20 Reasons NOT to go to Northern Ireland

20 Reasons NOT to go to Northern Ireland

Nigel asks: Why would you?

Growing up in Northern Ireland during the troubles, tourists were as rare as long spells of unbroken sunshine. If anyone had said back in the late 1970s that Belfast would have open top sightseeing buses, then people may have called a doctor for them! It still amazes me when I’m walking along the shore of Belfast Lough close to home and a huge cruise ship glides past, usually carrying more passengers than the majority of our towns have inhabitants! To be honest, I think they must all be mad! Surely there must be some mistake and these people wanted to visited the Dordogne in France rather than the Ardoyne in Belfast. When they told their travel agents that they wanted to visit the Falls, I’m pretty sure they meant Niagara Falls and not the Falls Road in Belfast … you would however probably get very wet at both! It can’t be the locals bringing you back because are they not what kept people away for so many years? It can’t be the weather as it rains so much we’ve all developed webbed feet. It can’t be the food as our restaurants rely on frozen and prepacked foods…I mean have you ever seen sheep or cows here? Above all else it can’t be the scenery with mile after mile of flat muddy fields and stony beaches.

So, to help you out when you’re making holiday plans, here are 20 reasons why you’d be mad to even consider visiting Northern Ireland. In fact, as we say here you’d be a total eejit, so go back to Paris, Rome and Prague and don’t waste your time!

Disclaimer: No animals or small children were harmed in the making of this article but some sarcasm may have been used!

1 It’s flat and boring

Murlough Narture Reserve, Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Mourne Mountains

2 Northern Ireland winters are dark and depressing

Field at Scrabo Tower

Fields below Killynether Wood, Newtownards in late December

3 You’ll spend half your day sitting in traffic

Broughshane, Northern Ireland

County Antrim countryside scene close to Broughshane.

4 The countryside is average at best

Glenariff Forest Park, Northern Ireland
Glenariff Forest Park

5 You’ll be stared at by strangers on the beach … ugh!

White Park Bay … home of the country’s largest herd of sunbathing cows

6 If you’re coming for nice walks, you’re out of luck

Murlough Nature Reserve in County Down

7 Those Northern Irish cliff top views are overrated

 Mussenden Temple in Downhill Demesne, Northern Ireland

Mussenden Temple in Downhill Demesne

8 Emerald Isle? It’s more like barren wilderness!

Annesley Garden at Castlewellan Forest Park
Annesley Garden at Castlewellan Forest Park

9 And you can forget about scenic roads!

Antrim Coast Road

Antrim Coast Road

10 Even animals are unhappy here

Sketrick Island
Finn the donkey and Sean the sheep at Sketrick Island

11 Property is seriously neglected in Northern Ireland

Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland

Dunluce Castle with the town of Portrush in the background

12 They’re desperate enough to call trees a tourist attraction

The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

The Dark Hedges (the Kings Road on Game of Thrones)

13 Northern Ireland is so depressing that some people have decided to escape to an island and live with thousands of seabirds!

Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

Rathlin Island

14 Apparently a pile of old stones is popular with locals…can’t see it catching on!

The Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
The Giant’s Causeway

15 You finally get a sunny day and the beach is packed

White Rocks Beach in Portrush

16 If you’re looking for filming locations then keep on looking!

Ballintoy Harbour, Northern Ireland Game of Thrones filming location and setting for the Iron Islands

Ballintoy Harbour (Game of Thrones filming location and setting for the Iron Islands)

17 The locals are all rude

Sheep at Downhill Demesne, Northern Ireland

Sheep at Downhill Demesne

18 The constant noise of waves can be so irritating!

Sunset at Portstewart, Northern Ireland

Sunset at Portstewart

19 Scenic viewpoints are always a big letdown
Ben Crom Dam Silent Valley, Northern Ireland

Ben Crom Dam Silent Valley

20 And at the end of the day, you can forget about any decent sunsets

Sunset at Portballintrae Beach, Northern Ireland

Sunset at Portballintrae Beach

If these 20 photographs haven’t convinced you to stay away then I’m just going to have to keep dodging those sightseeing buses when I’m crossing the road. Oh and by the way you’re all very welcome…well most of you at least 😉

These photos were all taken by us (and when we say ‘us’ we mean Nigel). If you enjoyed them, we would be grateful for a pin, tweet, stumble, face or any other type of share!
These 20 photographs will show you exactly why you should NOT visit Northern Ireland

These 20 photographs will show you exactly why you should NOT visit Northern Ireland
20 images that show you exactly why you should not bother visiting Northern Ireland



  1. July 27, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    I am originally from Dublin, upon seeing this and based on the headline, I was about to unload on the writer because Northern Ireland has some of the most stunning scenery on the island of Ireland. That said I can see it was done tongue in cheek, watch out for those busses, if you need extras they have them in Dublin!

