Northern Ireland is a devolved region of the United Kingdom. It was formed in 1921, when the Island of Ireland was partitioned into two administrative areas.
Northern Ireland comprises 6 of the 9 counties of Ulster, a province of Ireland. Northern Ireland is the oldest devolved region of the UK.
Political system - parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Founded - 1921
Official language - English
Capital - Belfast
Area - 13,562 km2
Population - 1.9m
Currency - Pound Sterling £
Time zone - UTC
Alternatives names – Ulster, NI
Northern Ireland is a beautiful place, rich in history and natural beauty. The Giant's Causeway (pictured above) was the first World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland which was announced the same year that the UK joined the UNESCO scheme.
Filming of seasons one to eight of Game of Thrones took place in around 25 locations around Northern Ireland including Titanic Studios in Belfast, Cushendun Caves, Murlough Bay, Ballintoy Harbour, Larrybane, Antrim plateau, Castle Ward, Inch Abbey and Downhill Strand.
Game of Thrones is one of the most popular and successful fantasy TV series ever made. Northern Ireland’s rugged coast lines, historic castles and breathtaking scenery was the perfect setting for the epic story.
Northern Ireland is the home of invention. We gave the world the following:
Pneumatic Tyres - John Dunlop
Milk Chocolate - Hans Sloane
Streetcars - John Stephenson
Milk of Magnesia - Sir James Murray
Kelvin Temperature Scale - William Thompson
Electric Tramway - William and Anthony Traill
Penalty Kick - William McCrum
Modern Tractor - Harry Ferguson
Ejector Seat - Sir James Martin
Portable Defibrillator - Frank Pantridge and John Anderson
Belfast / Carryduff
Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdom and the second largest on the island of Ireland. It had a population of 343,542 in 2019.
By the time Belfast was granted city status in 1888, it was a major centre of Irish linen production, tobacco-processing and ropemaking.
Shipbuilding was also a key industry; the Harland and Wolff shipyard, which built the RMS Titanic, was the world's largest shipyard.
Belfast is still a port with commercial and industrial docks, including the Harland and Wolff shipyard, dominating the Belfast Lough shoreline.
10 Facts you probably didn’t know about Belfast
Belfast is home to Ireland’s tallest building (and bar!)
Belfast’s Obel Tower is the tallest building in Ireland, standing at 85m with 27 floors. Hastings Grand Central Hotel is the second tallest building, with 23 floors and a height of 80m, making the luxurious Observatory Bar on the top floor the tallest bar in Ireland with some of the most spectacular city views you’ll ever see.
Belfast was nicknamed Linenopolis
In the 1800s, industry in Belfast was booming. Among shipbuilding and the production of rope and tobacco, the city paved the way in the world’s linen industry. By the end of the 19th Century Belfast was known as the world’s linen capital and was nicknamed Linenopolis. Many of the city’s linen houses were in the district now known as the Linen Quarter.
Titanic was longer than the height of the world’s tallest building
Belfast was the birthplace of the RMS Titanic, the world’ most famous ship which, when it was constructed in the early 1900s, was longer than the height of the world’s tallest building at 882 feet and six inches in length. Weighing 46,328 tonnes, Titanic was to be the largest manmade moveable object the world had ever seen.
The symbol of Belfast is a seahorse
Pointing to the city’s maritime history, the symbol of a seahorse has strong connections with Belfast. Early merchants printed the creature on their coins throughout the 17th Century, and two seahorses still feature on Belfast’s coat of arms. You’ll also spot seahorses around the city, including the seahorse sculpture at Belfast’s port and the glowing seahorse logo on the side of the lofty Grand Central Hotel.
Led Zeppelin first played Stairway To Heaven in Belfast
The historic Ulster Hall, which dates back to 1862, is where Led Zeppelin famously took to the stage to debut Stairway to Heaven in March 1971.
You can dine in a Victorian office cubicle inside the Titanic Hotel
Titanic Hotel is housed in the former headquarters of Harland and Wolff. The beautifully restored Victorian building contains the Drawing Offices where RMS Titanic was dreamed and designed, and in the Wolff Grill Restaurant you’ll find an original Victorian office cubicle that can be booked for private dining!
CS Lewis was born in Belfast and the surrounding landscapes likely inspired The Chronicles of Narnia
Writer and theologian, Clive Staples Lewis was born in east Belfast in 1898 and later attended Campbell College, a private boys’ school that’s still open today. Among his most famous works were The Chronicles of Narnia, a series of fictional children’s books believed to have been inspired by hills, forests and castles around Belfast and across Northern Ireland.
Belfast is home to one of the largest optic lights ever made
The Great Light on Belfast’s Maritime Mile has the largest lenses ever made, emitting what was one of the strongest lighthouse beams in the world? The light is over 130 years old, weighs 10 tonnes and is seven metres tall!
Belfast has 3,000 acres of parks
The perfect city for going for a stroll – Belfast has an enormous 3,000 acres of lush green parks. From manicured gardens like Botanic Gardens to the forested Belvoir Park and Colin Glen, the city has a huge variety of green space.
Climate in Northern Ireland
The climate of Northern Ireland is mild, humid and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes. The country receives generally warm summers and cool winters. As Northern Ireland is downwind of a large ocean, it is considerably milder in winter than other locations at the same latitude, for example Newfoundland in Canada or Sakhalin in Russia.
January and February are the coldest months of the year and mean daily air temperatures fall between 4 and 7 °C during these months. July and August are the warmest, with mean daily temperatures of 14 to 16 °C, whilst mean daily maximums in July and August vary from 17 to 18 °C near the coast, to 19 to 20 °C inland. The sunniest months are May and June, with an average of five to seven hours sunshine per day.