Our thought-provoking Northern Ireland tour is led by none other than the former BBC Foreign Correspondent, Martin Bell OBE. With an emphasis on discovering how the region is moving on from its troubled past, the tour provides a stimulating glimpse into the legacy of history.
Northern Ireland Revisited
With 2018 marking the twentieth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, this is an ideal time to undertake our Northern Ireland Revisited itinerary. We pride ourselves on our thoughtful and engaging series of escorted tours, but as someone who keenly remembers the turbulent time of the Troubles, I’m particularly proud of our five-night / six-day tour of the UK’s most remarkable region.
The Itinerary at a Glance
- During a welcome drinks reception on the first evening, Martin Bell will give a private talk at the famous Europa Hotel, an epicentre of the Troubles.
- The next day will give you time to explore Belfast, including the Shankill and Falls Road, the Irish Republican History Museum and the new Titanic Quarter.
- Day 3 reconnoitres the Antrim Coast, with a trip to the Old Bushmills whisky distillery and the marvellous, unmistakable Giant’s Causeway.
- Next, we head to Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland’s second largest city and a location heavily associated with the Troubles.
- On the final full day, we tour the republican stronghold of Crossmaglen, guided by ex-Republican prisoners, along with the gaol at Crumlin Road.
Martin Bell OBE
Martin Bell’s career as a BBC foreign affairs correspondent began in 1962 and has taken him to nearly a hundred countries. He’s covered conflicts in the Middle East, Bosnia, Nigeria and Vietnam, earning an OBE in 1992. Since leaving the BBC, he’s worked as an independent MP and as UNICEF Ambassador for Humanitarian Emergencies.
Martin has said, however, that one of his most demanding experiences was as the BBC correspondent in Northern Ireland, reporting from the streets of Belfast as the Troubles unfolded. “I was in the first wave of metropolitan reporters to hit the Province in the late 60s and early 70s,” he explains in his acclaimed memoir, Through the Gates of Fire, “witnessing pitched battles between the British Army and Loyalists on one side and Republicans on the other.”
Since the Good Friday Agreement, there’s been a great focus on moving on from the legacy of conflict, with cross-community arts groups flourishing, such as Cultúrlann on the Falls Road. Alongside having Martin as our principal tour guide, we’re extremely privileged to be shown around several of our sites by ex-political prisoners who were directly involved in the conflict. Passionate about helping Northern Ireland deal with the past and move into the future, they will provide a unique perspective on events.