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2 | NORTHERN IRELAND – Say Hello to More

Giant’s Causeway

SS Nomadic at Titanic Belfast

Pictured at the launch of Tourism NI’s autumn campaign inviting Republic of Ireland visitors to ‘Say Hello to More’ in Northern Ireland are Economy Minister Simon Hamilton, Tourism NI Chairman Terence Brannigan (striped suit/ white hair), John McGrillen, Tourism NI Chief Executive, and Fiona Cunningham, ROI Market Manager Benone Beach


Falling into place Star of BBC Two’s The Fall, Aisling Franciosi, talks about filming in Northern Ireland, and how she really feels when she’s asked about working with Jamie Dornan

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Put a Sperrin in your step Why award-winning Silverbirch Hotel in Co Tyrone is the perfect base for an autumn break

Fantastic foodie breaks in a classic Georgian house Discover the tastes and luxuries at Beech Hill Country House Hotel Belfast – a city reborn All that makes Northern Ireland’s capital so unique

Double the luxury with Hilton Hotels How to get the best from your Hilton experience

From Belfast to Westeros – Northern Ireland as hit TV location Our top five Game of Thrones locations in Northern Ireland

Land of adventure Northern Ireland is a thrill-seeker’s paradise – here are some of the adventures you can look forward to

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Awe-inspiring sights at Marble Arch Caves Geopark Exciting tours for the whole family this autumn

Enniskillen Castle – beautiful and historic The newly refurbished Enniskillen Castle is a sight not to be missed Experience Belfast at a slower pace At Malone Lodge Hotel, you can!

Derry-Londonderry – a harmony of past and present Five ‘must do’ ways to experience the history of this most historical of cities Unique Northern Ireland Discover the North’s best-kept secrets

A warm welcome at Mahon’s Hotel Mahon’s in Co Fermanagh takes pride in catering for your every need


Foodie times – NI Year of Food and Drink Find the most scrumptious gems in Northern Ireland


Let the festivities begin With so many fun events and activities to enjoy in Northern Ireland, you might not know where to start when planning out your trip. We put together some ideas

 A BeCreative Editorial Production

Editor: Ben Murnane Deputy Editors: Clodagh Dooley, Patricia Madden Editorial and image support: Tourism NI Advertising: Carol McMenamin 048 43 75 1912 Design: Susan McClean, INM Design Studio, Belfast Repro: Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1

Why it’s the perfect time to visit

Wakeboarding in Fermanagh

Northern Ireland When autumn arrives, the Emerald Isle’s city parks, forests and undulating countryside turn into a kaleidoscope of gold, topaz and ruby hues – it’s never been a more atmospheric time to be in Northern Ireland. From beautiful Mountsandel forest walks down along the River Bann in Coleraine to experiencing the elements at the height of a storm from Blackhead Lighthouse in Co Antrim, there is much of the North worth seeing in all its seasonal glory. CHANGING IT UP It comes as no surprise that a record 2.3 million overseas tourists visited and stayed in Northern Ireland last year. However, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency said the number of people visiting the North from the Republic of Ireland fell by 69,000 in 2015, one of the main causes being the effect of the strong pound. But Sterling has weakened since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June, making Northern Ireland more attractive

as a destination for visiting and shopping. And just as the leaves fall from the trees, so do accommodation prices. Before the Brexit vote, €1 bought approximately 76 pence in sterling. Now, it’s buying around 86 pence – Northern Ireland has become a destination to make your Euro go further. Eating out, attending festivals and many other activities may cost you considerably less and who knows how long this will last for. So, if you’re looking for a short-haul break away and an overseas option doesn’t

suit your schedule or your budget, now is the perfect time to re-consider visiting your next-door neighbours!

HAPPY DAYS If the new exchange rate isn’t reason enough to consider a visit to the North, then perhaps the friendly locals can persuade you. A survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that people in Northern Ireland are the happiest in the UK. The report, which measures a person’s general wellbeing, shows that people are getting happier – and Harvard scientists say happiness is infectious! Jon Snow, of Game of Thrones, once said: “Cold and damp, that’s how the Southerners see the North. But without the cold, a man can’t appreciate the roof over his head. Without the rain, a man can’t appreciate the roof over his head.” For those living outside Northern Ireland, the image may be that the country is Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

suffused with the experience and effects of years of conflict. However, those years have long passed and a visit to the North will introduce you to a new, vibrant and positive energy. Northern Ireland is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking sights and areas of outstanding natural beauty, including the Ring of Gullion and the Mourne Mountains. Not only are these sights great for a weekend spin, but you’ll find that each county – from Antrim to Tyrone – has its own rich mythological history, which is helping to give the country its unique identity. “There is so much to see and do in Northern Ireland that you cannot find anywhere else,” says Fiona Cunningham, Tourism NI Hospitality Manager. “Tourism NI has a new ‘Say Hello to More’ campaign (, which is inviting people right across Ireland to say hello to more unique experiences, world-famous sights, fascinating culture and award-winning food by booking a break in Northern Ireland. “From world-famous crowd-pullers like the Giant’s Causeway and Titanic Belfast to lesser known, but equally stunning attractions, such as Dunluce Castle, Finn Lough and the Silent Valley, there is a world of new experiences just waiting to be discovered literally on your doorstep – just a drive or a quick train journey up the road and you’re there!”

Northern Ireland Breaks  

I wrote the introduction (p2-3) in 'Say Hello to More' magazine, published in the Irish Independent on October 13th.

Northern Ireland Breaks  

I wrote the introduction (p2-3) in 'Say Hello to More' magazine, published in the Irish Independent on October 13th.