10 fun facts about Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway, Norther Ireland

Northern Ireland is a very strange place, and one that is not that easy to get to know. Politically part of the United Kingdom, geographically (and some argue, culturally) part of Ireland, Northern Ireland has often drawn the short straw in history. Many people associate Northern Ireland (or Ulster, as it is often called) with the IRA and religious conflicts, but fortunately, the situation is stable now. This part of the UK has a huge variety of attractions for tourists, both natural and artificial. Some of the most fascinating natural wonders in the UK (and the island of Ireland, as a matter of fact) are located here, and if you are planning on visiting the country, there are some info about it that might come in handy – here are 10 fun facts about Northern Ireland.

1. The cuisine

The Ulster Fry is one of the best known dishes in Northern Ireland, and while it is loaded with things that will make the health conscious run in terror, it is utterly delicious: bacon, egg, soda bread, sausage, potato bread, mushrooms, fried tomato, baked beans  and pudding.

2. Minority Languages

English is the most widely spoken language in the country, but there are pockets of Irish and Ulster Scots, and the most spoken minority language is Chinese.

3. Unlucky ships

Titanic was built and launched from Belfast Harbor.

4. Young country

Almost half of the population of Northern Ireland is under 30 years old, so it’s no surprise that the nightlife is flourishing and lively.

5. Has the largest lake

Lough Neagh, splat in the middle of the country, is the largest lake in the UK and among the top 40 largest lakes in Europe.

6. The accent

Northern Irish accent is quite distinctive and in addition to that, there are lots of words that are used only in this part of the UK (if someone says prutties they mean potatoes, wean means child, etc.)

7. Scarcely populated

The population of Northern Ireland amounts to only 3% of the population of the UK, and the country is the least populated UK constituent after Scotland.

8. Haunted places

Ballygally Castle in Co Antrim, now a hotel, is reputedly the most haunted place in Northern Ireland – the ghost of the castle’s first owner supposedly knocks at guests’ doors at night!

9. The religion

Unlike in the neighboring Republic of Ireland, most of the inhabitants in N. Ireland are protestant, which has lead to some tensions between the catholic and protestant inhabitants which can be felt even now in some areas.

10. Oldest castle in Ireland

Killyleagh Castle in Co Down is the oldest continually occupied castle in Ireland, inhabited since the 13th century and now a private home!

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