28.01.2015 Views

belfast

belfast

belfast

SHOW MORE
SHOW LESS

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

Maps Events Restaurants Cafés Nightlife Sightseeing Shopping Hotels

Belfast

August - September 2014

This is Titanic

In and around

Belfast’s big attraction

Beauty and the beach

Seaweed spa breaks

beside the sea

WIN a Translink Family

Pass and tickets to W5

COMPLIMENTARY COPY

inyourpocket.com

N°53

belfast.inyourpocket.com


Contents

ESSENTIAL

CIT Y GUIDES

Arriving & Basics 5

Belfast’s Quarters 11

History 12

Our complicated past condensed to one page

Culture, Events & Sport 13

Restaurants 16

Cafés & Bistros 20

Nightlife 23

What to see 28

Titanic in Belfast 35

West Belfast & Shankill 39

NI Highlights & Hidden Gems 41

Derry~Londonderry 48

Where to stay 51

Shopping 52

Maps & Index

Northern Ireland 55

City centre 56-57

Greater Belfast 58

Street Index 58

Follow Belfast In Your Pocket

on

and

20 Stops Including

Hop On - Hop Off

Living History Tour

Hop On - Hop Off

Wall Murals

Titanic Quarter

Parliament Buildings

(Stormont)

2 s

Belfast CitySightseeing Ltd, Unit 16, Duncrue Industrial Estate, Duncrue Road, Belfast BT3 9B

Tel: 02890 321 321 Fax: 02890 33 33 88

find us on

Follow us on Twitter!

www.city-sightseeing.com www.citysightseeingbelfast.com

@tourbelfast

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 3


Foreword

Northern Ireland’s north coast continues to dominate

for daytrippers. So, when we got an invite to check out a

new spa with self-catering, we thought ‘aye, go on’. Find

out Bellisle’s delights on p.45.

Back in Belfast city, late summer transcends into early

autumn as locals mingle with in-bounds here to dine,

shop and sightsee. Not forgetting going wild and crazy

with a great line-up of concerts. See p.13 for the latest

events. Then flick to What to see (p.28), Restaurants

(p.16) and Nightlife (p.23) to round off your big Belfast

blowout.

Derry~Londonderry awaits with its city sights and delights.

We never tire of a walk along the medieval walls

followed by a pint at Peadars or meal in one of the city’s

many fine restaurants. And Fermanagh’s lakes, Mourne’s

mountains and the Ards Peninsula’s stunning coastline

keep that fine NI scenery rolling. Go explore from p.41.

Cover story

NORTHERN

IRELAND

IRELAND

DUTCH

CARIBBEAN

NETHERLANDS

POLAND

GERMANY

BELGIUM

CZECH

REPUBLIC

Ever since Titanic Belfast

opened in April

2012, ahead of the

centenary of the ship’s

sinking, it has arguably

established itself

as NI’s most iconic visitor

attraction. If you

haven’t been yet, go.

If you have, go again

and explore more

of Titanic Quarter’s

maritime sights (from

p.35).

ESTONIA

LATVIA

LITHUANIA

BELARUS

AUSTRIA

SWITZERLAND

HUNGARY

SLOVENIA

CROATIA

ROMANIA

ITALY

BOSNIA SERBIA

BULGARIA

MONTENEGRO

FYR MACEDONIA

ALBANIA

GREECE

UKRAINE

RUSSIA

SOUTH

AFRICA

Publisher ESSENTIAL

Belfast In Your Pocket CIT Y GUIDES

belfast@inyourpocket.com

www.inyourpocket.com

ISSN 1747-0021

© Belfast In Your Pocket

Published four times per year.

Next issue Oct - Dec 2014

Published by In Your Pocket Ltd.

For all enquiries and comments

contact belfast@inyourpocket.com

Editorial

Managing Editor

Heidi McAlpin (+44) (0)7980 267233

heidi.mcalpin@inyourpocket.com

Design Vaida Gudynaite

Copyright notice

Text copyright Belfast In Your Pocket 2000-2014. Maps copyright

Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Visit West Belfast, Visit West Belfast

and Visit Derry. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may

be reproduced in any form, except brief extracts for the purpose

of review, without written permission from the publisher and

copyright owner. The brand name In Your Pocket is used under

license from UAB In Your Pocket (Bernardinu 9-4, Vilnius, Lithuania

tel. (+370-5) 212 29 76).

For competitions and all the latest Belfast and NI tourism

news...Find us on

and

/BELFASTIYP

@BELFASTIYP

GEORGIA

About IYP

We have come a long way in the 22

years since we published the first In

Your Pocket guide - to Vilnius in Lithuania

- so much so that we are today the

largest publisher of locally-produced

city guides in the world. The recent

publication of a guide to the islands of

the Dutch Caribbean - our first in the

Western Hemisphere - has taken the

number of guides published each year

by In Your Pocket to well over five million,

spread across more than 100 cities

on three continents. And there is more

to come: make sure you keep up with all

that’s new at In Your Pocket by liking us

on Facebook (facebook.com/inyourpocket)

or following us on Twitter (twitter.

com/inyourpocket).

SYMBOL key

BELFAST Weather

Arriving & Basics

4 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 5

Temperature (°C) Rainfall (mm)

H Conference facilities

L Parking

K Restaurant

D Sauna

M Metro Bus

Temper rature °C

20

18

16

14

12

10

8

6

4

2

0

h FREE admission

F Fitness centre

J City centre location

C Swimming pool

Y Belfast Visitor Pass

By plane

George Best Belfast City Airport Named after

the East Belfast-born footballing legend, this airport is

just 3km east of the city centre, off the A2 Sydenham bypass.

It has conference facilities, ATMs, foreign exchange,

WiFi, and a small selection of shops and food outlets. To

get to town by bus, hop on the Airport Express 600; tickets

£2.40/3.60 single/return, buses run every 20mins peak

times Mon-Sat, reduced service Sun. Tickets can be purchased

at the Airport TIC or on the bus. Approved airport

taxis charge c. £8 for the 10min ride into the city centre.

You can take a less frequent train into the city or, in the

opposite direction, to Holywood and Bangor, from the

nearby Sydenham halt.QH-1/2, tel. (+44) (0)28 9093

9093, www.belfastcityairport.com.

Belfast International Airport Situated 29km

north of the city centre along the M2 motorway, facilities

include postal services, ATMs, currency exchange, a business

lounge, WiFi and a tourist information desk. To get

to town by bus, Airport Express 300 to the Europa Buscentre

runs every 15mins at peak times Mon - Fri, (reduced

frequency Sat & Sun) and hourly through the night. The

30-40min journey costs £7.50/10.50 single/return. A taxi

to the city centre takes 30mins and costs c.£30; a list of

other sample fares is displayed in the exit hall. QK/L-3, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9448 4848, www.belfastairport.com.

By train & by bus

Translink (tel. (+44) (0)28 9066 6630, www.translink.co.uk)

is NI’s main provider of public transport.

There are no left luggage facilities at any stations.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Rainfall (mm) Min Temp (°C) Max Temp (°C)

100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

Rainfa ll (mm)

Tourist information

Belfast Welcome Centre Touch screens, info

desks, tourism literature and a shop populate this

state-of-the-art centre. QC-2, 9 Donegall Sq. North,

tel. (+44) (0)28 9024 6609, www.visit-belfast.com.

Mon-Sat 09:00 - 19:00, Sun 11:00 - 16:00. Y

West Belfast Tourist Information

PointQE-3, An Cultúrlann, 216 Falls Rd, tel. (+44)

(0)28 9096 4180, www.culturlann.ie. Y

IRISH TOUR TICKETS Tourist info, tickets, left luggage

and souvenirs. Belfast, Game of Thrones and

Giant’s Causeway Tours also available. QB-2, 10 Gt.

Victoria St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9031 0101, www.irishtourtickets.com.

Daily 08:00 - 21:00.

Waterfall of Souvenirs detail, Europa BusCentre

Belfast Central Rail Station All major destinations

are served such as Derry~Londonderry (including

a picturesque portion of the North Coast) and Dublin (a

c.2hr journey on the flagship Enterprise service). Keep your

rail ticket for a free bus ride into town via any Metro service

outside the main entrance. Alternatively, turn left outside

the main entrance for a 10 min stroll into the city centre.

QD-2, East Bridge St.

Europa Buscentre and Great Victoria

Street Rail Station Buses from the city’s most

centrally located transport hub provides frequent services

across NI, including Belfast, Derry~Londonderry, George

Best Belfast City Airport and Belfast International Airport.

Translink also provides fast and frequent services from

Belfast Europa Buscentre to Dublin/Dublin Airport service

(service X1/X2). Ulsterbus Tours and private operators from

the UK Mainland, Ireland and continental Europe also terminate

here. The Gt. Victoria St. Railway station is at the far

end of the concourse, serving six main NI lines and Dublin

City Centre. QB-2, Great Victoria St.

Laganside Buscentre Located beside the River

Lagan, this bus station serves the North Down area including

Bangor, Downpatrick and the Ards Peninsula. QD-1,

Donegall Quay.


Arriving & Basics

public transport

Translink is NI’s main provider of passenger transport; NI

Railways (rail), Goldline, Ulsterbus and Metro (bus). For

full service and timetable information, tel. +44 (0)28 90

66 66 30, translink.co.uk.

Belfast by bus

Translink Metro is Belfast’s bus service. Most services

depart within Donegall Square, outside Belfast

City Hall. (see map p.8-9).

Metro dayLink Travelcard: £3.50 unlimited travel

all day,£3 unlimited travel after 9.30am*

Metro Day Tickets: £3.70 unlimited travel all day,

£3.20 unlimited travel after 9.30am*

*Mon-Fri 9.30am–3pm, Sat & Sun 9.30am–7pm.

Child fares half price. £1 to purchase dayLink

Travelcard. Buy online at www.translink.co.uk,

Smartlink Agents, Metro Kiosk, Visit Belfast Welcome

Centre, or main Translink stations. Metro

dayLink cards can be loaded with 1, 5 or 10 days

travel. Valid on all Metro and Ulsterbus services

within the Metro network. Valid for travel on

day of purchase, cannot be transferred.

Belfast-Dublin Airport-Dublin City by

coach Ulsterbus Goldline Express Service X1/X2

operates daily between Europa Buscentre and Dublin

Airport/Dublin city (c.2hrs/2hrs 30mins) hourly 05:00

- 21:00, then early bird services at 23:00, 01:00 - 03:00.

Dublin Airport and city single/return £13.50/14.15 and

£19.50/20.85. Go online for reduced web and promotional

fares.

Northern Ireland by train - NI Railways

NI Railways operates a rail network across the province

serving the following routes.Bangor line: Bangor-

Belfast

Larne line: Larne Harbour-Belfast

Derry~Londonderry line: Derry~Londonderry-

Coleraine and Portrush-Belfast

Portadown line: Newry-Portadown-Belfast

Dublin line: Belfast-Portadown-Newry-Dundalk-

Drogheda-Dublin (Enterprise Train - see p.5).

Sunday Day Tracker: Unlimited Sunday travel on all NI scheduled

train services. (£7/£3.50). No time restrictions apply.

Northern Ireland by bus - Ulsterbus

NI Rambler Services: Translink operate a number of services

to promote tourism in rural areas. These are ideal for

tourists and locals who want to explore some of NI’s most

spectacular scenery by foot. Rambler services set down and

pick up at key locations, and service main bus stations. Tickets

can be purchased from the driver.

Year-round

Seasonal

Kilkeel Rambler Causeway Rambler

Sperrin Rambler Mourne Rambler

Bus Rambler Ticket: available every Sun and during

main NI school holidays. Unlimited travel on all Ulsterbus,

Goldline and Metro Services. Must be purchased

after 9.15am. Available from the driver (£9/£4.50).

Translink Family & Friends tickets are available every Sat,

Sun and main school holidays for £20 and provide unlimited

bus and rail travel for up to 2 adults and 4 children (min. 1

adult and 1 child, Extra child £4) anywhere in NI.

Bus & Rail iLink Smartcard

Unlimited day, weekly or monthly bus and rail travel

within 5 specified zones. Available for adults and children

and is ideal if you travel by both bus and train on a

regular basis. It is easy to use and can be topped up at

one of the designated sales outlets.

All fares and services subject to alteration.

By boat

Ferry terminals are a 5-10min drive north of the city

centre.

Isle of Man: Steam Packet Company (April-

Sept.) c.3hr sailing to Douglas. QG-2, Albert Quay, tel.

