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5 slow travel experiences in Northern Ireland to help you reconnect

If you're craving simplicity, connection and creative inspiration right now, a trip to Northern Ireland could be all you wish for and more. So why not pour yourself a cup of Barry's tea and take note of these wholesome experiences, ready for your next trip...

If you’re craving simplicity, connection and creative inspiration right now, a trip to Northern Ireland could be all you wish for and more. So why not pour yourself a cup of Barry’s tea and take note of these wholesome experiences, ready for your next trip…

You’ve probably heard of the buzzword ‘slow travel’, but what exactly does it mean?

Here at Karryon, we believe slow travel is all about stopping to notice the little things going on around you; to step outside of the hustle and bustle, take a deep breath and enjoy a laid-back travel experience that is enriching for the mind, body and soul.

Northern Ireland is one of the best places in the world to experience this magical form of travel. You’ll have the chance to meet local craftspeople, connect with heritage and culture and enjoy scenery you’ll be dreaming about for years to come.

With charming little villages, soft green meadows, shimmering lakes and vast stretches of sandy Atlantic beaches – you’ll be pleased you opted to slow it down a notch.

Here are 5 wholesome artisan and slow adventure experiences to put on your Northern Ireland wish list, right now:

1. Go boating around the Fermanagh Lakelands

Northern Ireland
Image: Fermanagh Lakelands

Glassy waters, mysterious islands with ancient statues, and a pace of life that forces you to go slow all combine to make the Fermanagh Lakelands irresistible for a slow travel experience.

The best way to explore? Make some waves and take a barge, canoe or cruiser.

You can experience a whole way of life when you travel by water, complete with lazy lunches at waterfront cafés and pauses to cycle the countryside.

2. Set off on a Wild Horse Adventure

Northern Ireland
Image: Slow Adventure NI

Experience horse riding as nature intended. Each one of these horse-powered journeys is created so that you can escape from everyday life and connect with nature in a unique way.

Ride along country lanes, winding country roads and lush greenery you will be treated to panoramic views of Lough Foyle, Donegal and the North Coast. Take it the rhythm of the horse’s hooves as you soak up the fresh country air.

If you’d like to add to your experience, you can request a local storytelling guide to accompany you along the way.

3. Treat yourself at Ursa Minor Bakehouse

Northern Ireland
Image: Ursa Minor Bakehouse

If delicious home-cooked baked goods make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, a stop at self-taught bakers Ciara and Dara’s beautiful Ursa Minor Bakehouse is a must.

Located in Ballycastle, County Antrim, the Bakehouse focuses on seasonal and local produce using traditional techniques.

Step downstairs from the café, and you’ll find a little museum dedicated to the couple’s story, or book in for a tour and the team will show you the techniques to create unique, hand-shaped loaves that look, taste, and smell delicious.

And best of all, you can take some bakes away with you as you enjoy some walking trails along the breathtaking Antrim Coast.

4. Be inspired at The Steensons

Northern Ireland
Image: The Steensons via Facebook

You could travel the world searching for landscapes as visually rich as the Glens of Antrim.

These nine undulating valleys are the creative source from which The Steensons create entire ranges of exquisite jewellery.

As Goldsmith and Director Dan Spencer attests, the impact of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on their designs is substantial, and watching the goldsmiths at work offers an incredible insight into the creative process.

Northern Ireland
Game of Thrones® The Dark Hedges, The Kingsroad

Fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones® are in for a treat, too, as The Steensons are master crafters of the crowns worn by the late King Joffery and his bride Margaery, as well as other fantastical pieces for the show.

Admire the replicas at The Steensons gallery and purchase your own piece from the Game of Thrones® Jewellery Collection.  

5. Enjoy myths and stories on a Folk Ways and Ritual Landscape tour

Northern Ireland
Image: Slow Adventure NI

Northern Ireland has ancient landscapes full of myths and stories that have survived from prehistoric times.

And we are all about that good stuff when travelling slowly and curiously.

On this experiential tour, you will discover the stories and science behind sacrificial Bog Body sites and the ritual significance of Giant’s Graves from expert local guide Martin Bradley.

West Tyrone’s pagan sites are rich in local folklore where even the history of how these ancient sites have survived for over two thousand years make fascinating tales on their own.  

As you travel Martin will bring you to Pagan Wells, Fairy Trees and Standing Stones where you will also hear the myths and stories behind these sacred sites.

It’ll be like you’ve stepped back in time and reconnected with a little part of yourself that the modern world tried to hide.

Travel slowly and enjoy.

Click here for more information.

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