Top 20 most viewed Virtual Tours of 2016

Be in the picture!

In 2016 we added 100’s more 360° photos and virtual tours of tourism businesses and destinations across Ireland.

Many wonderful places were visited, but what were the ones you liked the most?

Local Guide Maps

Here are the Top 20 most popular pages (and 360° virtual tours) visited by you during 2016. There are 6 new entries, some you would expect and some interesting surprises.

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?


No.1 – 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.

For a unique perspective of the castle visit our Carrickfergus Town page where we used a drone to capture an aerial 360° image from 200ft above the castle.


No.2 – 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.


No.3 – 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


No.4 – 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!


No.5 – Holywood Town


At No.5 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.


No.6 – Exploris Aquarium


At No.6  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. After almost two years of being closed to the public it re-opened again in August 2016. It remains one of our most popular pages and we will hopefully return in 2017 to revisit the new aquarium.


No.7 – Curracloe Beach & Raven Nature Reserve


NEW ENTRY! Curracloe beach is one of the cleanest beaches on the Irish coast and is best known for having featured in the Second World War themed motion picture ‘Saving Private Ryan.’

Any visit to Wexford is not complete without a stroll along this sunny south east coastline. It’s a wonderful place to visit for a day and offers long walks and one of Ireland best white sandy beaches.


No.8 – 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.


No.9 – 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 10.


No.10 – Dublin City Hall


At No.10 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 10.


No.11 – Titanic Experience Cobh


Follow in the footsteps of the last passengers to board Titanic. The Titanic Experience Cobh is housed in 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.


No.12 – Belfast Waterfront


NEW ENTRY! In the heart of the City of Belfast, the Belfast Waterfront has been designed as a multi-purpose venue with ultra-modern facilities to accommodate arts and entertainment, business and conference events.

The visually and acoustically stunning Main Auditorium is circular and the design is based upon that of a Berlin concert hall designed by Hans Scharan.


No.13 – St 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.

Saint 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.


No.14 – Johnstown Castle Gardens


Johnstown 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.


No.15 – Carrickfergus Town


NEW ENTRY! Carrickfergus Town town known locally and colloquially as “Carrick“, is a large town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is County Antrim’s oldest town and one of the oldest settlements in Northern Ireland as a whole.

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

Carrickfergus is an excellent starting point for any visitor exploring the beautiful Causeway Coast and Glens.


No.16 – Ballywalter Estate


NEW ENTRY! The home of Lord and Lady Dunleath and one of the great historic houses in Co Down, this Italianate palazzo mansion was constructed by Charles Lanyon for Andrew Mulholland, great, great, great grandfather of the present owner.

It is still very much a private house, whose fabric and contents continue to evolve, as they have, over time. Through a careful process of restoration, dedication and enthusiasm Ballywalter Park is probably in as good a condition now as when it was originally built all those years ago.


No.17 – Slemish Mountain


We’re pleased to see the majestic Slemish Mountain once again in our Top 20. 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.


No.18 – Tyrella Beach


NEW ENTRY! With its miles of sandy beach and sparkling clean water, Tyrella Beach is a firm favourite with the locals. Kids can splash around happily in one of the safest, cleanest beaches in Ireland, while adults relax and enjoy the stunning natural setting at the foot of the magnificent Mountains of Mourne.


No.19 – Kinbane Castle


Kinbane Castle, while not one of the famous Castles in Northern Ireland, is 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.

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.


No.20 – The Grand Opera House, Belfast


NEW ENTRY! Since opening its doors on 23 December 1895, the Grand Opera House has delivered an unrivalled programme of entertainment, playing host to some of the greatest names in theatre and music.

According to the Theatres Trust the “magnificent auditorium is probably the best surviving example in the United Kingdom of the oriental style applied to theatre architecture”. It was renamed the Palace of Varieties in 1904, although it reverted to its original name in 1909.

 


And that wraps up our Top 20 most popular posts and 360° virtual tours of 2016. 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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