Top 20 most viewed 360° images of 2015

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What were our most viewed posts and 360° photos for 2015?

Over 2015 year we added a further 1000 new 360° photos and virtual tours. So many great places were visited with our 360° cameras, but what were the ones you liked the most?

MAP-Top20

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Here are the Top 20 most popular posts (and 360° photos) visited by you on our destination Ireland 360° photo blog during 2015. There are 7 new entries, some you would expect and some interesting surprises.

Northern Ireland tops the list in 2015.  We’re delighted to see it and admittedly a little biased as it’s where we’re based.  Northern Ireland is a unique location. What makes it even more special is that it’s all so accessible. Every corner of the country is within a two hour drive so exploring its distinctive landmarks couldn’t be easier.

Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think?  Are you surprised by any of the locations in our Top 20?  Is there somewhere you’d like us to visit that we haven’t been to yet?


ONE – Carrickfergus Castle


At No.1 is the mighty Carrickfergus Castle.  You can’t miss this unique attraction as it dominates all approaches to the town. If you only get the chance to visit one castle in Northern Ireland, Carrickfergus should be the one.


 TWO – The Crown Bar Belfast


The Crown Bar Belfast. A unique visual gem and a veritable masterpiece in bar architecture which has the distinction of being known to millions all over the world as a place to see in Belfast.


THREE – Holywood Town


At No.3 is Holywood Town in County Down.  This jewel in North Down has a rich ecclesiastical heritage and boasts Ireland’s only surviving Maypole. If you happen to be staying in County Down Holywood is a particularly popular place to visit for its speciality shops including fashion boutiques, delis, and galleries.


FOUR – Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge


The amazing Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.  One of Northern Ireland’s best-loved attractions. Unrivalled coastal scenery & stunning views. Today visitors to this family attraction in Northern Ireland are drawn here simply to take the rope bridge challenge!


FIVE – Dublin City Hall


At No.5 is the stunning Dublin City Hall.  An outstanding example of the Georgian architecture for which Dublin is world-renowned. It’s easy to see why this Dublin visitor attraction made our top 20.


SIX – The Maryborough Hotel & Spa


Nestled in leafy suburbs The Maryborough Hotel & Spa is one of the finest luxury hotels in Cork with the charm and grandeur of a country residence. We stayed here for a week during our visit to County Cork last summer. Would highly recommend. 


SEVEN – Fry Model Railway


Despite it not being open to the public during 2015, the Fry Model Railway made it into our Top 10 most viewed 360° photos – perhaps due to the fact that visitors could take a ‘Virtual Visit’ as the next best thing. This unique collection of handmade models of Irish trains, from the beginning of rail travel to modern times, is currently in storage awaiting its new home in the Casino Malahide. 


EIGHT – Dunluce Castle


The spectacular castle-crowned crag of Dunluce Castle on the famous north Antrim coast is at No. 11. The castle is thought to be the inspiration for Cair Paravel in CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and is thought by many to be the most picturesque and romantic of Irish Castles.


NINE – Exploris Aquarium


At No.9  is Exploris Aquarium in County Down.  Here visitors can view & learn about the marine life indigenous to Strangford Lough (an Area of Special Scientific Interest) and coastline. It’s been through a tough time recently with threats of closure but as you can see remains one of our most popular posts.


TEN – Belfast Empire Music Hall


At No.10 is Belfast Empire Music Hall . A hugely popular nighttime venue in the City of Belfast. This 19th century converted church is now home to a renowned comedy night and regular live gigs and is a very popular place to eat and drink in Belfast.


ELEVEN – Sandhouse Hotel & Marine Spa


The homely Sandhouse Hotel & Marine Spa is a new entry at No. 11. Overlooking blue flag Rossnowlagh Beach, this Donegal hotel is a haven of relaxation on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.


TWELVE – W5 Belfast


W5 BelfastW5 is hard to put into words as it is an experience – W5 stands for whowhatwherewhenwhy – the five questions we all ask of everything… This award-winning science & discovery centre unlocks the secrets of science, nature, flight, geography, and creativity.  A great family day out and is one of the top family attractions in Northern Ireland.