(+44) (0)8722 992992, www.steam-packet.com.

Scotland and Liverpool: Stena Line

Stena’s Superfast ferries sail to Cairnryan in 2hrs 15mins

and Liverpool in 8hrs (overnight or daytime). QG-1, West

Bank Rd, tel. (+44) (0)8447 707070, www.stenaline.

co.uk.

Follow Belfast In Your Pocket

on

and

6 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

By taxi (incl. Taxi Tours)

Taxis range from the traditional black hack (see p.39)

to conventional cars. Hail the former if the orange TAXI

light is on, and phone and book the latter These tried

and trusted companies also run tours:

Fonacab (+44) (0)28 9033 3333, www.fonacab.com

Taxi Trax (+44) (0)28 9031 5777, www.taxitrax.com

Border

NI’s border with the Republic of Ireland is 360kms long

from Carlingford Lough in the south to Lough Foyle in

the north. Crossing it is a seamless affair. Non-EU drivers

should hold an International Driving License. Drive on

the left on both sides of the border, and look out for

speed limit changes - marked in kph in the Republic of

Ireland and mph in NI.

Car parking

Approx. 1300 on-street city centre parking meters charge

£1.20 per hour (free Sun and after 6pm) payable by coin,

mobile or credit/debit card. Check street signs as many

spaces are restricted by time and red-jacketed traffic wardens

are omnipresent. Privately operated car parks vary in

price from the affordable to the eye-watering.

CURRENCY

NI’s currency is £ Sterling, the same as the rest of the

UK. While different in design to GB notes, they can be

used across the UK. Some GB outlets may well turn their

noses up at the sight of a Northern Irish tenner, so best

to change them before you leave NI.

Safety

Despite its reputation, Belfast is very safe for tourists.

However, if you feel unsafe, freephone 999 or track

down a police officer - usually found pounding the city

in pairs.

Smoking & Alcohol

Smoking is illegal in enclosed and substantially enclosed

workplaces and public places, including bars

and restaurants, and in certain vehicles. The legal drinking

age is 18.

WiFi

Plans are in the ether to make Belfast a Super-connected

City with ultrafast broadband by 2015, and free WiFi

has already been introduced to many of Translink’s bus

and rail services (check ahead for the latest news). An

increasing number of hotels, bars, restaurants and cafes

now provide free WiFi so look for the sign as you stroll

the city.

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

Arriving & Basics

Tel. dialling codes

From UK landlines or mobiles, add 028 before all eight

digit NI numbers. The international dialling code is

(+44)(0)28. If dialling from the Republic of Ireland you

can also add 048.

WIN with Translink and

W5

We have teamed up with Translink and W5 Interactive

Discovery Centre for a great late summer, back to

school family competition.

One lucky reader will win a Translink Friends and

Family ticket, allowing unlimited NI travel for a day for

two adults and up to four children, plus a W5 family

pass for two adults and two children.

Combine both tickets in one big family day out and explore

this fantastic family attraction and its new climbit

exhibit. Or split your winnings and spend a second day

visiting Derry, exploring the Causeway Coast or immersing

yourself in Fermanagh’s Lakelands. The choice

is, quite simply, yours!

To enter, email us your favourite NI daytrip to belfast@

inyourpocket.com, including your name and contact

details. We’ll post the best ones online and pick a winner

at random from all emails received before 30 September

2014.

August - September 2014 7


LONDONDERRY

ROUTE MAP

Botanic

City Hospital

GT VICTORIA STREET

EUROPA BUSCENTRE

DUBLIN

Adelaide

Balmoral

Finaghy

Dunmurry

Derriaghy

Lambeg

Hilden

Lisburn

Moira

Lurgan

Portadown

Scarva

Poyntzpass

Newry

Dundalk

Drogheda

Bellarena Castlerock COLERAINE Dhu Varren

Ballymoney

Cullybackey

Ballymena

Antrim

Mossley West

BELFAST

CENTRAL

KEY

Larne Town

Glynn

Magheramorne

Ballycarry

Whitehead

Downshire

Carrickfergus

Clipperstown

Trooperslane

Greenisland

Jordanstown

Whiteabbey

Yorkgate

Free bus into town

Rail passengers with a valid rail ticket can travel

between Central Station and Belfast city centre free

of charge on Translink Metro bus services.

Free Ulsterbus connections from Newry Station to

Newry city centre and from Londonderry Station to

Derry city centre.

Main Bus & Rail Interchange

Dublin Line

Bangor Line

Larne Line

University

Londonderry Line

Portadown/Newry Line

Portrush Line

Airport Express 300 service to

Belfast International Airport

Airport Express 600 service to

George Best Belfast City Airport

PORTRUSH

LARNE

HARBOUR

Titanic Quarter

Sydenham Holywood

Marino Cultra

Seahill Helen’s Bay

Carnalea Bangor West

BANGOR

Put simply, Belfast is made up of five areas: North, East,

South, West and the City Centre within which cosmopolitan

Quarters have emerged, providing a focus for

culture, tourism and economic development. Cross reference

this quick guide with our What to see key (p.28):

SB - South Belfast, WB - West Belfast, EB - East Belfast

and NB - North Belfast. Easy peasy.

Cathedral Quarter (city centre)

Named after St. Anne’s

Cathedral (pic), this city

centre Quarter is a vibrant

hub for the arts, restaurants,

nightlife, hotels and

big city events. Custom

House, St. Anne’s and

Writer’s Squares often

stage free concerts and

street entertainment.

And St. Anne’s Square,

Donegall Street (where

the Cathedral stands),

Waring Street and cobbled

Hill Street are the Quarter’s main eating and drinking

drags. The MAC, the Quarter’s, and city’s, big new arts venue

is also located at St. Anne’s Square.

Queen’s Quarter (South Belfast)

South Belfast’s leafy,

student-strewn thoroughfares

boast the

eponymous University

(pic), Botanic Gardens,

Ulster Museum and Lyric

Theatre. A selection

of quality restaurants

are dotted throughout

its locale And it is here,

too, that you’ll find the

Lisburn Road, a stylish

shopping and dining strip - see Shopping (p.52).

Gaeltacht Quarter (West Belfast)

West Belfast’s Falls Road

has initiated a Gaeltacht

Quarter promoting the

use of the Irish language

in its shops and services.

A West Belfast map,

included in this guide,

shows historic sights

including St. Peter’s

Cathedral (pic). Copies

are available at the Falls

Road’s West Belfast TIC

at An Culturlann. Find

out about more interesting

neighbourhood

tours and attractions in our West Belfast section (p.39) or at

www.visitwestbelfast.com.

Belfast’s Quarters

Titanic Quarter (East Belfast)

Star of the show, not just for East Belfast, but NI’s tourism

offering, is undoubtedly Titanic Belfast - the world’s

largest Titanic-themed visitor attraction (pic). Other Titanic

Quarter highlights are SS Nomadic, W5, the Odyssey

Arena, PRONI, HMS Caroline, Titanic’s Dock and

Pump-House and the Harland & Wolff cranes.

Beyond the city’s former shipyard, East Belfast is also

the birthplace of three international names - The

Chronicles of Narnia author CS Lewis, singer-songwriter

Van Morrison and football legend George Best

- each has a plaque, statue, tour trail or mural marking

their local lineage. Heading further out of the city along

the Newtownards Road, Stormont Estate and Parliament

Building is another must-see destination. And

closer to the city, the Lower Newtownards Road has

a large Loyalist political mural, big B&W Titanic mural

and Yardmen sculpture. Shoppers and foodies should

navigate their way to Ballyhackamore and the Belmont

Road with their bijou selection of independent shops

and dining options.

North Belfast

While North Belfast has yet

to establish its own Quarter,

its Cave Hill pinnacle is a real

city highlight with dramatic

views across Belfast Lough

and all the way to Scotland

on a good day. Belfast Castle

(pic) and Belfast Zoo are

top-class attractions nestled

in this verdant backdrop.

Back towards the city,

there are several Nationalist

and Loyalist interfaces with

respective political murals.

Conversely, the area also boasts some grand old houses

once owned by wealthy and industrious linen merchants

- particularly along Fortwilliam Park off the Antrim Road

(map: off F-1). Crumlin Road Gaol and Courthouse also

falls within its remit.

www.translink.co.uk or call 028 90 66 66 30 facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 11


History

Belfast dates back to the early 17th Century and is

Northern Ireland’s largest, and the island of Ireland’s

second largest, city. The name ’Belfast’ comes from the

Gaelic ’Beal Feirste’ (’mouth of the sandy ford’).

1641-49 & 1688-90 Two major Catholic risings are put down,

first by English Protestant revolutionary Oliver Cromwell, then

the Dutch King William lll of Orange. The fledgling Protestant

plantation is secured and Ireland becomes firmly British.

18th Century Belfast becomes a major linen-producing

centre, earning the tag Linenopolis.

19th Century Belfast experiences a ’golden age’ under

Queen Victoria. The Harland & Wolff shipyard is founded

in 1862 and city status is granted in 1888. Belfast becomes

one of the world’s leading industrial cities and most of

its great buildings are constructed. The 1847 Famine reawakens

Irish Catholic Nationalism.

Early 20th Century

1911 May 31 RMS Titanic is launched from Harland &

Wolff shipyard, East Belfast.

1912 April 15 Titanic sinks on its maiden voyage, killing over

1500 passengers. The Ulster Volunteer Force (original UVF) is

formed and on Sept 28 over 470,000 Unionists sign the Ulster

Covenant, pledging to militarily fight Home Rule.

1914-1918 The UVF, and most of the Irish Volunteers, joins

up to fight for Britain - both hoping to gain support for their

causes. In 1916 Ulster Divisions suffer heavy causalities at the

Battle of the Somme.

1921 Following the 1919-21 Irish War of Independence, six of

Ireland’s 32 counties remain British and the state - or Province -

is named Northern Ireland. Belfast becomes its capital city and

the Unionist-controlled government oversees direct rule from

the purpose-built Stormont.

1941 Belfast Blitz. During WW2, the city is bombed three

times by the German Luftwaffe, killing 955 people and destroying

3,200 homes. Northern Ireland becomes a staging

post for over 300,000 American GIs.

1968 The Civil Rights movement grows as Nationalists protest

Unionist bias at Stormont. The British Army is deployed on the

streets of Belfast and Derry.

The Troubles

1971 Aug 9 Internment, or imprisonment without trial, is

introduced. The city experiences a week of intense fighting

as massive gun battles break out across North and

West Belfast. Dec 4 15 people, including two children, are

killed in a UVF bomb attack on McGurk’s bar in North Belfast.

It is the first major atrocity of the ’Troubles’.

1972 Jan 30 Bloody Sunday. During a Civil Rights march

through the streets of Derry 14 unarmed civilians are

shot dead by British troops. Both internment and Bloody

Sunday ensure increased support for the Irish Republican

Army (IRA). Meanwhile, the British government introduces

direct rule from London.

1972 July 21 Bloody Friday. Nine people die when, without

warning, 21 IRA bombs explode across Belfast in just over an

hour.

1981 Bobby Sands and nine other IRA and Irish National Liberation

Army (INLA) prisoners die after going on Hunger Strike

at the Maze Prison in protest at the removal of political prisoner

status.

1985 Nov 15 The British and Irish governments sign the Anglo

Irish Agreement, giving the Republic of Ireland a greater say

in NI affairs.

1988 March 6 Three IRA members are killed by the SAS

in Gibraltar. During their funerals loyalist Michael Stone

launches a gun and grenade attack killing three mourners.

At the funeral of one of Stone’s victims, two British

Army corporals inadvertently drive into the cortege and

are ambushed by an angry mob and shot dead by the

IRA.

Early 90s Violence continues on both sides as both the British

and Irish governments attempt to break the political impasse.

The Peace Process

1994 Aug 31 The IRA announces ’a complete cessation of

military operations’. The Combined Loyalist Military Command

follows on Oct 13.

1995 Security measures are relaxed and troop numbers

reduced throughout Belfast and NI.

1998 The Good Friday Agreement is voted in by 71% of

the population. It marks a new power-sharing Assembly,

early release of all paramilitary prisoners and looks toward

withdrawal of British troops and decommissioning of paramilitary

weapons. Aug 15 IRA dissidents plant a bomb

in Omagh killing 29 people making it the single worst

atrocity in the history of the Troubles. Nov 30 US President

Clinton pays an historic visit to NI.

