celebrated figures as W.B. Yeats, Enya and Phil Coulter. It is a truly magical place to visit… ‘up here it’s different’, as Discover Ireland puts it. Located on the periphery of Ireland and Europe, a warm Irish welcome is assured.

The area is also a ‘hotspot’ for traditional music and culture, with ‘ceol agus craic’ (music and fun) available nightly in many of the local pubs. While the pubs may be merry, the countryside is serene, with the hustle and bustle of urban life very far away. The waves and winds of the Atlantic Ocean have helped create a wild and rugged landscape, unlike anywhere else. Remote hikes and romantic beach walks are plentiful. A ‘must see’ is Malin Head, Ireland’s most northerly point, the next stop is Iceland!

This is also the land of myths and legends. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Giant’s Causeway, was created by a local giant, Finn McCool, during a fight with a rival Scottish giant, as they hurled giant rocks at each other, or so they say! The awe-inspiring Causeway Coast Route in Co. Antrim is rated as one of the top five road trips in the world (Jacobs Creek, 2006). Around every corner there is something of interest; ruined castles, quaint little pubs, stunning scenery and charming villages. This is another world where time seems to stand still and it feels good to linger…

“and I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow”
The Lake Isle of Inishfree by William Butler Yeats

Nearby Derry or Londonderry, in Northern Ireland, is an ancient walled city with a rich cultural heritage. Famous for giving its name to the tune ‘The Londonderry Air’, it will become the U.K.’s first City of Culture in 2013.

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