THIRTEEN – Bangor Town


Since Victorian times, the Bangor area has been one of Northern Ireland’s main tourist towns, providing for the pleasure of trippers and tourists. We took a trip around Bangor Town with the 360° cameras and can understand why this made our Top 20.


FOURTEEN – Kinbane Castle


Punching into the Top 20 this year is new entry Kinbane Castle, one of the many Castles of Ireland. A magical and haunting location where you can almost feel the past. Set in a hollow between the cliffs and the sea the path to it is narrow and stepped. The castle – now in ruins – was built on a small rock promontory called Kinbane Head extending out into the sea. On a good day, great views to Rathlin Island can be had.

While not one of the famous Castles in Northern Ireland, its dramatic location and the fact that it is situated next to a road that you are likely to travel as you tour the North Antrim Coast means that it is certainly worth a visit.


FIFTEEN – Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Armagh


Armagh…The spiritual Capital of Ireland for 1500 years and the seat of both Church of Ireland and Catholic archbishops, Armagh is the oldest and most venerated of Irish Cities and has a long Christian heritage.

Another new entrySaint Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral stands on a hill, as does its Anglican counterpart, and has twin spires. A must see for visitors to Armagh and its Christian heritage sites. This is a most curious example of a very important building which changes both architect, and architectural style, half way up the walls.


SIXTEEN – Slemish Mountain


We’re pleased to see the majestic Slemish Mountain as a new entry this year. It is one of the definitive places to see in Co Antrim and is open year-round. The mountain is actually the central core of an extinct volcano and rises about 1500 feet (437 metres) above the surrounding plain.

Slemish is also a major historical site in Northern Ireland. According to legend Slemish is said to be where the boy slave Saint Patrick tended herds for his master Miluic in the 5th century, and ever since has been a place of pilgrimage on St Patrick’s Day, 17th March.


SEVENTEEN – Marble Arch Caves


At the foothills of Cuilcagh Mountain an incredible subterranean world awaits. Another new entry this year, Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark is host to one of the finest show caves in Europe.

Visitors to this Co. Fermanagh attraction are guided through a fascinating natural underworld of rivers, waterfalls, winding passages and lofty chambers while stunning cave formations glisten all around.


EIGHTEEN – Silent Valley


The stunning landscape of Silent Valley in County Down.  A Mountain Park situated in the high Mournes ringed by dramatic Mountain panoramas.

This 200 acre place to visit in Co Down is a combination of mountain, moorland and woodlands making it an ideal setting for seeing a range of the nature and wildlife of Northern Ireland.


NINETEEN – Johnstown Castle Gardens


New entryJohnstown Castle in County Wexford is one of the great Victorian revival Castles in Ireland.

This is a wonderful place for a stroll on a fine day. The Gardens are open to the public and there are some really lovely walks around the grounds. The pathways throughout the Castle grounds meander through woodland garden and around lakes. If staying in Wexford we highly recommend a visit here.


TWENTY – Titanic Experience Cobh


Follow in the footsteps of the last passengers to board Titanic. The Titanic Experience Cobh has secured our final new entry and more importantly the original offices of the White Star Line, the point of departure for the last passengers to board Titanic.

This Cork Visitor Attraction allows visitors to follow, literally, in the footsteps of the passengers as they embarked on the fateful voyage. It brings to life the experience on board, sharing the highs and lows of an early 20th century luxury cruise liner through clever set designs, audio visual aids, cinematic shows, holographic imagery and touch screen technology.

Importantly, this is the sole exhibition with a focus on the passengers who boarded at Cobh highlighting the intimate Irish connection to this legendary story.

 


And that wraps up our Top 20 most popular posts and 360° virtual tours of 2015. Hope you enjoyed this quick tour. Is it what you expected?

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to share with friends & family.


 

Editors Picks

Downpatrick Town

We flew our drone over Downpatrick town and captured a couple of aerial 360° photographs. Look out for the marker points in the aerial virtual tours, some of which will allow you to jump from the sky down into some of the various visitor attractions found in the town.

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