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Archive for northern ireland

The Narnia Trail

By Linda Tancs

Acclaimed writer C.S. Lewis is the author of the fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia. Although he spent much of his life in England, he never forgot his early life in Northern Ireland, the source of his inspiration for the classic tales thanks to the striking landscapes in the Mourne Mountains (particularly that part of the village of Rostrevor overlooking Carlingford Lough). At Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor you can join the Narnia Trail, entered through—what else—a wardrobe. The Narnia legends are interpreted along a short family loop trail, leading visitors to several stations with themes including The Tree People and The Beavers’ House.

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A Lone Survivor in Belfast

By Linda Tancs

The only major naval surface engagement of World War I, the Battle of Jutland was fought by the British Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet against the Imperial German Navy’s High Seas Fleet. Although both sides claimed victory in this indecisive battle celebrating its centenary this year, the spoils clearly go to the British as they lay claim to the lone surviving ship from the skirmish. Now open as a visitor attraction in Titanic Quarter, Belfast, HMS Caroline has undergone extensive restoration to enable visitors to experience life at sea through state-of-the-art special effects and hands-on interactive exhibits. The historic vessel rounds out the maritime experience in Northern Ireland’s capital city, which includes Titanic Belfast, located in the heart of Titanic Quarter. The world’s largest Titanic visitor experience, it tells the story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s through her construction and maiden voyage and subsequent place in history.

The Winterfell Experience

By Linda Tancs

Show enthusiasts know that Game of Thrones was filmed at Castle Ward, an estate on the shores of Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. For those desiring to leap into that dynastic fantasy world, a replica of Winterfell Castle’s archery range has been recreated where the filming originally took place. You can dress up in character costumes from the show, tour the movie set, stand exactly where characters Jon Snow and Robb and Bran Stark stood, and enjoy the thrill of firing live arrows, all courtesy of an independent adventure tour operator on the premises. They aim to please.

Tall Ships Sail Into Belfast

By Linda Tancs

Belfast’s Maritime Festival this weekend is all the more special as Belfast hosts the final leg of the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge 2009, a 7000-nautical-mile race that began in April at Vigo in the northwest corner of Spain. The ships will be berthed along Queen’s Quay, Abercorn Basin, Donegall Quay and Albert Quay, presenting a spectacular array of square-rigged and modern-rigged vessels with and without spinnaker-like sails. It’s anchors aweigh on the afternoon of 16 August. The best viewing will be along the County Down and County Antrim coastlines.

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