2000 Feb 11 The Assembly is suspended following the breakdown

of decommissioning talks. May 27 The UUP re-enters

the power-sharing Assembly despite no IRA decommissioning.

Devolved power is restored two days later.

2000 Dec Belfast’s landmark Odyssey Millennium project

opens, heralding major redevelopment of the historic Titanic

Quarter.

2002 Oct 14 Devolution is suspended at midnight and

direct rule returns to London.

2005 May 5 At the UK General Election the DUP and Sinn

Fein strengthen their positions as NI’s two major political

parties. July The IRA formally ends its armed campaign.

2005 Nov 25 Belfast-born football legend George Best dies

aged 59 after a long battle with alcoholism. The former Man

Utd and NI player’s funeral is held at Stormont on Sat 3 Dec.

2007 March 26 Following local elections, and in an historic

face-to-face meeting, DUP leader Ian Paisley and Sinn

Féin leader Gerry Adams announce the restoration of the

NI Assembly on May 8. Paisley becomes First Minister and

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness Deputy First Minister.

2008 May Having founded the party in 1971, Ian Paisley

steps down as leader of the DUP and, therefore, First Minister.

He is succeeded by Peter Robinson.

2010 May At the UK General Election, the DUP and Sinn Fein

once re-emerge as NI’s two main parties. In a shock result, First

Minister Peter Robinson loses his 30-year Westminster seat to

the Alliance Party’s Naomi Long. Ian Paisley becomes a Lord.

2012 March 31 The £77m Titanic Belfast visitor experience

opens ahead of the 15 April centenary of the ship’s

sinking.

Aug & SepT Events

Sunday Treats

Sunday afernoons in July & Aug

www.foolsfestival.com

Various outdoor Cathedral Quarter spaces

Those local jokers, the Festival of Fools, will be delivering

their usual crowd-pleasing assortment of street

theatre across the city’s main al fresco venues. All

shows are free, though donations are always welcome

to ensure this show stays on the road.

Craft Month

throughout August

NI’s annual celebration of craft celebrates our local creative

industries in all their visual wonderfulness. Find out

more and download a programme at www.craftni.

org.

Tennents Vital

Thu 21 & Sun 24 Aug

The Killers, Bastille and David Guetta headline this two

day music festival at South Belfast’s Boucher Playing

Fields. Get your tickets at www.tennentsvital.com.

Belsonic 2014

Fri 15, Sun 17 - Wed 20 & Fri 22 Aug

Belfast’s Custom House Square hosts headline acts including

Example, Biffy Clyro, CHIC feat. Nile Rodgers,

Queens of the Stone Age and many more at this annual

outdoor music fest. Book online at www.belsonic.com.

Belfast Mela

Sun 24 Aug

World music, dance, fashion, food and fun take centre

stage in Botanic Gardens as Ireland’s largest festival of

ethnic arts, culture and heritage returns for yet another

action-packed extravaganza. To find out more and

book tickets visit www.belfastmela.org.uk.

European Heritage Open Days

Sat 13 & Sun 14 Sept

Historical buildings across NI, including many not

normally accessible to the public, open free during

this hugely popular annual event. Start planning your

48 hours at www.discovernorthernireland.com/niea/

ehod.aspx.

Culture Night Belfast

Fri 19 Sept

The Cathedral Quarter will be crammed with culture

vultures of all ages in search of the extraordinary in this,

our favourite free night out. Music, dance, exhibitions

and tours are just some of the myriad events taking

place here and at other venues across the city. To get

your bearings for this after-dark spectacular, click www.

culturenightbelfast.com.

Culture, Events & Sport

Public art (and not a

mural in sight)

The Big Fish aka Salmon of Knowledge: A 10m

long, erm, fish, whose shiny blue and white ceramic

scales depict moments in Belfast’s history. Find it at

the Lagan Weir, near the Obel, Titanic Boat office and

departure point.

Ring of Thanksgiving

(pictured):

Meet Belfast’s

tallest resident,

a 15m high steel

woman standing

on a bronze globe

and holding a

ring representing

peace and

reconciliation - a

familiar theme

throughout the

city. The work is

inspired by Dallas’s

Thanksgiving

Square and towers

over the River

Lagan, a short walk from the Belfast Waterfront.

Waterfall of Souvenirs: A 5m high ceramic waterfall

cascading down the Europa Buscentre and bypassed

daily by throngs of commuters. Be one of the few to

stop and contemplate its locally themed mosaic.

The Speaker: At the front of Custom House, in an area

once dubbed Belfast’s Speakers’ Corner, stands this

aptly-named lifesize bronze statue. The Square’s surrounding

copper lights continue the theme with their

nickname the ’Hecklers’.

Spirit of Belfast: Unveiled in Sept. 2009, this largescale

steel structure looms large in Cornmarket, where

a bandstand once stood. The four interlocking rings sit

at the heart of the city centre’s pedestrianised shopping

area, and have been designed to reflect Belfast’s

erstwhile shipbuilding and linen industries. All good

and well, but we prefer to call it the Belfast Scribble.

RISE: Belfast’s newest - and largest - sculpture comprises

two white steel spheres, one within the other,

designed to symbolise the sun rising on a new, vibrant

city. Clearly visible from the M1 and Westlink, the

37.5m high and 30m wide eyecatcher is known by locals

as the Balls on the Falls. Personally we prefer to see

it as an homage to our recent golfing greats McDowell,

McIlroy and Clarke. Fore!

12 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 13


Culture, Events & Sport

theatres & Concert venues

Belfast Waterfront

Opened in 1997, this concert hall and conference centre

is a striking architectural landmark on the city’s riverfront.

Inside the glass-fronted three-storey building are two

bar areas, a gift shop, several coffee spots and the Arc

Brasserie. The spacious foyer also holds regular free art

exhibitions. Performances in the main 2245-seat arena

range from big-name performers and classical music to

cheesy tribute bands and international opera and ballet.

And the 380-seat Studio provides a more intimate setting

for drama, comedy and music events. Tours available.

QD-2, 2 Lanyon Place, tel. (+44) (0)28 9033 4455, www.

waterfront.co.uk. KY

Grand Opera House

Catch a show at this striking Victorian theatre and gaze

in awe at its opulent gilt mouldings, carved plasterwork,

angels-and-cherub fresco and elephant boxes. Designed

in l894 by the famous theatre architect Frank Matcham,

many stars have graced its stage including opera giant

Pavarotti in his UK debut. A 2006 contemporary atriumstyle

extension features the smaller Baby Grand performance

space. Catch a varied year-round programme of

drama, musicals, ballet, opera and the hugely popular

Christmas panto. Tours available.QB-2, Gt. Victoria St.,

tel. (+44) (0)28 9024 1919, www.goh.co.uk. Y

Lyric Theatre

Established in 1951 and moved to the banks of the

River Lagan 17 years later, the Lyric has re-emerged

bigger and better than ever following a £multi-million

rebuild. Three performance spaces and a cafe/bar ensure

its status as Northern Ireland’s only full-time producing

theatre. Its ever-eclectic range of quality drama

often includes classic Irish plays and works by exciting

new writers. NI-born film star Liam Neeson began

his acting career here and is the Lyric’s patron. QF-3,

55 Ridgeway St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9038 1081, www.

lyrictheatre.co.uk. KSB

The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre)

Dominating one side of Saint Anne’s Square, this sixstorey

colossus contains three art galleries, two theatres

and cafe. Local and international performances and exhibitions

populate its cultural calendar. While a dance studio

and workshop space encourage further creativity. Its

April 2012 opening is nothing short of a landmark event

for Belfast’s cultural scene.QC-1, Saint Anne’s Square,

Cathedral Quarter, tel. (+44) (0)28 9023 5053, www.

themaclive.com. Daily 10:00 - 19:00. Later on performance

nights. JK

Odyssey arena

This modern entertainment complex at the edge of the

old shipyard is Belfast’s landmark Millennium Project and

a major symbol of the city’s rejuvenation. When the Belfast

Giants ice hockey team isn’t in residence, the main

10,000-seat Arena pulls in touring music big guns.QD-

1, 2 Queen’s Quay, tel. (+44) (0)28 9045 1055, www.

theodyssey.co.uk. K

Ulster Hall

Opened in 1862, this grand

old Victorian building has

hosted boxing, music,

comedy... and iconic names

such as Charles Dickens,

The Rolling Stones and

Belfast-born singer Ruby

Murray. Its main interior

feature is the magnificent

Mulholland Organ. During

WW2, it became a dance

hall for US troops. And Led

Zeppelin first performed Stairway to Heaven at the

esteemed venue. It is home to the internationally acclaimed

Ulster Orchestra. Check out the foyer’s Café

Grand Dame and exhibition of the Hall’s history.QC-2,

Bedford St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9032 3900, www.ulsterhall.

co.uk. JYK

Crescent Arts Centre

This community-focused venue runs an eclectic programme

of music and arts-based workshops, classes,

events asnd exhibitions. The 19th century sandstone

building has been beautifully renovated and includes a

cute ground floor cafe. Well worth an exploration if you’re

in the Queen’s Quarter locale.QB-4, 2 University Rd, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9024 2338, www.crescentarts.org. Mon-Fri

09:00 - 21:00, Sat & Sun 09:30 - 17:30. All times variable.

KSB

We Are Vertigo

Ski, snowboard, zipline and

climb at this indoor adventure

centre that brings the

piste to South Belfast. The

only ones of their kind in

Northern Ireland, two conveyor

belt-style ski slopes

simulate a never-ending

snowy surface - ideal for

novice and experienced skiers to hone their skills.

A climbing wall, 40m zipline and high and low level

rope walks up the adrenalin ante. While the themed

Swiss Alpine soft play area and mini quad bike track

keeps younger ones entertained. A cafe, ski shop and

plenty of free parking is also onsite. QUnit 1, Cedarhurst

Rd, Newtonbreda Factory Estate, Belfast, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9064 1229, www.wearevertigo.com.

Daily 09:00 - 21:00. Child: Mon-Thu £6.50, Fri-Sun &

school hols £8.50 (90mins soft play, climbing tower

and rope walks). Accompanying adult free (£4 for

use of high level ropes and climbing tower). Zipline

and Quad Bikes extra. Check website for latest prices,

including ski lessons and party packages. LK

Cinemas

Movie House This locally-owned chain of multiscreen

cinemas shows all the latest Hollywood blockbusters

in state-of-the-art surroundings. Its Dublin Road site

is conveniently located for a spot of city centre celluloid

escapism. Paid parking is available at the adjacent multistorey,

with free on-street parking after 18:00. Also at City

Side Shopping Centre, York Rd. with free parking (F-2).

Check website for all the latest ticket, meal and parking

deals.QC-3, 14 Dublin Rd, tel. (+44)(0)28 9024 5700,

www.moviehouse.co.uk.

Queen’s Film Theatre

Known locally as the QFT, NI’s premier arthouse cinema

has been the home of classic, Irish, foreign, avante

garde and cult cinema since 1968. The revamped venue

has two screens and a fully licensed café bar.QB-4, 20

University Square, tel. (+44) (0)28 9097 1097, www.

queensfilmtheatre.com.

Leisure & SporT

Northern Ireland Football Owned by local

team Linfield FC and used for NI internationals, this

14,000-seater stadium rises up amid rows of terraced houses

on the lower Lisburn Road. Soccer legend George Best is

NI’s most famous alumni and the team reached the World

Cup Finals in ’56, ’82 and ’86. NI memorably beat England

here during the 2006 World Cup Qualifying campaign when

David Healy scored the only goal. The local Premier League

runs Aug-May. QA-5, Windsor Park, Tates Ave, off Lisburn

Rd, tel. (+44) (0)28 9066 9458, www.irishfa.com.

Ormeau Golf Club

Formed in 1893, this nine-hole course is one of the oldest

golf clubs in Ireland. Its mature parkland setting can

claim Major winner Rory McIlroy, 1947 Open Champion

Fred Daly and Sherlock Holmes’ creator Sir Arthur Conan

Culture, Events & Sport

Doyle among its patrons. Visitor-friendly, centrally located

and with views of Belfast’s hills and the Harland & Wolff

cranes, find it off the Ravenhill and Ormeau Roads.QC-

3, 50 Park Rd, M7, tel. (+44) (0)28 9064 0700, www.

ormeaugolfclub.co.uk. LK

Ulster Rugby

The recently revamped 18,000 capacity Ravenhill - now

Kingspan - Stadium is home to Ulster Rugby - one of the

four rugby teams representing Ireland’s provinces (the

others being Leinster, Munster and Connacht). The most illustrious

moment in the club’s history was in January 1999

when the team lifted the European Cup. Each season the

team competes in the Pro12 League and Heineken Cup. For

tickets and match info, check out the website or call the

stadium directly.QG-3, Kingspan Stadium, 85 Ravenhill

Pk, tel. (+44) (0)28 9049 3222, www.ulsterrugby.com.