    • baybreezin
      July 27, 2017 / 6:43 pm

      Hi Tony. It was a risky strategy I know and some people have sent me a few harsh comments as they didn’t think to read it first. One person did read it and still sent me a harsh comment which is perhaps more worrying 😄. Glad you appreciate our beautiful scenery and I think Dublin gets enough visitors already 😉

      • April 17, 2018 / 6:05 pm

        I’m Irish American—there fore by birth I eat sarcasm for breakfast—but some people —-may not understand and it is risky “advertisement” since the North is just as beautiful as the south is –much—in a different way—-someday I may get there—-but the southern part of the country is –still better at selling itself to the tourists for a spell!

        • baybreezin
          April 17, 2018 / 5:35 pm

          Some may not but it’s proved to be very successful so far. I agree that the South sells itself better at times but sadly many Americans are still too afraid to cross the border which is ridiculous and some won’t as they call it occupied by the enemy!!

          • Karen DeVoid
            April 17, 2018 / 8:45 pm

            I am so glad that we spent 4 days in Northern Ireland! It is absolutely beautiful and the people were so friendly. Of course we did all of the touristy things while there, Dunluce, Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, Giants Causeway, the Dark Hedges. We were lucky enough to stumble upon White Park Bay Beach!! It was absolutely beautiful, the cows were not out, but you could see “evidence” that they were recently. I will definitely include the north in any of my future trips to Ireland.

          • baybreezin
            April 17, 2018 / 9:39 pm

            So glad you enjoyed your visit here Karen.

          • A. C. Stackpole
            April 19, 2018 / 2:57 am

            It Is Occupied By The Enemy. I Cannot Wait Until “Lizzie II” Dies & William Of Wales Becomes King & Returns The 6 Stolen Counties Of ULSTER To The Republic Of Ireland… Where The Belong. 26 + 6 = 1

        • Adrianna
          July 2, 2018 / 8:15 pm

          Actually it is very catchy 🙂 I am on a process of doing some research on upcoming travelling to Northern Ireland. Going through all kinds of travel blogs, advertisements and articles, after so many good words about this place, soon as I opened the search, your title grabbed me right a way. I said to myself: wow…that’s new…let see what this article has to say 😉 Can’t wait to see all this beautiful scenery. Good job!

          • baybreezin
            July 2, 2018 / 9:03 pm

            Thanks Adrianna. It’s been our most successful ever article and 99% of those who read it enjoyed it and some were encouraged to visit who had never before considered coming here. We have many other articles and videos on our blog which might be of use to you 🙂

  2. Donna
    July 30, 2017 / 11:05 am

    Enjoyed your article. I have always wanted to visit your beautiful country and will FINALLY get to do so in about 10 days. As a child of the 60’s, when my parents watched the news, the only thing I remembered was being so concerned about the people of Ireland and their troubles. It bothered me so. This will be my first trip abroad. Hopefully I will be able to understand my deep concern for the Irish people from my childhood.. Thanks for the heads up on the reasons not to come.

    • baybreezin
      July 30, 2017 / 9:41 pm

      Hi Donna, thank you so much for the wonderful message. So happy you are getting to finally come here. Where are you going to be staying? Feel free to give us a shout should you need any advice while you’re here! We hope you have an unforgettable first trip abroad … and decent weather. Remember, we are here for any questions 🙂 Lots of love, Martha

  3. Hasnah
    July 30, 2017 / 8:50 pm

    Enjoyed your article! We will be in Antrim in about 10 days and are very much looking forward to it. 😋

    • baybreezin
      July 30, 2017 / 8:53 pm

      Hey Hasna, you will enjoy it here we hope. Do let us know if you need any advice on where to go. Are you staying in Antrim itself?

