Northern Ireland is emerging as a premier tourist destination, with natural beauty and famous sights galore.
While many have shared thousands of social media posts cheering the stunning sights, some opinions have taken a slightly “crazier” approach.
Belfast blogger and photographer Mark Rowan, who runs the popular Northern Ireland Traveler Instagram page, said the strangest remarks usually come from people comparing places with different shapes and objects.
Some say the rocks at Whiterock Beach “look like fingers and a hand”, while others have noted that Downhill House – part of the historic Downhill Demesne Estate adjacent to Mussenden Temple – resembles a guitar.
Mark laughed: “The best part was someone saying that the Beaghmore Stone Circles in Cookstown look like the shape of a penis from above. I had to delete this post!”
Magherafelt woman Francesca McKee, who runs a travel blog on Instagram with over 13,000 followers, noted that after a few drinks, a big draw for keen visitors is often to head aboard Belfast’s Salmon of Knowledge – aka the Big Fish climb.
A man from England commented that he thought it was real stuffed salmon (it’s actually ceramic).
“Six out [of] five wouldn’t be enough for this lazy session,” he wrote on TripAdvisor.
“Wow wow wow. This was well worth the flight from Bristol. As an avid fisherman and lover of all things with scales, I was amazed to see what is said to be the largest stuffed fish in the world.
“I can’t recommend this enough, if you only do one thing in Belfast make sure it’s the big fish.”
Another TripAdvisor review described the “breathtakingly fabulous” view from Belfast Castle, where the commentator had organized a charity day for the Blind and Deaf Driving Society.
“I thought I would find a prince… but left in a ruff!” She captioned her roller coaster ride of a post.
“The view was breathtakingly fabulous. Too bad the others couldn’t see it but enjoyed the fresh air and amenities in the courtyard… Great views of Belfast – but after a look or two it gets a little easy on the eyes.
“Went for a coffee after 30 minutes. Fell down a flight of stairs, breaking an ankle and shin. Good toilet access. Nice locals. Spoiled by the news that my house had been broken into and valuables stolen (but that’s not the castle’s fault). All in all, good day. But safer than ever.”
Meanwhile, a comment on TikTok below a video of a travel vlogger suggesting places to visit on the island of Ireland said: “I fell off the Giants Causeway and survived. I was told it made the news, but [I’ve] never seen.”
This would be a good time to include a disclaimer that Northern Ireland tourist attractions are not typically dangerous areas.
And what exactly defines a tourist attraction?
A Reddit user asked for recommendations on the “top five things” to do while in NI.
With many suggesting obvious locations such as the Giant’s Causeway or Ulster-American Folk Park in Co Tyrone, the most popular said: ‘Visit Northern Ireland’s largest Tesco supermarket in Newtownbreda, you could spend half a day browsing there for goods for sale and have lunch at the cafe there.”
Another Giant’s Causeway reviewer was puzzled at the prospect of Finn McCool not showing up when they arrived.
“Just a bunch of oddly shaped stones. No giants,” they wrote in their one-star review.
Another said: “How interesting can a cairn be… the answer isn’t very… Visit your local builder’s yard and have a quick peek at the next stack of blocks.”
About half an hour down the road at the Dark Hedges, made famous by Game of Thrones, one unlucky camper said, “Just because this road with some trees is in an evil TV show, they get bombarded with people who can’t do days work… Where will God’s world go?”
Arguably the wildest, and possibly most hilarious, concept of all comes from TikTok, where a number of content creators from across the Republic and beyond have started a trend claiming that Co Fermanagh isn’t real.
When searching for “Fermanagh” in the app, which allows users to post short clips, typically one minute long, one of the top search results is “Does Fermanagh exist?”
Many say that is not the case, saying that ‘no one really lives there’, but we can confirm that Fermanagh is no pipe dream of Northern Ireland. Adrian Dunbar can certainly support us.
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/northern-ireland/from-fishy-misunderstandings-to-fermanagh-not-existing-the-weird-wacky-and-wonderful-northern-ireland-tourism-reviews-41904690.html From lazy misconceptions to Fermanagh that doesn’t exist, the weird, wacky and wonderful Northern Ireland tourism reports