Odyssey Bowl

This mega entertainment den features ten-pin bowling,

pool tables, video games, bar and fast food restaurant. Indulge

your competitive streak and challenge your mates to

a game or three. Or head there on Wed-Sat for the ultimate

Glo-Bowling experience, as music and UV lights take the

game to a whole new dimension. Kids parties and corporate

packages rack up the entertainment factor, so get in touch

and plan your next big day or night out.QD-1, Odyssey Pavilion,

2 Queen’s Quay, tel. (+44) (0)28 9045 2100, www.

odysseybowl.co.uk. Mon-Fri 12:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun and

school hols (check ahead) 10:00 - 23:00. K

14 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 15


Restaurants

Asian

Hakka Noodles

An elegant red and black interior reflects the meticulous

Japanese menu at this classy noodle bar. Run by Eddie

Fung, the man behind Zen, the same attention-to-detail

dishes, drinks and service make this yet another of his

stand-out restaurants. The informal air and extremely

good value-for-money food almost belie the mastery behind

its authentically crafted cuisine. Melt-in-the-mouth

dim sum, refreshing green teas and fresh sushi to go are

among the mouth-watering morsels ready for your maw.

QC-3, 51 Adelaide St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9031 3270, www.

hakkabelfast.co.uk. Mon-Fri 12:00 - late, Sat 15:00 -

late, Sun 13:30 - 21:00. £££.

Sakura

Sit by the sushi train and pick your meals as they trundle

past, or order from their extensive menu at this little bit of

Tokyo on Botanic Avenue. Japanese cuisine has taken off in

Belfast and this is a great spot to join fellow saki and sushi

fans.QC-4, 82 Botanic Ave, tel. (+44) (0)28 9043 9590,

www.sakurabelfast.com. 12:00 - 22:30, Fri, Sat 12:00 -

23:00, Sun 13:00 - 22:30. £££.

Zen

So this is what £1m looks like in a restaurant. Likened to a

James Bond set, inside there’s a cocktail bar, a wall of glistening

water and gilded lilies, an ultra violet stairway and

sunken ‘ta-tammi’ dining area. Groups are catered for in a

Price Guide

£ - Literally as cheap as chips. If you’re after a coffee, a

sandwich or quick snack, you’re quids in here

££ - Plush cafés, agreeable bistros and delicious takeaways

that won’t break the bank

£££ - Upmarket lunches and good value evening meals in

relaxed surroundings

££££ - Fine dining served with a touch of class

series of wood-wrapped circular tables and encouraged to

avail of the slippers. The spectacular glass-floored corridor

of beaded light columns and mirrored ceiling is a nightmare

to navigate when you’ve sipped too much sake. But

who cares when you’re in one of the funkiest restaurants

in town.QC-3, 55 Adelaide St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9023 2244,

www.zenbelfast.co.uk. Mon-Fri 12:00 - 15:00, 17:30 -

23:00. Sat 17:00 - 00:00, Sun 13:30 - 22:30. ££££.

House of Zen

Seductive and sophisticated, this Cathedral Quarter restaurant

serves the finest Chinese cuisine. Exotic dishes

from across the country are meticulously prepared and

exquisitely presented, from delicious dim sum to sliced

fillet steak served on a sizzling plate. The dark wood and

jewel coloured lighting combine to create an opulent

Oriental atmosphere. Freshly prepared cocktails, alcovestyle

seating and that pristine piazza location keep the

mood convivial and the locals coming back for more.QC-

1, 3 St. Anne’s Square, tel. (+44) (0)28 9027 8688, www.

houseofzen.co.uk. Mon-Fri 12:00 - 15:00, 17:00 - late,

Sat 17:00 - late, Sun 13:30 - 22:30. ££££.

indian

Safa

Authentic Indian

dishes are prepared

and served

in this intimate

contemporary

restaurant just

off Royal Avenue.

For starters, enjoy

a platter or individual

portions of

tikka, kebab, bhajee, samosas and wings. Then choose

your curry from Korma to Vindaloo and all spice intensities

in between. Plenty of vegetarian options, as befits

this great sub-continent, are also available. And lunch

specials ensure you enjoy an afternoon nosh up at an

affordable price. Free WiFi makes this a popular spot for

afternoon workers and shoppers. Find this elegant dining

space above Kelly’s Cellars pub.Q30-32 Bank St, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9023 3519, www.safabelfast.com. Daily

12:00 - late. £££.

International

4th Wall

Situated on Saint Anne’s Square and facing The MAC

theatre and art gallery, this cosy restaurant is named after

the theatrical term denoting the invisible division between

stage and audience. Seared Mackerel and Smoked

Haddock fill fish fans. While Calves Liver and Roast Chicken

Supreme fuel carnivores and risotto serves veggies. The

wine lists go well with the grub, and the pre-theatre

menu ensures you take your seat in good time for curtain

up.QC-1, Saint Anne’s Square, Cathedral Quarter, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9027 8707, www.4thwallbelfast.com. Mon-

Sat 12:00 - late, Sun 13:00 - 20:00. £££.

Coco

This elegant yet unstuffy eaterie attracts the city’s stylish set

and tourists in need of top nosh. The small bar area - with

eclectic decor and cool night-time vibe - opens up onto a

larger dining space. Eye-catchingly contemporary art lines

the walls (and can be bought), and a feature wall reflects the

opulence with its leaf-embossed burnished gold wallpaper.

Organic and locally sourced produce is served with equally

stylish aplomb - and the seasonal selection ensures an everchanging

menu.QC-2, 7-11 Linenhall St, tel. (+44) (0)28

9031 1150, www.cocobelfast.com. Sun-Fri 12:00 - late,

Sat 17:00 - late. £££.

Deanes

Belfast’s doyen of the dish’s name is writ large across his

Howard Street HQ within which lies three eating options.

Upmarket EIPIC where seasonal local ingredients are

served with precision alongside a Champagne Bar, Meat

Locker where 35 day Himalayan salt aged beef cooked on

an Asador Grill is the star of the gourmet show and Love

Fish whose name reflects the extensive menu of fruits de

mer. Those seeking sanctuary should book the Private

Room and Bar for an exceptional dining experience.QB-

2, 36-40 Howard St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9033 1134, www.

michaeldeane.co.uk. EIPIC Fri 12:00 - 15:00, Wed - Sat

17:30 - 22:00. Meat Locker Mon - Sat 12:00 - 15:00, 17:30

- 22:00. Love Fish Mon - Sat 12:00 - late, Sun 12:00 -

20:00. ££££.

Flame

As the name infers, it’s all about the custom built 10 ft

Argentinean Asador Grill and Tandoori ovens at this spacious

city centre restaurant. Steaks and Tandoori dishes

are prepared in the open kitchen adding drama to this

already theatrical space. Soft seating and a variety of

dining areas provides a welcoming, eclectic vibe to take

you grandly through breakfast, lunch and evening meal.

Patrons are particularly partial to the cocktails and lured

by regular live music performances. Formerly the Presbyterian

War Memorial Building (look for the facade’s

faded sign), sharped eyed diners among you will spot

the original stone laid in 1923.QB-2, 46 Howard St, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9033 2121, www.flamerestaurant.co.uk.

Mon-Sat 08:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 18:00. £££-££££.

Restaurants

Set in the heart of the

MAC, serving superb

coffee, breakfasts,

lunches & pre-show

evening dining.

7 days a week, 10am to late

Canteen at the MAC

St Anne’s Square

10 Exchange Street West

Belfast BT 1 2NJ

028 9023 5053

Free Wifi

Canteen at the MAC

@CanteenAtTheMAC

themaclive.com

Hadskis

Named after the site’s 18th Century family foundry where

iron pots and pans were fashioned, this stylish and minimal

linear space provides a subtle backdrop for some

really delicious food. From Provencal chips to Pork Milanese,

and some exceptional and imaginative cocktails,

local produce gets a global twist right across this divine

menu. And with renowned chef Niall McKenna (he of

James Street South) behind this restaurant, you know

you’re in for some of the city’s most elegant eats. Head

down Commercial Court to find its main entrance.QC-

1, 33 Donegall St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9032 5444, www.

hadskis.co.uk. Daily 12:00 - 22:30. £££-££££.

Havana Bank Sq

Contemporary dishes crafted from local ingredients (they

say much of it from within a five mile radius) is the food

philosophy at this small and stylish restaurant. Brunch

and lunch frys, soups and burgers sit alongside Super

Foods such as quinoa crumble, parmesan polenta and

veg burger. Night time eats range from the adventurous

octopus & crab meat starter to slow roast pork belly and

tantalising ‘Best Chocolate Recipe I Know’ - who could

resist Tempting Tapas and beguiling cocktails - we

like Strawberry Trifle and Dirty Ocean - combine with a

cool, colourful interior (think painted tiles and exposed

bricks) and live music every Thu & Fri evening to evoke

a delightfully laid-back vibe. Its location is poised to

16 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 17


Restaurants

exploit the eponymous Square’s contemporary revamp.

QB-1, 56 Berry St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9031 0809, www.

havanabanksq.com. Mon-Wed 10:00 - 18:00, Thu-Sat

10:00 - 22:00, Sun 12:00 - 18:00. £££.

Ginger Bistro

Locally-sourced food is served with an imaginative

twist and meticulous attention to detail at this casually

chic bistro where redhead chef Simon McCance’s

ever-changing menu and meet-the-crowd congeniality

makes for a refreshingly unstuffy atmosphere.QB-3, 7-8

Hope St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9024 4421, www.gingerbistro.

com. Mon 17:00 - 21:00, Tue-Thu 17:00 - 21:30, Fri & Sat

17:00 - 22:00, Tue - Sat 12:00 - 15:00. £££.

Home

What started life as a pop up restaurant has now become

a firm fixture in the city’s eating firmament. A carefully

cultivated hotch potch of upcycled furniture created by,

and for sale from, those crafty locals at nearby Re:Found

lends a confident swagger to this cool, contemporary

space. Morning coffee, lunchtime deli and delicious evening

meals celebrate our local food; ​expect such dining

delights as spiced fish cakes, venison sausage, quite sensational

salads and, get this, a sausage roll of the week.

Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are all on the

menu, too. From the team behind the Mourne Seafood

Bar, the buzz is out so enjoy a scrumptious lunch or book

ahead to secure your evening pew and plate.QB-2, 22

Wellington Place, tel. (+44) (0)28 9023 4946, www.

homepopup.com. Deli: Mon-Sat 10:00 - 15:00. Restaurant:

Mon 12:00 - 16:00, Tue-Thu 12:00 - 21:30, Fri

& Sat 12:00 - 16:00, 17:00 - 22:00, Sun 13:00 - 21:00.

££-£££.

Howard Street

A small, meticulously sourced and frequently-changing

menu delivers imaginative touches and local, seasonal

ingredients at this late-2013 opened restaurant. Expect

such foodie flourishes as Fermanagh rib-eye steak with

caramelised onion, pork belly in apple and cider sauce and

crispy duck breast with orange and hazelnut crumble and

you get the picture. The interior is unobtrusively simple,

with wood tables and chairs populating the basic space...

all the better to let the food do the talking. An instant favourite

with locals, this newcomer to Belfast’s burgeoning

restaurant scene already feels like an old friend.QB-2, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9024 8362, www.howardstbelfast.com.

Tue-Sat 12:00 - 14:30, 17:00 - 21:30. £££-££££.

James Street South

In recent years, this sophisticated restaurant has quickly

established a loyal fan base as epicureans seek out the

city’s great plates. The 19th century converted warehouse

façade belies a strikingly clean and airy white interior broken

up by a fine selection of contemporary Irish art. The

big round tables and intimate bar are conducive to girly

nights, corporate bashes and special occasions. Indulge

in an international menu offering the finest selection

of food locals have come to demand at this level.QC-2,

21 James St. South, tel. (+44) (0)28 9043 4310, www.

jamesstreetsouth.co.uk. Mon-Sat 12:00 - 14.45, 17:45 -

22:45. ££££.