      • Hasnah McCauley
        August 2, 2017 / 9:02 pm

        We will initially be in Carrickfergus attending the McCauley clan get-together followed by road trip around Ireland. Excited! 😋

        • baybreezin
          August 2, 2017 / 9:04 pm

          Oh yes! Nothing better than a road trip to see the country. And even better when there’s a family reunion. You’ll have a great time! Carrickfergus is across the lough from where we live. Can see the lights of carrickfergus from our window right now.

  4. Dolores Dulaney
    July 30, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    Loved this video.Went to Ireland and it was great. I am enjoying this website as I have learned so much.Just wish my dad could have seen and learned about where his Dad and Mom came from. Visited his parents graves this morning in Wisconsin,USA ,where I live, where they settled and built a church along with 5 other Irish Family’s and it has a window donated with my Grandma’s name on it. My dad was 8 yrs old when his dad died. All my grandparents died before I was born. Always feel bad as I was the only child in grade school who had no grandparents. Mulhern and Kelly families My Mom is Swiss and need to start getting more info on them. They were married 50 yrs when my Dad Died.

    • baybreezin
      July 30, 2017 / 9:36 pm

      Hi Dolores, thank you SO much for your message. I just read it out to Nigel and it makes us SO happy that you are enjoying our website! It’s a labour of love and we are not making any money out of it. Just a few days ago, it suddenly started getting a lot of attention and it’s the most wonderful feeling reading comments like yours! Your story is so interesting! Have you been able to find out where your family was from? Where in Ireland have you visited? I am lucky enough to still have both of my grandparents still (maternal) and I have a very close bond with them. I can only imagine what it must have been like for you growing up without them. I am originally from Germany but Northern Ireland is my home now and I enjoy seeing new parts of it so much. Hope you have a wonderful day and one more thing … if you do enjoy our website and you like Northern Ireland, I would recommend signing up for our newsletter. We will run a prize draw staring tomorrow for a beautiful book of aerial photography of Northern Ireland. So far we only have 7 subscribers so you would have good chances of winning 😉 All the best, Martha

  5. Robena Tyndall
    July 31, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    Beautiful. Grew up in Glenarm, the first of the Nine Glens of Antrim, but will have lived in mid-Western Ontario, Canada 45 years this November. Love this tongue-in-cheek video of 20 reasons not to visit Northern Ireland.

    • baybreezin
      July 31, 2017 / 8:04 pm

      Hi Robena! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! Did you see our video about Glenarm? If you haven’t seen it, you might want to have a look. Ontario sounds wonderful but the Glens of Antrim are hard to beat, right?

  6. Gail Campbell.
    August 6, 2017 / 10:19 am

    Brilliant! Next time venture to Larne along the Shore Road which leads onto the Coast Road to the Green Glens of Antrim.To the little fishing villages along the route.

    • baybreezin
      August 6, 2017 / 10:29 am

      Thanks Gail. We were along the coast road two weeks ago for a visit to Glenarm. We have a lovely video of it and other videos of trips to Carnlough etc on our website http://www.baybreezin.com 🙂

  7. William & Ivy Irwin
    September 16, 2017 / 1:35 pm

    Loved your tongue in cheek description of Northern Ireland hard to describe how much we enjoyed the craik.
    My wife is a Portadown woman and while I am a Scot my parents were both from County Armagh ,my mother was from apple country Ardress and my father from Richhill yet met in Glasgow.

    • baybreezin
      September 16, 2017 / 1:43 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment. I recognise your names from a previous article of ours I think? Glad you enjoyed it as some people give me a lot of abuse without even reading it!

  8. jo
    September 22, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    I understand (to a degree) where you are coming from with the “Title 20 reasons NOT to visit N Ireland etc” but i think its negative ,and not appropriate for Ireland or Northern Ireland,many people will see the opening sentence on the blog and decide its to do with ,either, residue from past problems,crime, or lateral hostility, The pictures are beautiful and yes I like the witty remarks and I am ok with it as i have been to most of the places in the photos and found N Ireland breathtakingly beautiful and the people wonderful,but for some one who has not been or is unaware of N.Irelands beauty, perhaps because of past reports in the media, the introduction should be in the positive.

