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Explore Northern Ireland

Explore Northern Ireland

The Merchant Hotel is one of the best located hotels in Belfast to offer a great base to visit Northern Ireland's attractions further afield.  Whether the UNESCO World Heritage Site of The Giants Causeway, the stunning Mourne Mountains or the National Trust's property at Castle Ward; it really is worth travelling further afield to explore this wonderful country.  Luxury hotels in Northern Ireland offer the perfect setting to explore the magic and mystic that Belfast has to offer.  


Downhill Demesne

Magnificent clifftop walks, affording rugged headland views, a striking 18th-century mansion that now lies in ruin, the Mussenden Temple, perched on the cliff edge and the rural 17th-century cottage of Hezlett House all await you at this National Trust property.

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Antrim Castle Gardens

The Gardens are a complex living museum containing over four centuries of culture and heritage along with the refurbished Clotworthy House. Visit the Garden Heritage Exhibition where you can read about the history of the Gardens or the Oriel Gallery Art exhibitions.

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The Argory

Atmospheric Irish gentry house and wooded riverside estate,The Argory, was built in the 1820s. This handsome Irish gentry house is surrounded by its 130-hectare (320-acre) wooded riverside estate and is the former home of the MacGeough Bond family.

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Armagh County Museum

The oldest county museum in Ireland is set in Armagh’s beautiful Georgian tree lined Mall. Its collections capture centuries of stories relating to the people who lived, worked and had connections with this famous city and historic county. Admission is free to all visitors.

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Castle Ward

Castle Ward is full of personality. Situated in a stunning location overlooking Strangford Lough, the lawns rise up to the unique 18th century house and its Gothic façade. This fascinating house features both Gothic and Classical styles of architectural treatment, internally and externally.

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Giants Causeway

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Giant’s Causeway is a magnificent,mysterious geological formation on the North East coast of Co. Antrim steeped in myth and legend. The setting is a spectacular dynamic coastal landscape of Atlantic waves, rugged cliffs, fascinating geographical antiquity, secluded bays and magnificent views.

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Grey Abbey House

Situated on the Ards Peninsula in Co. Down, Grey Abbey has been in the possession of the Montgomery family since 1607. Built by the family in 1762, the present house is the third one to be built on the site overlooking Strangford Lough and is considered to be one of the finest Georgian country houses in Ireland.

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Hillsborough Castle

The Castle is a ‘working’ building, serving as the venue for official royal and state functions. It is set in 96 acres of ornamental grounds, much of which was developed from the 1760s onwards. The different styles and eras of development are still distinguishable and the grounds offer significant contrasts of woodland, waterways, and formal and informal gardens.

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Mount Stewart

Mount Stewart is one of the most inspiring and unusual gardens in the National Trust’s ownership. Engaging tours of the opulent house reveal its fascinating heritage and historic world-famous artefacts and artwork. The garden reflects a rich tapestry of design and great planting artistry that was the hallmark of Edith, Lady Londonderry.

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Rowallane Garden

Created in the mid 1860s by the Reverend John Moore, this informal plantsman’s garden reflects the beautiful natural landscape of the surrounding area. There are spectacular displays of shrubs, including a
large collection of rhododendron species and several areas managed as wildflower meadows.

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Springhill

Experience the beguiling spirit of this inimitable 17th-century ‘Plantation’ home, with its walled gardens and parkland, full of tempting waymarked paths. There are ten generations of Lenox-Conyngham family tales to enthrall you, as well as numerous portraits and pieces of furniture to admire, and not forgetting Ireland’s best-documented ghost: Olivia.

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The Steensons

The Steensons have been handcrafting their unique designs in the village of Glenarm for nearly forty years and have become renowned as one of the best contemporary jewellery makers Ireland has to offer. Alongside their stunning collections their portfolio boasts an array of work from a necklace worn by Meryl Streep, wedding rings for Sharon Corr to numerous pieces made for the HBO production of Game of Thrones.

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Ulster American Folk Park

Immerse yourself in the story of Irish emigration at the museum that brings it to life. Experience the adventure that takes you from the thatched cottages of Ulster, on board a full scale emigrant sailing ship, to the log cabins of the American Frontier. Meet an array of costumed characters on your way with traditional crafts to show, tales to tell and food to share.

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Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

A museum of international renown, the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum is regarded as being amongst the best of its kind in the world. Set in over 170 acres of rolling landscape overlooking Belfast Lough, visitors can wander through the past and discover how people lived and travelled over the centuries.

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Castle Espie

Castle Espie’s tranquil setting offers the best views of Strangford Lough, County Down and is home to Ireland’s largest collection of native and exotic water-birds. The centre has the most significant habitat improvement of its kind in Ireland, including restored lagoons, grasslands, salt marshes and reed beds.

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Irish Linen Centre

This award-winning museum is based in Lisburn’s oldest building, the 17th Century Market House, in the centre of the city. It brings to life the history of the Irish linen industry and its importance to Lisburn. Visitors can see the heritage of craft skills in the daily demonstrations of hand-spinning and hand loom-weaving and admire the treasured collection of damask linen and costumes.

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