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Travel Around Belfast

Publish Time:2017-08-14 13:11:06Source:Visit Belfast

【Introduction】:Belfast city area has a population of 670,000 people and in the early 19th century it was an industrial powerhouse, producing linen, ships and rope manufacture. One of the most famous ships built in the city was “Titanic”. Belfast is now a centre for digital-tech industries and a burgeoning cultural and tourism destination.

Introduction

The name Belfast originates from the Irish word Béal Feirste which means "river mouth of the sandbanks", and takes its name from the Farset River, a tributary of the river Lagan which runs through the centre of the city.

Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland and is governed by elected City Councillors who administer the city. The city is positioned between County Antrim and County Down and its unique geographic location makes it a major transportation and tourism hub for Northern Ireland.

Belfast city area has a population of 670,000 people and in the early 19th century it was an industrial powerhouse, producing linen, ships and rope manufacture. One of the most famous ships built in the city was “Titanic”. Belfast is now a centre for digital-tech industries and a burgeoning cultural and tourism destination.

Following a period of sectarian conflict, the Good Friday Agreement signed in 1998 was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990s. Northern Ireland's present devolved system of government is based on this agreement. The agreement also created a number of institutions between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Walled by hills, nestled around the banks of a river flowing to the lough, Belfast’s heritage, archaeology, architecture and townscape tell the city’s physical and social stories. The city’s art is rich in the quality and variety of its artists and arts organisations, and it is home to the finest practitioners who are receiving international awards and acclaim. The city has a unique history and a future full of promise. This is what makes Belfast distinct.

Belfast holds around 100 culture and arts festivals each year, which has included in the past the Tall Ships Festival, MTV Europe Music Awards, Tour of Italy cycle race that started in Belfast, and World Police and Fire Games. Of note is the Belfast International Arts Festival, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX9MIpf7K4U which is the largest international arts festival in Ireland. The festival has a theme each year and attracts many famous national and International artists who come to the city to perform music, dance, drama, poetry, visual arts and other forms of art to light up the city.

Belfast is a dynamic international city and welcomes tourists from around the world. Among the 2016 tourism awards from The Guardian and The Observer, Belfast won the Best UK City award. It also boasts the world’s number 1 leading tourist attraction, Titanic Belfast (World Travel Awards) and is one of the top places to travel to for food in the world. (National Geographic).

This is the place where the dream of Titanic began

On March 31st, 1909, construction of the Titanic began at Harland & Wolff Ship Builders in Belfast. The ship was launched on May 31st, 1911, and the entire project was finished on March 31th of the following year. However, the maiden voyage of Titanic ended in April and this has led to one of the most tragic maritime disasters in human history. After 100 years, on March 31st, 2012, Titanic Belfast, was officially open to the public.

Viewing the shivering landmark from the bank of the Lagan River, it is a quadrilateral building with modern metallic gloss and angles. The building design represents the bow of the ship. Inside the building displays everything about Titanic, including stories of the city and the people, passengers aboard the ship and scientists discovering and exploring the ship later at the bottom of the sea bed. The building includes a temporary exhibition, a banquet hall that can accommodate 1,000 people, educational and community facilities, restaurants, retail establishments, and underground parking.

Titanic Belfast, named ‘World’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ at the prestigious World Travel Awards, 2016, is located beside the Titanic Slipways, the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and Hamilton Graving Dock – the very place where Titanic was designed, built and launched in 1912.

Titanic Belfast tells the story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to its maiden voyage and subsequent place in history.

The self-guided Titanic Experience extends over nine interpretive and interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her.

On entering, visitors can step back in time learn about the thriving industries and exciting design innovations that led to the creation of RMS Titanic, the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Pass through the original Harland & Wolff gates to continue the journey to the Shipyard and the dark ride that uses special effects, animations and full-scale reconstructions to recreate the reality of shipbuilding in the early 1900s.

The Dark Hedges and the Giant’s Causeway, one day tour of Game of Thrones

Those who haven’t been to the Giant’s Causeway cannot be counted as tourists who have visited Northern Ireland. Seriously speaking, the Giant’s Causeway is not located in Belfast but along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean about 80 km northwest of Belfast. There you will find a thousand meters long causeway that consists of tens of thousands of similar-sized basalt pillars. This causeway was included in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List. In the past 300 years, geologists have researched its structure and learned that it came into form after volcano eruptions in the Tertiary period. After experiencing erosion from waves, these stone pillars have been cut in different heights and look like a forest of tall and short stone pillars. On the coast of the “Giant’s Causeway,” more than 40,000 basalt pillars are irregularly ranked and stretch several kilometers.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular and successful fantasy TV series ever made. It's filmed in Titanic Studios, Belfast and across various locations throughout Northern Ireland including the Cushendun Caves, Murlough Bay, Ballintoy Harbour, Larrybane, Antrim plateau, Castle Ward, Inch Abbey and Downhill Strand.

Get the full experience and tour the Game of Thrones Northern Ireland filming locations while you are here. Our rugged coast lines, historic castles and spectacular scenery are the perfect setting for this epic story.