Maze

Buddhas, zebra prints and a Venetian tableau evoke an

international vibe at this exotic eating experience. Clean

contemporary decor encompasses leather sofas, high and

low tables, booth seating and a cosy be-draped private

nook at the back. Food highlights include Spiral Steak - a

10oz Argentinean sirloin marinated for 48 hours then thinly

cut into a spiral - and lava stone grill cooking. Tandoori

Chicken, Seafood Chowder, Thai Curry and Polo Loronzo

continue the global cuisine theme - with vegetarian options

across the continents. Comprehensive wine and

cocktail lists ensure a fab night out. Find all this and more

close to the front of City Hall.Q11 Wellington Place, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9508 6794, www.mazerestaurant.com. Sun-

Wed 11:00 - 21:30, Thu-Sat 11:00- 23:00. £££.

Molly’s Yard

Inside this quaint Queen’s Quarter eaterie is a laid-back

downstairs bistro and rustically elegant upstairs restaurant.

Local produce such as beef, sea bream and venison

feature in the Irish-flavoured menu. And, as befits ownership

by the good people behind Hilden Brewery, this

former stables also houses Belfast’s first micro brewery.

Molly’s Chocolate Stout and Belfast Blonde are among

the inventively-named, and pleasing to the palette, tipples.

The restaurant’s bijouness and enduring popularity

demand pre-booking to ensure a pew.QC-4, 1 College

Green Mews, Botanic Ave, tel. (+44) (0)28 9032 2600.

Mon-Thu 12:00 - 21:00, Fri & Sat 12:00 - 21:30. ££££.

Ox

Two doyens of the local restaurant scene, Belfast-born

Stephen Toman and Brittany native Alain Kerloc’h, have

brought their extensive local and internationally-hued

culinary skills to this delightful riverside restaurant. Only

the finest local ingredients, including award-winning

meats, sustainably sourced fish and seasonal fruit and

vegetables, are used in each exquisite dish’s creation. Salt

baked beetroot with Lough Neagh smoked eel, Antrim fillet

of beef with ricotta and truffled gnocchi, and Bushmills

jelly, apples and lavender were on the menu last time we

looked - but always expect changes. All this and Alain’s

sommelier skills deliver a carefully constructed classic

and artisan wine list to accompany the eats. Find this

pure white double-height space overlooking the Ring of

Thanksgiving.Q1 Oxford St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9031 4121,

www.oxbelfast.com. Tue-Fri 12:00 - 14:45, 17:45 - 22:00,

Sat 13:00 - 14:45, 17:45 - 22:00. ££££.

Potted Hen

Located in the pristine piazza that is St. Anne’s Square, this

stylish double storey space reflects its courtyard abode

with a dark, slate grey floor and interior iron columns. The

urban-cool vibe continues with plain wooden furniture,

18 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

large feature clock, cream panelled walls and exposed

celiing duct work. The daily food journey begins with

morning coffee, luxury pastries, muffins and creamy hot

chocolate, then envelopes lunch before culminating in a

dinner menu replete with Finnebrogue venison, Glenarm

salmon and other fine eats. The atmosphere’s as relaxed

as the menu is refined, so drop by any time and have as

much - or as little - as you like.QC-1, 11 Edward St, St.

Anne’s Square, behind St. Anne’s Cathedral, tel. (+44)

(0)28 9023 4554, www.thepottedhen.co.uk. Mon-Sun

12:00 - 15:00, 17:00 - 21:30, Fri & Sat until 22:00. Sun

12:00 - 21:00. £££.

Remedy

Grab your friends and enjoy a night out at this intimate city

centre venue. Great food, inventive cocktails and live music

- with regular guest performers on the roster - make this

laid-back space a fab new addition to Belfast’s restaurant

scene. Fish, meat and seasonal platters, burgers, pastas and

beer battered cod & chips are among the lunch and dinner

treats. And the creative cuisine begins at brunch with a truly

stand-out menu that includes posh pig sandwich on basil

foccacia, chorizo & avocado omelette, Eggs Florentine and,

our fave, Ham so eggsited - pancakes with ham, egg, cheese

and maple syrup. Fry fans also get their fix with gourmet

touches. From informal networking to lively get-togethers,

and the opportunity to hire Remedy for private parties, this

day to night destination hits the spot.Q6 Fountain St, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9032 9800, www.RemedyBelfast.co.uk. Mon

& Tue 08:00 - 20:00, Wed & Thu 08:00 - 22:00, Fri 08:00 -

01:00, Sat 09:00 - 01:00, Sun 11:00 - 19:00. £££.

Salt Bistro

This intimate dining space serves local provenance food

in its chic yet casual surroundings. Light floods in from the

triple aspect windows overlooking St. Anne’s Cathedral

and the eponymous Square - home to the MAC theatre

and gallery. And the artistic theme is embraced with work

by local artists adorning its white walls - and available to

buy. Pre-theatre options and made to share mezze, seafood

and anti pasti plates evoke that laid-back dining vibe.

While menu faves include steamed Dundrum mussels,

roast quail and Glenarm salmon. Another classy restaurant

in Belfast’s latest must-see locale.QC-1, St. Anne’s Square,

tel. (+44) (0)28 9023 8012, www.saltbistrobelfast.com.

Mon-Wed 12:00 - 14:30, 17:00 - 21:00, Thu-Sat until

21:30, Sun 12:00 - 18:00. £££.

Shu

One of the most upmarket restaurants in town and a sure

indication that the city’s dining out scene has matured

with age. The impeccably attired waiting staff, exquisitely

prepared French-inspired fusion food and contemporary

interior attract a discerning clientele. Upstairs there’s a private

dining room for small groups, while downstairs the

Shu Bar stirs up a cocktail of retro funk beats... perfect for

a pre or post food bop.QA-5, 253 Lisburn Rd, tel. (+44)

(0)28 9038 1655, www.shu-restaurant.com. Mon - Sat:

12:00 - 14:30, 18:00 - 22:00. ££££.

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

You want chips with that

Restaurants

St. George’s Market Bar & Grill

Overlooking historic St. George’s Market, the setting for

this contemporary restaurant couldn’t be more appropriate.

Many ingredients used in its dishes are sourced from

market traders, including Dry Aged Irish Sirloin, Roast

North Coast Salmon and Portavogie Tempura Scampi.

Stylish booths, and balcony seating with Fri & Sat market

views, lend a sophisticated backdrop to your dining experience.

Dark woods, subtle lighting and bygone photos

add to the relaxed yet refined ambience, and the equally

elegant bar area is ideal for a pre and post dinner tipple.

QD-2, 1st Floor, St. George’s Market, Oxford St, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9024 0014, www.stgeorgesbargrill.com.

Wed & Thu 11:30 - 14:30, 17:00 - 21:00, Fri & Sat 09:30 -

14:30, 17:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 15:30. £££-££££.

Stix & Stones

A modern rustic mix of stone, tiles, wood and leather provide

the classy backdrop for this unique city centre restaurant.

What makes it different is its signature hot stone cooking...

a theatrical dining experience inviting you to sizzle

your favourite steak or seafood at the table. Knowledgeable

staff can refine your bespoke creation and, should you prefer,

an exquisite selection of salads and pasta are also on the

menu. A full complement of wines, champagnes and cocktails

completes your dining fun. The spacious 134-seater

restaurant flows from large tables to intimate nooks, with

subtle shifts in lighting and decor suggesting the seating

options. For a truly memorable visit, book the 12-seater

chef’s table for the ultimate interactive dining experience.

QB-2, 44-46 Upper Queen St., tel. (+44) (0)28 9031 9418,

www.stixandstonesbelfast.com. £££-££££.

The Bar + Grill at James Street South

Created by the award-winning owners of adjoining James

Street South, diners can expect the same local provenance

and creative dishes at this laid back bistro. Steaks cooked

to order on the charcoal grill evoke the sights and smells

of a classic New York Steak House. And we’re particularly

loving the retro-inspired desserts and decadent cocktails.

Beautifully crafted starters, and pasta and risotto dishes

served small or large, keep the tastebuds and budgets in

check. Private dining and an onsite cookery school cater

for all you city-bound epicureans. BB-2, 21 James St.

South, tel. (+44) (0)28 9560 0700, www.belfastbargrill.

co.uk. Daily 12:00 - 22:30. £££.

August - September 2014 19


Cafés & Bistros

Seafood

Mourne Seafood Bar

Situated beside Kelly’s Cellars Irish pub, this extremely

popular eaterie serves locally sourced mussels, oysters,

langoustines and lots of other delicious marine morsels

in a cool and unforced atmosphere. Food is cooked traditional

style or with a continental or Asian twist, half

dozen oysters and Mourne mussel pots make particularly

appealing snacks. The gamut of gastro creations ranges

from beer battered fish and chips to whole hot buttered

lobster, with everything from locally-brewed ale to bottles

of bubbly complementing the cuisine. There’s even a cute

fish shop at the front for take-home treats and an on-site

Belfast Cookery School to hone your chef skills. If fish ain’t

your thing, the restaurant also offers prime rib eye steak

and veggie options. One of the city’s finest restaurants.

QC-1, 34-36 Bank St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9024 8544, www.

mourneseafood.com. Mon-Thu 12:00 - 21:30, Fri & Sat

12:00 - 16:00, 17:00 - 22:30, Sun 13:00 - 18:00. Also at

Main St, Dundrum, Co. Down (+44) (0)28 4375 1377 and

Millennium Tower, Charlotte Quay, Dublin (+353) (0)1

868 8862. £££-££££.

CaFÉS & Bistros

Brights

Award-winning Ulster fries and sizzling fajitas sum up

the extent of this spacious eatery’s hugely popular menu.

Locals have always loved it, and now tourists are joining

them to sample plump, juicy and locally-sourced sausages

that share plate space with regional classics such as soda

and potato bread. Other indigenous fare includes Beef and

Guinness Pie, Dublin Coddle and Colcannon - each served

with a handy guide to their Irish origins. Frothy lattes and

decadent desserts keep shoppers and suits happy too and

the large H&W Belfast pics will leave you refreshed and

ready for further city exploration.QC-1, 23-25 High St, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9044 5688, www.brightsrestaurantbelfast.

com. Mon-Fri 09:00 - 17:30, Thu until 20:00, Sat 09:00

- 18:00.££.

Canteen

Enjoy breakfast, lunch and pre-show dining in this contemporary

café, bar and restaurant in the uber-cool foyer of the

multi-award winning MAC. Start your day with Eggs Benedict,

bagels or a full breakfast. Lunch on seafood chowder,

BBQ pulled pork or Croque monsieur. Then end the evening

with beer battered coley, marinated flank steak or pork

belly. Grazing boards of charcuterie and seafood tapas go

exceedingly well with wine and local craft beers. Or you can

celebrate your Big Night Out with cocktails a deux. ​Silky coffees

and free WiFi lure the casual diner. And everyone can

fuel the mind with a stroll round the latest exhibition.QThe

MAC, St Anne’s Square, tel. (+44) (0)28 9023 5053, www.

themaclive.com. Daily 10:00 - late.

Deanes Deli & Vin Cafe

Sample the Deane experience at a more affordable price as

you eavesdrop on media types (the BBC is just around the

corner) while savouring the day to night ambience and live

weekend music. Elegantly assembled small plates complement

the bubbles and grapes... and look as fabulous as the

sparkly clientelle. The adjoining Deli Bistro serves lunch and

dinner with the usual Deane finesse - think roast cod bourguignon,

crisp port belly. and Glenarm salmon with fennel

& prawn bisque. QC-3, 44 Bedford St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9024

8800, www.michaeldeane.co.uk. Mon-Fri 08:00 - 22:00,

Sat 09:00 - 22:00. Bistro Mon-Sat 12:00 - 15:00, 17:30 -

22:00. £££.

Grapevine

Very easy to miss, but worth seeking out down a historic

little alley, this small cafe serves great value wholesome and

homemade food that’s a bit more adventurous than the

norm at this price range. We’re talking gumbo, beef stew

with rosemary and seafood chowder, as well as the usual

office worker faves of salads and sandwiches. They say ‘food

with soul’ and we’re inclined to agree.QC-1, 5 Pottinger’s

Entry. Mon-Fri 08:00 - 17:00, Sat 09:00 - 17:00. £.

Harlem

This bright and breezy spot is perennially populated by

suits and creatives from the nearby BBC thrashing out

ideas over scrummy brunches, lunches and daytime treats.

