Northern Ireland Geography

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National borders

Northern Ireland covers an area of ​​13,843 km² and shares a border with the Republic of Ireland of 360 km.


Northern Ireland has a coast to the Atlantic Ocean with a length of around 500 km.

Northern Ireland Geography 2

Northern Ireland: geography

Area and national border

Northern Ireland is located in the northeast of the Irish island, about the same height as southern Scotland. The landscape is mainly characterized by the three mountain ranges of the Sperrin Mountains, the Antrim Hills and the Morne Mountains.
It is part of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” (UK) – with extensive autonomy. Northern Ireland is divided into six counties – Derry (Londenderry), Antrim, Down, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Armagh.
Northern Ireland covers an area of ​​13,843 km² and shares a border with the Republic of Ireland of 360 km.


Northern Ireland has a coast to the Atlantic Ocean with a length of around 500 km.

Tidal range

In Bangor, the mean tidal range is around 2.50 m.
For detailed explanations of ebb and flow, see Tides, Ebb and Flow.

The world’s highest tidal range can be found in the Bay of Fundy in Canada, where it is up to 16 m, and at spring tide even over 20 m. The Bay of Fundy is located on the Atlantic between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, which is called Nova Scotia in German and whose capital is Halifax. On the German North Sea coast it varies between 1 m and 3 m. In the western Baltic Sea, on the other hand, the tidal range is only 0.3 m, while it is barely noticeable in the eastern Baltic Sea.

Longitude and latitude

Northern Ireland covers the following latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from 54 ° 04 ‘to 55 ° 38’ north latitude
Δλ = from 005 ° 40 ‘to 008 ° 11’ west longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.


For Northern Ireland, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time (without summer time) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A minus sign means that it is earlier there and a plus sign that it is later than after CET:

Δt (CET) = – 1 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

Highest sun in Belfast

Belfast lies at a north latitude of around φ = 54.5 °.
As long as the sun is at the tropic, i.e. at δ = 23.5 °, it is the beginning of summer in Belfast, this is June 21. Then, for the highest position of the sun at noon, according to Eq. 1 (see position of the sun):

54.5 ° = (90 ° – h) + 23.5 °


H = 59 °

This is the highest level above the horizon (exactly: above the chimney) that the sun rises in Belfast during the year.

Mountains, ridges

There are three mountain ranges in Northern Ireland:

Sperrin Mountains in the northwest
Antrim Plateau in the northeast
Morne Mountains in the southeast of the country.

Slieve Donard
The highest mountain is the Slieve Donard in the Morne Mountains with a height of 852 m.


Upper and Lower Bann
The longest rivers in the country are the Upper and Lower Bann with a total length of 93 km. The Upper Bann flows from the south into Lough Neagh, the Lower Bann from there to the north, where it flows into the Atlantic.

Lagan, Foyle
Other rivers are the Lagan with a length of approx. 60 km and the Foyle.

Lakes, Lough Neagh

Lough Neagh
Northern Ireland includes several smaller and larger lakes. The largest lake is Lough Neagh with an area of ​​approximately 147.39 km².

Lower Lough Erne
Another larger lake is Lower Lough Erne with an area of ​​around 40.57 km².

Islands, Rathlin

The small island of Rathlin belongs to the territory of Northern Ireland. It is located off the north-east coast of the country, just 25 km from the Scottish Mull of Kintyre peninsula.

North Channel, Irish Sea, Atlantic

North Channel
The North Channel is a strait between Scotland and Northern Ireland and connects the Irish Sea with the Atlantic. In the canal is the small Northern Irish island of Rathlin, which is inhabited by around 100 people. The island is called by a car ferry from Bellycastle to the island’s port – Church Bay. At its narrowest point between Fair Head near Bellycastle in Northern Ireland and the Mull of Kintyre on the Scottish Kintyre Peninsula, the North Channel is just over 20 km wide, with a total length of around 160 km.

Northern Ireland Geography

Irish Sea

Northern Ireland borders to the east with the Irish Sea, which is located between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland.

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