    • baybreezin
      September 22, 2017 / 3:31 pm

      Hi Jo, This is Martha, I will let Nigel reply himself, as he took all the photos and came up with the idea for this article. I do want to say though that I understand what you mean BUT. We do a lot to improve people’s perception of Northern Ireland. I am not sure if you clicked around a little bit on the website but we do a lot of videography and photography around our home – we don’t earn anything from doing this – we do it because we are passionate about showing the beauty of our home country. For the most part, we have been successful in changing perceptions. We get a lot of people telling us that we made them either want to come here or actually adjust their itinerary to see some of the places we are showing. Some of our articles and videos get shared a lot but this one has BY FAR been shared the most and been our most successful article. So I don’t agree when you are saying that the article creates negativity and maybe you can understand why that statement made me a little bit sad.

  9. September 25, 2017 / 10:17 am

    I agree, why visiting the North? I have been there a few times, I even organised a small event in Garvagh (!) by all places!

    😉 To be honest I really got curious when I saw the title – I just HAD TO read it! Risky business publishing it in this way, but you truly caught my attention.

    I believe it’s easier to understand the sarcasm and irony when you have been there … for those that haven’t it might be more difficult EVEN THROUGH your photos are great. NI is great and I love Belfast City Centre.

    • baybreezin
      September 25, 2017 / 12:04 pm

      Thanks for your comment and especially for reading it before commenting… not everyone was so sensible 😄. We knew it might be risky but it’s proved to be very successful to date and seems to have surprised many people. Many Americans seem reluctant to travel north of Dublin for some bizarre reason which I always find frustrating. Garvagh is indeed a very strange place to have an event 😂

      • Lisa Gilmore
        March 4, 2018 / 10:35 pm

        I was so surprised to hear you speak of Garvagh because I don’t hear many people speak of it. My husband’s ancestral family is from Garvagh. We will be coming for our second visit to Ireland in July and would love to visit N. Ireland to see Garvagh and hopefully find more information on his family where my research has made a halt. There is supposed to still be a Gilmore family cemetery there. We would both love to see where his family lived and if there are any traces of family still living in Garvagh. You put a huge smile on my face the moment I saw the name Garvagh. I spent a few years trying to put the pieces of his family history together and knew that finding the rest of the story would mean traveling to N. Ireland and visiting the church up there for family records. You’ve just inspired me to make this happen. Thank you xo

        • baybreezin
          March 4, 2018 / 11:00 pm

          Thanks so much for the lovely comment Lisa. I hope you do make it here and find out more about your family 🙂

  10. Eileen
    October 15, 2017 / 6:33 pm

    I always love visiting Northern Ireland and always try and visit every year.
    For me it’s the people is the attraction
    I have always found them so helpful and friendly.

    • baybreezin
      October 15, 2017 / 6:36 pm

      I agree totally Eileen. I hope you read my article and realised I was actually praising Northern Ireland.

  11. October 21, 2017 / 4:57 pm

    Love this post!! Your photos are spectacular and capture the beauty perfectly. My dad was born in Derry and as a child we spent many a summer’s day (some admittedly shivering and damp) on the beaches of Portrush and Castlerock. Thanks for bringing back memories and reminding me that I really need to return!! Ellie

    • baybreezin
      October 21, 2017 / 5:01 pm

      Thanks so much for this lovely comment! Where is your family based? Portrush and Castlerock are incredible and yes you NEED to come back! And soon – because surely we will have used up all the rain for this year any day now 😉

      • October 21, 2017 / 5:31 pm

        Haha I love your rain logic. My Dad’s family moved over to London a while back and that’s where I grew up too. Will be sure to send over some sunny photos from when I make it back to Northern Ireland 🙂

  12. October 21, 2017 / 5:28 pm

    Bahahha, awesome post! A picture is worth a thousand words here!

    • baybreezin
      October 21, 2017 / 6:15 pm

      Haha, thanks Katherine! Nigel’s the one who’s responsible for this one. His sarcasm cracks me up every day 😀

  13. October 21, 2017 / 6:30 pm

    Gorgeous photos! My personal favorite is the rude sheep. What’s amazing is how no words were hardly required to convince me that this needs to be on my list, given the breathtaking photos. And, I loved this hilarious way of capturing attention for Northern Ireland. So fun!