Seafood Chowder, pan-fried pork chop and French Toast

with bacon and maple syrup are among the menu delights

that keep folk lingering well beyond eat o’clock. The

decor is as stylish as the patrons, but the vibe is nice and

laid-back. QC-2/3, 34 Bedford St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9024

4860, www.harlembelfast.com. Mon-Thu 08:00 - 16:00,

Fri 08:00 - late, Sat 09:00 - late, Sun 09:00- 17:00. £££.

Made In Belfast

Industrial warehouse collides stylishly with thrown-together

chic at this urban diner. Miss-matched furniture, lampshades

and mirrors populate its double height expanse and scuffed

floorboards hark back to the building’s fashion emporium

past. Ingredients are locally sourced where possible and

occasionally organic too, with mussels, burgers, steak and

free-range chicken among the offerings. Find it off Donegall

Square West and a second Cathedral Quarter branch in Talbot

St (tel. (+44) (0)28 9024 4107).Q B-2, Wellington St, tel.

(+44) (0)289024 6712, www.madeinbelfastni.com. Mon-

Fri 11:00 - late, Sat & Sun 10:00 - late. £££.

Muriel’s Cafe Bar

Nestled in a side street beside St. George’s Church is this

glorious little retreat named after its former resident milliner

and sometime ‘angel of the footpath’. Damask drapes,

velvet seating and dark walls are illuminated with mirrors,

chandeliers and an open fire. Downstairs, a display of hat

paraphernalia reflects Muriel’s less lascivious past. The

food ranges from piri piri halloumi and quinoa salad to

chowder and gumbo, with cheese and meat platters to

share and fancy brunches to start the day in style. Come

the pm, DJs play suitably eclectic background music for

the stylish, cocktail sipping set.QC-1, 12-14 Church Lane,

off High St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9033 2445. Mon-Fri 11:00 -

01:00, Sat 10:00 - 01:00, Sun 10:00 - 00:00. £££.

National Grande Café Bar

Behind the elegant listed facade of the old National Bank

lies an intentionally unfinished industrial interior of exposed

brick, steel girders and concrete floor. Welcome to

Belfast’s latest watering hole where diners and drinkers

congregate to parade their cool credentials. Breakfasts,

lunches and dinners take on sublime twists; The National

Breakfast comes with soda bread soldiers, lunch’s PLT

sandwich swaps bacon for Pancetta, and Sicilian Risotto

Balls adorn the dinner menu. Look up towards the tripleheight

glass roof, and take a stroll to the beer garden, regarded

by al fresco aficionados as Belfast’s finest.Q62-68

High St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9031 1130. Mon-Wed 08:30 -

21:00, Thu & Fri 8:30 - 01:00, Sat 09:30 - 01:00, Sun 09:30

- 00:00. £££. S

Cafés & Bistros

Rhubarb

This quaint little BYOB bistro delivers breakfast, lunch,

dinner and pre-theatre meals that give bigger restaurants

a run for their money. Start your day with a Full Fry

or French toast, maple syrup and grilled bacon. Enjoy a

lunch of Spiced Sausage Cassoulet or pan-fried Portavogie

Scallops. Then end the evening with Cajun Salmon or

Beef Bourguignon with roast garlic mash. Desserts are

equally alluring, with Rhubarb and Wild Berry Crumble

exuding the cafe’s mouthwatering moniker. Fresh local

ingredients are the order of the day, so expect a changing

feast of seasonal delights. Its location, tucked away in

a quiet side street off Great Victoria Street, makes it ideal

for a pre-Grand Opera House or Movie House meal. Q2

Little Victoria St (corner of Hope St), tel. (+44) (0)28

9020 0158, www.rhubarb-belfast.co.uk. Tue-Thu 09:00

- 22:00, Fri & Sat 09:00 - late. Also at 58 Wellington Place

(B-2). £££.

Robinson & Cleaver

This new restaurant is named after the iconic department

store once housed in the beautiful stone building overlooking

City Hall. Head upstairs to The Terrace and sit outside

(and under heaters) to experience the best restaurant

views in the city. Food is very much of the locally sourced

variety with all the beef Northern Ireland quality assured;

try the Taste of Ulster sharing plate with Belfast Ham and

soda bread melba or 100% Glenarm Shorthorn burger.

Downstairs’ Urban Deli offers an informal sit-in space

and take-out treats, salads and sandwiches.QDonegall

Square North, tel. (+44) (0)28 9031 2666, www.

robinsonandcleaver.com. The Terrace open Mon-Sat

12:00 - 14:30, Wed-Sat 17:00 - 21:45, Sun 12.00 - 16.00.

Urban Deli open Mon-Tue 08:00 - 16:30, Wed-Sat 08:00

- 21:00, Sun 12:00 - 16:00. ££-£££.

Spires Restaurant & Coffee Shop

At the heart of Spires Mall inside historic Assembly

Buildings sits this open-plan cafe with a great self-service

selection of salads, paninis and hot dishes - including lasagne,

curry and the all important cooked breakfast - to

20 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 21


Cafés & Bistros

shore up hungry shoppers. Tea, coffee and traybakes

keep the munchies at bay, and the kids menu keeps

juniors happy. News junkies can keep an eye on the

plasma TV or choice of daily reads. A great value treat in

the heart of the city.QB-2, Spires Mall, Great Victoria

St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9031 2881, www.spiresrestaurant.

co.uk. Mon-Sat 08:00 - 17:00. ££.

Storm in a Teacup

This cleverly named bistro is perfectly poised in the upper

gate house of Stormont Estate, home of NI’s iconic

Stormont Parliament Building. Its equally elegant, albeit

smaller scale façade gives way to a glam interior boasting

glistening chandeliers and quirky cafe twists on

art classics - think George Washington gazing through

a glazed doughnut or Constable’s The Haywain hauling

a French Fancy... Food runs from stylish breakfasts

to hot and cold lunches and a BYOB bistro on Fri and

Sat. All this, and coffee and pastries keep sightseers and

civil servants satisfied throughout the day.Q33 Massey

Ave, Belfast, M20, tel. (+44) (0)28 9076 0067. Mon -

Fri 08:00 - 17:00, Sat 09:00 - 17:00, Sun 10:00 - 17:00.

Storm Bistro open Fri & Sat - check ahead for details.

££-£££.

Coffee & Snacks

Established Coffee

Grey and white is the dominant palette in this minimal-

Dundonald Old Mill Coffee House &

Gift Shop Heading east out of Belfast, past Stormont

and before Newtownards, you’ll see a sign

for this unique cafe and gift shop. What makes it so

special is the large wooden water wheel which, at

32ft in diameter, is said to be one of Ireland’s largest,

and certainly the largest in Northern Ireland.

Originally built in 1752, the Old Mill once powered

a linen bleaching mill before conversion in 1850 to

a corn mill powered by the wheel you see today. After

closure in 1920, the mill fell into decline but was

restored to its former glory in 1987. Today’s wheel

turns with electricity but still makes a magnificent

first impression before you head into the cute gift

shop and equally cottage-like upstairs cafe. Grab

a home-cooked lunch or coffee and scone before

purchasing a posh pressie or two and heading onwards

for a daytrip down the picturesque Ards Peninsula...

nothing could be quainter.QL-3, 231 Belfast

Rd, Dundonald, tel. (+44) (0)28 9048 5030, www.

dundonaldoldmill.co.uk. Open 7 days 10:00 -

16:30. ££. L

ist concrete space where superlative coffee is de rigueur.

Exquisite cookies and mini loaf-style cakes keep sweetteeth

smiling. While creatively composed breakfasts

and lunches include the likes of pastrami and dill on rye

and chorizo stew with herb loaf. But it’s the global trek

through coffee manna that keeps beanoraks coming

back for another shot (or two). Curated with love and

wisdom by owner and barista par excellence Mark Ashbridge,

this is one cool coffee-loving crib.QC-1, 54 Hill

St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9031 9416. ££.

The Dock Cafe

Between the Odyssey and SS Nomadic, in a shop unit

at this new apartment complex, is a pop-up cafe with a

difference. Run by Titanic Quarter chaplain, and Titanic

Walking Tour guide, Chris Bennett and like-minded clergy,

the cafe has an honesty box instead of a till. Which

means you can choose how much you want to pay for

your coffee, tea and biscuit. Books, big sofas and beautiful

NI travel prints from Holywood’s Yard Gallery make

for tranquil escape from your sightseeing sojourn.QG-

2, Arc Apartments, Queens Rd, Titanic Quarter, www.

the-dock.org. Tue-Sat 11:00 - 19:00. £.

Yummy Sandwiches

This bijou food kiosk offers a bit more than the average

city centre sandwich bar. Burgers, hot dogs, homemade

soup, toasties and daily specials sit alongside salads,

snacks and those all-important sandwiches. There’s a

couple of stools and tables on which to perch as you

eat before you hit the shops inside the stylish Spires

Mall.QB-2, Spires Mall, Upper Queen St. entrance,

tel. (+44) (0)28 9031 2881, www.yummysandwiches.

co.uk. Mon-Fri 08:30 - 14:30.. £.

22 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

Contemporary bars

21 Social

This Cathedral Quarter day-to-night venue is a favourite with

sparkly young locals and fun-loving tourists (yes that’s you).

The modernist exterior swathes three floors of food, drink

and music served in super sleek surroundings. Weekends

bring out the cocktail loving party posse and position 21

Social dead centre of the city’s coolest night-time hub.QC-

1, 1 Hill St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9024 1415, www.21social.co.uk.

Daily 12:00 - late. K

AM:PM and CABARET SUPPER CLUB

Tucked down a city centre side-street is this unique chandelier-strewn

venue encompassing a ground floor bar

restaurant and upstairs Cabaret Supper Club where big

name tribute acts and sassy vaudeville and burlesque performers

regale mid-late weekenders in a luxe supper club

reminiscent of ‘20s Hollywood. The top floor Tree House

Grill serves a stylised al fresco eating, drinking and theatre

experience complete with retractable roof and outdoor

heaters - smokers rejoice. The owners also run The

Chubby Cherub, a rather cute little Italian restaurant across

the road.QC-2, 38 Upper Arthur St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9024

9009, www.ampmbelfast.com. Mon-Thur 10:00 - 23:00,

Fri & Sat 10:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. For Cabaret

Supper Club check www.cabaretbelfast.com for the

latest shows. K

Café Vaudeville

A riot of ritzy glamour and rich hues, the only things missing

from this downtown watering hole are a girl on a

swing and a bird in a gilded cage... but we’re sure they’re

working on it. Beneath the stained-glass dome of this neoclassical

former bank building is an upstairs Champagne

Bar and ground floor flirting zone favoured by the ‘second

chance at romance’ brigade (you get the picture). Cabaretstyle

shows, live music acts and DJ tunes further enliven

the sumptuously ornate, chandelier-strewn wonderland.

Food is served late morning to evening.QC-2, 25 Arthur

St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9043 9160, www.cafevaudeville.com.

Mon 11:30 - 18:00, Tue 11:30 - 23:00, Wed 11:30 - 00:00,

Thu - Sat 11:30 - 01:00. K

Cutters Wharf

When the sun slips from behind its cloudy cover, grab a

bus or taxi and join the throngs of revellers at this great

riverside bar. Grab a seat at the heated River Terrace and

enjoy the stunning waterfront location as rugby boys,

rowers and other assorted sporty types compare muscles

and swill back the beer. Indoor and outdoor TV screens

further enhance your recreational enjoyment. Upstairs, the

refurbished Cutters Restaurant provides top notch informal

dining with wide open windows to make the most of

those Lagan views and leafy Stranmillis setting. There really

is nowhere quite like this in Belfast.QE-2, 4 Lockview

Rd, Stranmillis, M8, tel. (+44) (0)28 9080 5100, www.

cutterswharf.co.uk. Mon & Tue 11:30 - 23:00, Wed 11:30

- 00:00, Thu - Sat 11:30 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. K

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

Nightlife

August - September 2014 23


Nightlife

Northern Whig

Once the offices of an old Belfast newspaper, this 19th century

listed building was reborn in 1997 as a big, bold bar/nightclub.