Not far away from the Giant’s Causeway is the famous “Dark Hedges,” Zelkova serrata Makino trees stand on either side of the road. The trees have large and twisting roots and have formed dense canopies on top, which make this road become one page of wonderlands. In Game of Thrones, this road was named King’s Road, however it is known locally as “The Dark Hedges.”

Food

Eating out is one of the great pleasures in life. It’s also one of the joys of travel. There’s nothing like a new city, new restaurants and new culinary experiences. For a city the size of Belfast the choice of places to eat is surprising. We offer everything from fine dining, brasseries and bistros to gastro pubs, cafes, coffee shops and some of the best fish & chips around.

The breakfast in Belfast has always been well-known as luxurious: fried eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, mushrooms and a piece of black pudding. The authentic Irish breakfast should also include, soda bread, potato bread, and wheaten bread.

A traditional evening meal is the classic deep fried fish and chips, and one of the oldest fast food restaurants in the city that sells this is Long’s Fish and Chip restaurant, located in the center of Belfast, near the Grand Opera House.

St George's Market

The present St. George's Market, built 1890-1896, is one of Belfast's oldest attractions. The market is home to some of the finest fresh produce, with customers travelling near and far to sample the delights of Friday, Saturday and Sunday markets.

There has been a Friday market on the St George’s site since 1604. The present award-winning St George’s Market, built between 1890 and 1896, is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions.

As well as being home to some of the finest fresh produce, with customers travelling near and far to sample the delights of Friday, Saturday and Sunday markets, it has become one of the city's most popular places to visit.

Since its £4.5m refurbishment in 1997, this charming Victorian building offers one of the most vibrant and colourful destinations that Belfast has to offer.

Friday Variety Market

The Friday Variety Market is open 6 am to 3 pm. Around 248 market stalls sell a diverse range of products from Atlantic shark and zips, to antiques and fresh fruit. The fish section alone contains 23 fish stalls and holds the reputation for being the leading retail fish market in Ireland. You can also listen to live music from local solo artists.

Saturday City Food, Craft and Garden Market

The Saturday City Food and Craft Market is open 9 am to 3 pm. Enjoy the best food tastes and smells brought by local producers, as well as a fusion of tempting continental and speciality foods from around the world. Customers can sample the produce, relax with a coffee and a newspaper against a backdrop of live music from top local bands and solo artists.

Sunday Food, Craft and Antique Market

The Sunday Market is open 10 am – 4 pm and is a mixture of the traditional Friday Variety Market and Saturday’s award-winning City Food and Craft Market. It has a special emphasis on local arts and crafts, offering more local craftspeople the opportunity to show off their talents. Live music from top local bands and solo artists also ensures that visitors are kept entertained. Products on sale include local, continental and specialty foods, scented candles, clothes, handmade jewellery, antiques, art and souvenirs.

It was named the UK's Best Large Indoor Market 2014 by the National Association of British Market Authorities.

Crumlin Road Gaol

The Crumlin Road Gaol is a 19th century Grade A listed jail. Now a visitor attraction, it is open to the public for guided tours, concerts and events. Take a tour to experience all aspects of the Gaol from the tunnel linking the courthouse on the other side of the Crumlin Road to the hanging cell, Governor’s office, hospital and graveyard.

Crumlin Road Gaol first opened its gates to prisoners in 1846 and for 150 years was a fully operational prison. On March 31, 1996, the Governor of Belfast's Crumlin Road Gaol walked out of the fortified prison and the heavy air-lock gates slammed shut for the final time.

During those 150 years the Gaol has housed murderers, suffragettes and loyalist and republican prisoners. It has witnessed births, deaths and marriages and has been the home to executions, escapes, hunger-strikes and riots.

The Tour

On a 70 minute guided tour, you will be taken through the years and experience what life was like for those imprisoned in ‘The Crum’.

Follow in the footsteps of over 25,000 prisoners and make the journey through the tunnel that connects the Gaol to the Courthouse. Explore C-Wing and see for yourself what prison life was like through the ages as well as the dark secret that lies within its walls. Pay a fleeting visit to the Condemned Man’s Cell where 17 men spent their last days before being executed. You will also visit the gravesite within the Gaol where the remains of 15 of the executed men still remain today.

Article source: Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau

Photo sources: Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau: Outdoor Recreation NI

European Capital of Culture

Belfast has recently agreed to work with Derry City and Strabane District Council to develop a joint bid to become the UK’s nominated host city for the European Capital of Culture in 2023.

If we’re successful in our bid, we’ll host a year-long programme of events that will showcase both cities and the region resulting in huge benefits.

The European Capital of Culture (ECoC) is an annual designation awarded by European Commission to nations inside and outside of the EU.

Since it launched in 1985, 56 cities have hosted the title including two in the UK – Glasgow in 1990 and Liverpool in 2008. Dublin held the title in 1991, Cork in 2005 and Galway will be Capital of Culture in 2020.

In their title year, a designated city organises a programme of cultural events with a strong European dimension. The aim is to celebrate and showcase our cultural excellence, broaden access to culture and act as a catalyst for economic and social development. The result should be long-term transformation for the region.

Being a European Capital of Culture celebrates not only the arts and cultural events but it has the power to build on a range of positives in our cities and help address those issues we’d like to make better.

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