This month, we were fortunate enough to visit the beautiful and utterly brilliant Belfast. Only a twenty minute flight from where we live in Glasgow, I was shocked that we hadn’t thought to venture there previously. But my goodness, I’m so happy that we have now.
You probably know Belfast as the place with the Titanic experience, but there’s so much more to see. The Titanic Museum itself was excellent, thoroughly accessible with free carer tickets, audio guides and even video British Sign Language guides, too! The experience takes you through Belfast’s ship-making history, from it’s ‘boom’ days when the Titanic was built, to the roles and backgrounds of many of the shipyard workers and managers, to the ship’s grand unveiling and truly tragic end. I’d really recommend an afternoon at the Titanic experience, especially if the weather isn’t too pleasant!
My personal highlights of our trip to Belfast, though, were our Giants Causeway tour and Black Cab tour. The Giants Causeway is approximately a 90 minute drive from the centre of Belfast, and a complete natural marvel with its hexagonal basalt rocks appearing out of the sea. Our tour started early in the morning as we were to take the ‘scenic route’, visiting some of Northern Ireland’s most beautiful castles, tasting whiskey at the famous Bushmill’s distillery and even seeing some of the Game of Thrones filming sights on our way to the Causeway. Once at the Causeway, a fully accessible bus takes guests from the visitors’ centre down to the rocks, and audio guides are also available to explain some of the most famous of the Causeway’s myths and fables. All in all, this was a real treat of a day, and not to be missed if you ever venture to Belfast.
Our Black Cab tour really was something else. I had previously heard about the Troubles in Belfast between Catholics and Protestants, but to be taken into both areas by a knowledgeable taxi driver who had seen it all for himself was absolutely fascinating. Seeing the concrete Peace Wall that still stands to separate the two communities, and runs right through the city with extra high wire having been added to stop things like explosives being thrown over, was incredibly sad but vitally important for our education, and to ensure that things like this don’t happen in the future.
In Belfast, we were met with nothing but kindness and warmth. If you like culture and history, great pubs, amazing cuisine and locals that will stand and giggle with you with a pint in their hand, then this city is one you should absolutely make your way to.