Avoiding the obvious newspaper theme, the Whig’s interior is

inspired by the Soviet Revolution. Three colossal socialist statues

imported from Prague take centre stage, and the cocktail

list features bolshy-faves Lenin and Archangel. The space is

cavernous - rising up three floors - but it’s still packed every

weekend with trendy sorts of varying wrinklage enjoying

funk and urban soul sounds. Good food is served throughout

the day.QC-1, 2 Bridge St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9050 9888, www.

thenorthernwhig.com. Mon & Tue 12:00 - 23:00, Wed-Sat

12:00 - 01:00, Sun 13:00 - 23:00. K

Spaniard

Wallpapered with vintage 80s record sleeves, and with just

enough room to swing a straw donkey, this little watering

hole is as cosy as it is cool. After-work and pre-club tipplers

have made this Cathedral Quarter haunt their home. Its relaxed

retro style is as kitsch as a Benidorm ashtray and, if you

closed your eyes while sipping a cervesa, you could almost

believe you were in Spain. We said almost. Look for the smiling

Salvador Dali down the side of The Merchant Hotel and

you’re there.QC-1, 3 Skipper St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9023 2448,

www.thespaniardbar.com. Mon-Sat 12:00 - 01:00, Sun

12:00 - 00:00. K

Traditional Bars

Aether & Echo

What was once The Deer’s Head pub has been reborn as

this cool drinking, dining and nightlife hub. The traditional

Victorian booths have been given a coat of crisp white

paint, and the ceiling boasts a statement lightbox art installation.

The menu is a step-up from the usual pub grub and

served on quaint, mis-matched crockery. Delivered by the

creative team behind the equally stylish Love & Death Inc,

this Belfast venue looks set to become another city centre

classic.Q11 Lower Garfield St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9023 9163,

www.aetherandecho.com. Mon-Thu 07:30 - 01:00, Fri &

Sat 07:00 - 03:00, Sun 12:00 - 00:00. K

Crown Liquor Saloon

Owned by the National Trust and without question Belfast’s

most famous bar, this city centre landmark is the first place

tourists head for their inaugural pint of Guinness. Outside it’s a

remarkable riot of mosaic tiles, and the opulence continues inside

with more tiles, etched windows and an intricately carved

ceiling. The snugs, gas lamps and long granite bar all hark back

to the bar’s Victorian origins but the eclectic crowd helps this

grand old dame keep her youth. Good nourishing food is served

both in the bar and upstairs in the Crown Dining Rooms.QB-2,

46 Gt. Victoria St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9024 3187, www.crownbar.

com. Mon-Wed 11:30 - 23:00, Thu-Sat 11:30 - 00:00, Sun 12:30

- 22:00. K

Dirty Onion

What looks like a dilapidated husk on the brink of collapse

reveals itself as one of Belfast’s latest ‘go-to’ venues. Its

large wooden struts are more grand designs than abandoned

build and reflect the hostellery’s history as one of

Belfast’s oldest buildings...and former bonded warehouse

for Jameson Whiskey. Daily Irish music sessions and exclusive

craft ales regale drinkers, while diners can grab some

alt. bar food or scurry upstairs for free range chicken at

Yardbird rotisserie restaurant. Saunter down cobbled Hill

Street and sup alongside the city’s musos and studiously

cool at this quite unique establishment.QC-1, 3 Hill St, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9024 3712, www.thedirtyonion.com. Mon-

Sat 12:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. K

Duke of York

Hidden down a cobbled Cathedral Quarter alley off Donegall

St. this fantastic pub pays homage to Belfast’s industrial past

and centuries-old newspaper trade. Art students, old hacks

and media types come together to enjoy great live music and

retro disco tunes in a decidedly unpretentious, super-friendly

setting. Politicos among you may be interested to learn that

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams used to be a barman here. And

smokers can rejoice in the outside heated smoking area.

Check out nearby Dark Horse for afternoon eats and evening

overspill, and The Harp Bar for regular live Irish music - both

owned by the same crowd and delightfully similar in style

and substance.QC-1, 7 Commercial Court, off Donegall St,

tel. (+44) (0)28 9024 1062. Mon 11:30 - 23:00, Tue-Fri 11:30

- 01:00, Sat 11:30 - 02:00, Sun 12:30 - 23:30. K

Garrick

One of Belfast’s oldest bars, dark wood ceilings strewn with

big glass lanterns, button down leather booths and copper

pumps and pipes retain the traditional Victorian feel in the

downstairs bar. The elegant aura extends to the top floor

room and back bar which also features a fabulous Venetian

mirror, quirky display of barometres and, somewhat disturbingly,

a dilapidated doll dangling overhead. Footy fans can

watch live matches on the big screens and music fans can

enjoy trad sessions and DJ sets.QC-2, 29 Chichester St, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9032 1984, www.thegarrickbar.com. Mon-

Sat 11:30 - 01:00, Sun 12:30 - 00:00. K

Hudson Bar

The sign says ‘Whiskey, Ales and Disco’ and that perfectly

embodies this stylishly retro venue. It may have opened in

2011, but the bar instantly exudes a feeling of warm familiarity,

from the vintage chic decor to in-the-know patrons.

And by that we mean music lovers, arty students and drink

aficionados - check out the Titanic Whiskey and great selection

of brews and keep an eye on the ever-changing

DJ sets. Outside is even large than the interior with just

as much attention to detail in its curio-strewn expanse.

Diners should try the wicked chicken wings and delish

creamy chowder. While connoisseurs of the water of life

should scurry upstairs to the Whiskey Loft and indulge in a

selection of tipples in a private club-style setting. Another

positive step towards the re-invention of this side of the

city.QB-1, 10-14 Gresham St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9023 2322,

www.hudsonbelfast.com. Mon-Wed 11:30 - 23:00, Thu-

Sat 11:30 - 02:00, Sun 12:00-00:00. K

Kelly’s Cellars

Down a side street off Royal Avenue lurks this 16th

century black and white bar, one of the city’s oldest

and, in our opinion, most authentic. Positively no pandering

to tourists, designer cocktail lists or faux-trad

nonsense. Instead, it’s all about the serious business of

imbibing as the congregation worships at the high altar

of Arthur Guinness and co. And if you fancy a break

from the strong stuff (as if), the coffee nook serves a

good quality cuppa. Regular outbursts of Irish music

and an ever-roaring turf fire add to Kelly’s unforced

charm.QC-1, 30 Bank St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9024 6058.

Mon-Sat 11:30 - 01:00, Sun 13:00 - 00:00. K

Kitchen Bar

Exposed bricks, painted girders and wooden beams

retain a trad air amid a distinctly modern warehouse

vibe. Visitors can enjoy a legendary Paddy’s Pizza (with

hot soda bread base) and pint of real ale. Live music

sessions and DJ sets attract a diverse blend of raconteurs,

artisans, trendy types and shoppers from neighbouring

Victoria Square.QC-2, 38 Victoria Square, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9032 4901, www.thekitchenbar.com.

Mon-Thu 11:30 - 23:00, Fri & Sat 11:30 - 01:00, Sun

12:30 - 22:00. K

Lavery’s

This three-storey drinking den has long been home to

a colourful clientele of old boys, bikers, students and

dead-heads. Its enduring charm makes ‘Lavs’ one of

Belfast’s hardy old bars and an absolute must for pub

crawlers and music enthusiasts. The complex mixes

a trad bar at the front with cool and quirky live music

and club nights across other rooms and poolhall

at the top of the shop. Go on, fill yer boots.QB-4, 12

Bradbury Place, tel. (+44) (0)28 9087 1106, www.

laverysbelfast.com. Mon-Sat 11:30 - 01:00, Sun 12:30

- 00:00. K

McHughs

This revamped Grade A listed building dates back to 1711,

making it Belfast’s oldest bar (though others contest the

claim). The beautifully restored façade faces pedestrianised

Custom House Square - venue for many open air

concerts and cultural events. Inside you’ll find nooks and

crannies crammed with salvaged emblems of Belfast’s

industrial past. The restaurant serves a hearty trad menu

and the basement bar heaves with an older crowd tempted

by its Irish music sessions, live bands and discos.QD-1,

29 Queens Square, tel. (+44) (0)28 9050 9999, www.

mchughsbar.com. Mon-Sat 12:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 -

00:00. K

Robinsons

Dating back to 1895, this colossal complex contains five

venues spread over three floors. Nestled in the corner

of Blackstaff Square, Fibber Magee’s is the genuine

article; a good old spit and sawdust bar, packed to the

rafters with little bits of history and steeped in Irish

Behold Belfast’s Leaning Tower

Nightlife

tradition. Pull up a stool by the open fire and enjoy the

nightly tunes of traditional musicians adorned with fiddles,

pipes and bodhráns. A night’s craic is guaranteed.

Roxys is a New York style converted loft where minimal

styling and low lighting set the perfect scene for

Citybeat’s DJ IBE every Saturday night. Cocktails, dance

anthems and retro faves create the perfect party atmosphere.

Unleash your inner diva at stylish basement karaoke

bar BT1. Or enjoy the main Robinson’s Bar and

Bistro where good food is served until 21:00 and drinks

are imbibed well into the night. With everything for

the ideal night out under one roof, big, as they say, is

beautiful. Find it opposite the Grand Opera House. QB-

2, 38 Gt. Victoria St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9024 7447, www.

robinsonsbar.co.uk. Robinsons 11:30 - 01:00, Sun

11:00 - 00:00. Fibber Magee’s Mon-Sat 11:30 - 01:00,

Sun 12:30- 00:00. BT1 Thu-Sat 21:00 - 01:00. Roxys Sat

21:00 - late. K

Parlour Bar

Drinks promotions and good value food, including tasty

dough discs from the wood-burning pizza oven, keep

cash-strapped students happy at this Queen’s Quarter

hang-out. Weekly entertainment includes Tuesday’s

Open Mic, Bingo Wednesdays and Quiz Nights every

Thursday. The Back Yard is one of the largest outdoor

enclosed spaces in Belfast with gas heaters and a big

screen... a perfect spot to enjoy the football.QB-4, 2

Elmwood Ave, M8, tel. (+44) (0)28 9068 6970, www.

parlourbar.co.uk. Mon-Sat 11:30 - late. K

24 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 25


Nightlife

Ye Olde Eglantine Inn

Known by all as ‘The Eg’, this bar/nightclub is slicker

than the average student haunt. Rows of wine bottles

back-lit in red are displayed behind the bar to stylish

effect. Cosy leather sofas, dark wood tables and

chairs and plasma TVs provide armchair sports fans

with ample viewing opportunities. The weekly lineup

includes a Tuesday Quiz and Crackin’ Karaoke every

Thursday night. Good, honest, homemade food, with

burritos a speciality, is served from 12-8pm daily.QB-

5, 32 Malone Rd, M8, tel. (+44) (0)28 9038 1944,

www.egbar.co.uk. Mon & Tue 11:30 - 00:00, Wed -

Sat 12:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 - 00:00. K

Nightlife

Custom House Square all lit up

RAOB HQ Club

This Cathedral Quarter social club is the NI HQ of the Royal

Antediluvian Order of the Buffaloes, a global, non-sectarian,

fraternal organisation founded in 1822. The Buffs, as

they are colloquially known, originated in London’s theatrical

scene, with members touring the country with their

shows and establishing new ‘lodges’. The name derives

from the song, We’ll Chase the Buffalo, with ‘Royal’ and ‘Antediluvian’

added later to evoke an air of prestige and history.

The Buffs’ aim is to raise money for charity and help

fellow members in times of need.

Visitors to the Buff Club are warmly welcomed to enjoy a

night of music and entertainment at this honest-to-goodness

working men’s club. Its city centre location and good

value bar, together with darts, three snooker tables (£1ph)

and Sky sports, ensures a great time in the company of

friendly locals from all walks of life. Phone ahead or check the

small screen on the club’s exterior for details of upcoming

shows and covers and classics music nights.QC-1, 17 Church

St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9032 9961, www.raob.org.uk. Mon-

Wed 13:00 - 23:00, Thu-Sat 11:00 - late, Sun 17:00 - 22:00.

Sunflower

This former working man’s drinking den has been reimagined

as a cool bar and live music venue. There’s

more than a nod to its recent past, with local 70s and 80s

ephemera populating the small two-storey space. Look

out for the ‘Control Zone’ road sign and other edgy curios.

Local and world beers and whiskies are among the imbibers’

delights. And musos will love the eclectic line-up of

live music on the intimate upstairs stage, and impromptu

Irish trad sessions in the downstairs bar. Folk nights every

Thursday sit alongside soul, bluegrass and other fine music

genres. Its location on the fringe of Cathedral Quarter

and close to Central Library and the Art College, ensures a

steady stream of too-cool-for-school locals. Love it!Q65

Union St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9023 2474, www.sunflowerbelfast.com.

Daily 12:00 - 01:00.

