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Driving in Belfast and B&B Recommendation

Indianapolis
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Driving in Belfast and B&B Recommendation

First, I apologize for the numerous questions. I hope it's okay to post specific questions as they arise, rather than make one long post asking everything at once.

In early November, we will be renting a car in Dublin and driving to Belfast, on to Derry, and then coming around through Donegal and Mayo to eventually come to Galway. So far, I have booked one night in Crossmaglen and then we are heading to Belfast where I am doing research on the murals. I have already visited the Shankill/Falls Road area extensively, but now wish to view more loyalist murals in East and North Belfast. I have 2 to 3 days to devote to this, so I'm pretty flexible about where I stay, as long as driving won't be horrible and parking will be convenient.

In some ways, I'd prefer to drive myself around but would I have more luck hiring a driver to escort me to specific areas?

Where should I stay? On a previous visit I stayed at Avenue Guesthouse and loved it, but parking wasn't very convenient on Eglantine. Should I look for someplace on the East side or even as far as Bangor?

Finally, after Belfast I want to go to Derry. I've already visited Giant's Causeway and the whole north coast but my husband hasn't. I'd love to see the Glens of Antrim again, but I'm nervous about driving along the coast road in November. Would there be lodging availble in the Glens in November, or should we stay in Derry?

Again, my regrets for the long post. But THANK YOU!

Londonderry
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1. Re: Driving in Belfast and B&B Recommendation

I'm afraid I could only advise you on the Derry leg of your stay. However, you may like to try Holiday Inn express which has keen rates and is close to town. I believe they have good parking also, which is a plus in Belfast. Turning on to Derry, accomodation here is very mixed, in that they are mostly on the outskirts of Derry and not quite accessible to the city centre.

Might I suggest you try accomodation in Ballykelly. It is near Limavady and Coleraine - which are major shopping towns. It also has a nice country park at Roe which should be nice in November. Ballykelly is less than 15 minutes drive from Derry and there would be more to see there. I believe it has nice views of Lough Foyle.

Northern Ireland
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2. Re: Driving in Belfast and B&B Recommendation

Glad to hear you are coming back to Northern Ireland.

The majority of the murals in East Belfast are situated around the Newtownards Road/Castlereagh Road areas. There are a good variety of murals and depict scenes of sportsmen like footballer George Best and pay homage to the Titanic as well as the usual images. You can take a tour of the murals in East Belfast (www.unionjackshop.com/product_tours.php) although I haven't used them myself so don't much about them.

A good place to stay (although it is a Hotel rather than Guest House) would be the Park Avenue Hotel. It is just off the Holywood Road in East Belfast,has loads of parking and is also convenient to the City Centre.

Driving up the Coast Road in November should be OK unless in adverse weather conditions. The road from Larne to Cushendun hugs the sea and then it goes inland to Ballycastle. There is year round accommodation available in any of the towns through the Glens (Glenarm, Carnlough, Cushendall and Cushendun) and further up the coast at Ballycastle/Bushmills/Portrush.

Seeing the Coast and Glens at this time of the year gives you a totally different aspect to the summer but is just as beautiful and it would be a real shame for your husband to miss out on what has been voted the fifth most beautiful place in the world to visit.

Indianapolis
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3. Re: Driving in Belfast and B&B Recommendation

Adequate,

Great idea about the unionjack tours! I contacted them and they told me they could tailor a tour to my interests and to contact them again as my visit was closer. This will be very helpful to me.

I'm still checking out various sites to stay in the Glens for one or two nights. It seems I'm coming at a rather unpopular time of year and some places are already closed for the season. But I like a challenge!

Does anyone know if there is still anything left to see of the old Maze prison? I know that today, Aug 15, is the 10 year anniversary of the Omagh bombing and the permanent memorial was to be dedicated today.

Northern Ireland
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4. Re: Driving in Belfast and B&B Recommendation

Hello again.

Here are a few suggestions for accommodation. They are situated around Glenariffe which would be 'the Heart of the Glens'

Lurig View (www.lurigview.co.uk)

Sanda B&B (www.sandabnb.com)

Hazelwood Holiday Home (hazelwoodholidayhome.co.uk)

This is a self catering property but is right beside one of the entrances to Glenariffe Forest Park and almost beside the Manor House Restaurant which is convenient if you don't want to cook. I haven't been in it but have been past it and always think that it looks really nice.

If you wanted to stay further north Ballycastle (…free-online.co.uk/accomod/accomod.htm) and Bushmills (northantrim.com/bushmills_accommodation.htm) should have accommodation which would still be open in November as there are plenty of B&B's and Guesthouses in the area.

The Maze isn't open to the public and unfortunately Crumlin Road jail, another famous jail in NI, closes for tours in September.

Antrim, United...
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5. Re: Driving in Belfast and B&B Recommendation

My husband did the tour of the Maze, I wasn't well so couldn't go. He thought it was very good, a well balanced trip... we will go back sometime together...

You can also get tours to the Crumlin Rd prison, if that's the sort of thing you are into... pretty limited in availability as far as I know.

Have you been to see Stormont? Great Building!

Indianapolis
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6. Re: Driving in Belfast and B&B Recommendation

Yes, I've been to Stormont and it is impressive. Do you know where I can make arrangements for a tour of the Maze? I've not been able to find a website for that. The Crumlin Jail also sounds interesting. I'm working on a photo essay of many of the locations relevant to the Troubles so this is also a great idea. I've photos of the outside but not the inside!

Thanks.

Northern Ireland
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7. Re: Driving in Belfast and B&B Recommendation

The Maze site isn't open to the public anymore. A masterplan was written for the site including proposals for a sports stadium amongst other ideas. Most of the area is to be demolished however some areas which are listed will probably still remain.

As explained in my previous post, Crumlin Road jail closes for tours on 12 September.

Galway
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8. Re: Driving in Belfast and B&B Recommendation

Ther should be no problem finding accommodation in November in the Glens of Antrim. Cushendall, which is in the centre of the Nine Glens, is an ideal base for touring the Glens and Antrim Coast, and is only a short drive away from the Gaint's Causeway and Carrick-a-rede rope bridge.

We satyed at Cullentra House (Award Winning B&B) on a recent holiday and I would highly recommend it.

email: cullentra@hotmail.com

web: www.cullentrahouseireland.com

Best of luck for your holiday.

Derry
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for Derry
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9. Re: Driving in Belfast and B&B Recommendation

Hi there

I live in Derry so I hope this is of some help.

If you want to stay right in the city centre, the City Hotel is in a good location and is quite modern - there is also parking there. Around the corner from the City Hotel is the Travelodge - a cheaper option. If you prefer B&B accom. you will find many options in the city centre and just outside on deryvisitor.com. This site is useful for describing the many attractions in the City also. Derry is definitely worth a visit!

Da Vinci's (Ramada chain) is another popular hotel situated just outside the city centre (about 10-15 mins walk).

Alternatively, there is an elegant, old-fashioned hotel about 10mins drive from Derry city (the Beech Hill House Hotel). This would probably be the most expensive option.

Derry would be a good stop-off for you as you can see the City, do some shopping and appreciate the convenience of being just across the border from Donegal (the next leg of your trip). There are famous murals to visit in the Bogside too as well as Free Derry Corner and the Free Derry Museum.

I hope these suggestions help and i'm sure you'll have a great time and receive a warm welcome here in Derry (with any luck the weather will behave too!).

Best Wishes.

10. Re: Driving in Belfast and B&B Recommendation

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