    • baybreezin
      October 21, 2017 / 6:46 pm

      Thanks so much for taking the time to check it out. That is exactly the kind of reaction we were hoping to get and hopefully it might result in a few extra visitors in the future 🙂

  14. October 21, 2017 / 6:45 pm

    Loved your pictures and the sarcastic captions. Northern Ireland is on my bucket list, and your photos have inspired me more towards it!!

  15. October 21, 2017 / 7:29 pm

    Very clever! I love the sheep with his tongue hanging out! I guess I’ll skip Northern Ireland;)

    • baybreezin
      October 24, 2017 / 11:40 am

      Thanks Michelle! Yes, you’re definitely better giving it a miss! ☺️

  16. October 21, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    Your photos are amazing! When I read the title to your post, I had to open it since we are planning a trip to Ireland soon. Glad to see it was all sarcasm. LOL!

    • baybreezin
      October 24, 2017 / 11:42 am

      Thanks Michelle! Do let us know if you are planning to see Northern Ireland and County Donegal, which is up in the north too but part of the Republic of Ireland. It honestly is where all the best scenery is. We’re happy to give you a few itinerary tips 🙂

  17. Kelly
    October 22, 2017 / 2:58 am

    Omg I’m dying. I love your sense of humor. And god, why would anyone wanna go here? So gross. And geez, trees as a tourist attraction that I actually saw? Total waste of time. Wish I had seen this so I could have canceled my trip. Can’t wait to go back!!

    • baybreezin
      October 24, 2017 / 11:43 am

      😂😂😂 Lol Kelly! I really hope you’ve seen some of this amazing countryside outside of Belfast. If not, you MUST come back !!!

  18. Alastair Macintosh
    April 17, 2018 / 6:09 pm

    And you didn’t even mention the few Golf Courses or the legendary Motorcycle Road races.
    I moved to Portstewart in 1994. Bloody love it. Apart from the bloody tourists from Easter through to September. ( tic).

    • baybreezin
      April 17, 2018 / 6:14 pm

      Bloody tourists…who needs them!

  19. Nigel Kelso
    May 16, 2018 / 1:56 am

    Absolutely love your droll sense of humour. I have just scrolled through your websites for the second time and no doubt will visit again. I left N. Ireland 61 years ago when I was 20 to live in New Zealand and have been back 3 times since on each occasion spending most of my time in Glenarm and around the Antrim Coast. I lived for a few years in each of Glenarm, Giant’s Causeway, Portrush, Crawfordsburn, Bangor and Belfast and attended a boarding school in Dublin during my high school years.. My mother was in the profession of managing hotels which might explain the variety of locations.
    Ps. I did take the opportunity to tour around the rest of Ireland on my return visits and found it almost as beautiful!
    Good luck with any future versions of “Reasons not to go to N. Ireland”, I’d love to learn of more!

    • baybreezin
      May 16, 2018 / 2:28 am

      Hi Nigel…great name by the way…thank you so much for the wonderful comment. I always feel a sense of trepidation opening comments on that article as many comment without reading it first which creates a problem 😄. Glad you enjoy my rather warped sarcastic humour! You certainly lived in many of our favourite locations around Northern Ireland as we live beside Crawfordsburn but love Portrush and Glenarm etc 🙂

  20. Richard
    July 8, 2018 / 9:16 am

    I’m so glad you did not include Fermanagh in any of your “reasons to regret going to Northern Ireland”. It allows us to remain anonymous. Tourism is another way of saying “shitting in your own nest”. Let’s keep Fermanagh tourist-free.

  21. Jennifer
    March 9, 2019 / 5:36 pm

    Hello! American here coming later in the year (August) and as I’m researching I stumbled on your post. I could use some advice because I’m looking all over and I want to see the entire damn country! I’m coming into Dublin but I’ve noted Cork, Doolin, Dingle Peninsula, Ring of Kerry and now Northern Ireland on my list of places to see/visit. I think I’m in a bit over my head lol….any insight you can provide is much appreciated! Many thanks!

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