Live music

Black Box

This intimate Cathedral Quarter arts venue is home to

music, theatre, comedy and many other eclectic nights

out. Join the boho set in the delightful renovated

building that consistently throws up some of the city’s

most culturally diverse entertainment.QC-1, 18 Hill St,

tel. (+44) (0)28 9024 4400, www.blackboxbelfast.

com.

Empire

This 19th century converted church is a two-in-one venue

with diverse programme of live comedy, music and clubbing.

Upstairs the Victorian music hall theme provides a

sumptuous backdrop for new and tribute music performances.

The basement bar serves great value food and,

at night, becomes a hive of activity for beer connoisseurs.

Every Tuesday, Belfast’s longest running comedy club attracts

top acts attempting to win over one of the toughest

audiences on the circuit. The venue is also idea for watching

big sports fixtures with fellow fans. Good value food is

served until 20:00.QB-4, 40 Botanic Ave, M7, tel. (+44)

(0)28 9032 8110, www.thebelfastempire.com. Mon-Sat

11:30 - 01:00. K

Limelight, Rock Garden and Katy’s Bar

This revamped jewel in Belfast’s indie, rock and

emerging music crown boasts an unrivalled line-up

of deep down and dirty live music and club nights.

Always busy and always a good night out if you’re

seriously into your music. QC-3, 15-17 Ormeau Ave,

(+44) (0)28 9032 7007, www.limelightbelfast.com.

Voodoo

Black and red dominates this small, two floor venue

where local and Cajun inspired lunches give way to

night-time music encompassing everything from cover

bands to acoustic acts, hard rock to hip-hop nights.

Belfast’s Godfather of Punk and discoverer of The

Undertones, Terri Hooley, plays his Good Vibrations DJ

set every Thursday. Think tattoos rather than suit-andtie.Q9-11

Fountain St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9027 8290,

www.voodoobelfast.com. Mon & Tue 12:00 - 01:00,

Wed-Sat 12:00 - 02:00, Sun 15:00 - 00:00. K

Clubs

El Divino

Four rooms across three floors make this the city’s biggest

nightclub. Its Ibizan origins have influenced the design, with

a laid-back ground floor lounge, the first floor’s intimate

Little Disco and exclusive Green Room and the top floor’s

main space completing the club line-up. They say Superclub

- and who are we to argue Find it along the River Lagan

walkway, heading east from the Hilton Hotel.Qoff D-2,

Mays Meadow, Laganbank Rd, tel. (+44) (0)28 9032 2000,

www.eldivino-belfast.com. Thur-Sat, Mon 21:00 - 02:00.

M Club

This church of cheese, high temple of tack, minster of madness

(you get the picture) makes no apologies for its big,

brash naughtiness. Outside, a giant block of flashing lights

beckons swarms of half-dressed girls and post-pubescent

boys, eager for a Saturday night of hot club capers. On Fridays,

the Groovy Train disco attracts an older crowd reliving their

glory days from the 70s and 80s. Stags and hens will feel particularly

at home.QB-4, 23 Bradbury Place, tel. (+44) (0)28

9023 3131, www.mclub.co.uk. Tue, Thur-Sat 21:00 - 02:00,

Downstairs VBar open Mon-Sat from 18:00.

Thompson’s GARAGE

With 20 years of hardcore clubbing under its belt,

Thompson’s is definitely not for the fainthearted. The commercial

dance, house and R&B is loud and the youngish

crowd is very, very up for it. No bad thing if you’re tired of

being good. Two floors of constant noise and euphoria taking

you into the wee small hours. Find it off Donegall Square

East.QC-2, 3 Patterson Place, tel. (+44) (0)28 9032 3762,

www.clubthompsons.com. 23:00 - 03:00.

Gay Belfast

Kremlin

A giant Lenin statue heralds proletariats of all ages to what

many regard as Ireland’s number one gay hot spot. A the

name suggests, a Soviet-style industrial opulence exudes

throughout the complex’s extravagant decor, with all manner

of hi-jinx including fetish, foam and fancy dress keeping

the proletariat happy. Frequent celeb performances make

Kremlin the city’s answer to G.A.Y.QC-1, 96 Donegall St, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9031 6060, www.kremlin-belfast.com. Tue &

Thu 22:00 - 02:00, Fri & Sat 21:00 - 03:00, Sun 22:00 - 02:00.

Union Street

Situated in a 19th century shoe factory, this is one of the

city’s most stylish and fun bars and a great place for some

fine gastro pub grub. The two storey interior of exposed

brick, industrial pipes and pale green and chrome décor

gives the bar a cool yet comfy vibe. Upstairs, the Green

Room Cocktail Lounge and adjoining Shoe Factory nightclub

are particularly worthy of your patronage. Theme

nights can range from Karaoke and Sunday Bingo to quizzes

and cabaret. Quelle fun.QC-1, 14 Union St, tel. (+44) (0)28

9031 6060, www.unionstreetpub.com. Mon-Thu 12:00 -

01:00, Fri & Sat 12:00 - 01:30, Sun 17:00 - 01:00. K

26 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 2014 27


What to see

What to see

Essential Belfast

If you’re on a whistle-stop day trip, join an open top

bus tour for a 90min scoot round the major sights including

Titanic Belfast, SS Nomadic and Crumlin Road

Gaol. Shoppers should head to upmarket Victoria

Square. Then, if you’ve time to spare, head north on

Metro Bus N°1, jumping off at Belfast Castle, Belfast

Zoo and Cavehill Country Park for unbeatable views

across the city and NI.

Stay on the right track with these keys (from p.11):

WB = West Belfast EB = East Belfast

SB = South Belfast NB = North Belfast

BUS Tours

Two companies run 90min hop-on, hop-off open-top bus

tours of Belfast. Tickets last 48hrs and tours dip into the

Titanic Quarter, head West to the Shankill and Falls Roads

then return to the city centre via the Queen’s Quarter. Live

commentaries are as entertaining as they are enlightening,

with local guides cracking Troubles-related jokes only

a native could get away with. The Belfast City Sightseeing

Bus Tour also stops at Stormont Parliament Building (up to

15:00) and the Titanic & City Bus Tour heads north to Belfast

Castle. £12.50/10.50, 4-10 £6, family (2+3) £31, U4 free.

Y Both companies offer discounts for on-line bookings

and also run Giant’s Causeway and Game of Thrones tours.

Belfast City Sightseeing Bus Tour QC-1,

Castle Place, tel. (+44) (0)28 9032 1321, www.belfastcitysightseeing.co.uk.

Dept. 10:00 - 16:00.

Titanic & City Bus Tours QC-1 High St (beside

Office shoe shop), tel. (+44) (0)28 9032 1912,

www.citytoursbelfast.com. Dept. 09:45 - 16:45.

Buildings & Curiosities

Albert Memorial Clock

Belfast’s most prominent timepiece was built from 1865-

1870 in memory of Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince

Albert, who died in 1862. The 43m-high landmark is

famous as Belfast’s very own leaning tower. Like many

structures in the city, it was built on reclaimed land on the

River Farset’s somewhat squishy foundations and the clock

tower currently leans 1.25m to the left. A two-year £multimillion

restoration project saw craftsmen working ‘round

the clock’ to spruce up its sandstone, polish its two tonne

bell and add gold leaf to its four faces. The area around

the clock was once the stomping ground for ladies of the

night ‘servicing’ visiting sailors.QC-1, High St.

Belfast City Hall

A magnificent sight, especially when viewed from Royal

Avenue, this imposing Portland stone and copper-domed

building was completed in 1906 as a symbol of Belfast’s

new city status. Queen Victoria stands at the front, and the

grounds are dotted with many more statues and monuments,

details of which can be found on a large map at the

gates. In 1995 the building provided a dramatic backdrop

when President Clinton switched on the city’s Christmas

lights. Check out The Bobbin cafe, whose name reflects

Belfast’s linen-making past, and No Mean City exhibition.

And take a free 45min guided tour for a behind the scenes

glimpse at this iconic building.QC-2, Donegall Square,

www.belfastcity.gov.uk/cityhall. The Bobbin cafe Mon-

Fri 09:00 - 16:30, Sat 09:00 - 16:00. Tours Mon-Fri 11:00,

14:00, 15:00; Sat 14:00 & 15:00. YKh

Belfast Masts

Each of these eight 16.2m high copper structures is named

after a White Star Line ship built in Belfast, among them

Olympic, Britannic, Nomadic and, of course, Titanic. The

masts feature large-scale banners and info panels at each

base. QC-2, Donegall Place.

CS Lewis statue

Stood fittingly outside Holywood Arches Library, this lifesize

statue is called The Searcher. It depicts the Belfast-born

Chronicles of Narnia author as Narnia narrator Digory Kirke

stepping into a wardrobe - no doubt in search of his mystical

land. Sculptor Ross Wilson unveiled the bronze statue

in 1998 - the centenary of Lewis’ birth.QG-2, Holywood

Rd, M3. EB

Custom House

The chiselled heads of Neptune, Britannia and Mercury

gaze down from this stately 1850’s Italianite building

whose sweeping steps have long been a platform for

protests and speeches galvanising the working man. Look

out for the bronze sculpture of a Speaker representing this

oratorical past. Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope used to

work here, and is commemorated with a Blue Plaque. The

pedestrianised Square provides a sparkly space for Sk8er

Bois, science toys, illuminated fountains tracing the reclaimed

River Farset, Belfast’s oldest drinking fountain for

horses and the occasional al fresco event.QD-1, Custom

House Square. Though usually closed to the public, the

building opens during September’s European Open

Heritage Days.

Belfast Visitor pass

Explore more and save money with this 1-3 day tourist

discount card. The Adult/Child Pass costs £6.30/3.65

(one day), £10.50/5.75 (two days) or £14/7.50 (three

days) and includes unlimited bus and rail travel on all

scheduled Metro, NI Railways and Ulsterbus services

within a specially designated Greater Belfast Zone. Discounts

on tours, attractions, souvenirs, eating out and

lots more goodies are also included. To find out more

visit the Belfast Welcome Centre (p.5) or buy on-line at

www.translink.co.uk. And look for the Y symbol on

our listings for some of the participating companies.

Lagan Valley Regional

Park

This tranquil series of parklands runs for 18km along

the River Lagan between Belfast’s Stranmillis and the

neighbouring city of Lisburn. A network of walks, running

and cycling paths transports visitors through a

myriad of heritage sites, nature reserves, parkland and

riverside trails: there’s no dreamier way to spend a sunny

afternoon.Qoff F-4, www.laganvalley.co.uk.

Giant’s Ring

This 2700BC late Neolithic site is Belfast’s very own

small-scale Stonehenge and Ireland’s largest ritual enclosure.

The 200m-diameter site is enclosed by a 3mhigh

circular earthwork with five entrance gaps: climb

to the top for great views of the surrounding city and

countryside. In the centre of the earthwork stands a

megalithic chamber with five standing stones and a

tilted capstone. Experts believe the site was originally

a meeting place or cult centre, and records indicate it

was an 18th century venue for horse races.

Shaw’s Bridge

This five-arched stone bridge was built in 1709 with

stones most likely taken from the ruins of a nearby

fort. It was originally an oak bridge built by Captain

Shaw in 1655 to allow Oliver Cromwell’s gunners to

cross the River Lagan. Today it attracts young romantics,

families and dog walkers content to soak

up its peaceful atmosphere and enjoy a Mr Whippy

ice cream.

Harland & Wolff Cranes

Wherever you go in Belfast there’s no escaping Samson

and Goliath, two giant, moveable yellow cranes looming

over what was once the world’s biggest shipyard. These

engineering heavyweights stand at 96m and 106m high,

140m wide and were built in 1969 and 1974 respectively.

Belfast’s shipbuilding industry may have dwindled but the

cranes are still used for H&W’s heavy engineering projects

and have been preserved as historic monuments. Only the

chosen few can take the lift to their summit for spectacular

city views. So resign yourself to enjoying Belfast’s most

iconic landmarks from ground level.QG-2, Titanic Quarter,

www.harland-wolff.com. EB

Queen’s University

Designed by Charles Lanyon and opened in 1849, this gothic

masterpiece is said to be based on Oxford University’s

Magdalen College. It is regarded as one of the best universities

in the British Isles and its Chancellor, former US Senator

George Mitchell, was a major architect of the Good Friday

Agreement. Famous alumni include President of Ireland

Mary McAleese, Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney

and scientist Lord Kelvin whose statue is in nearby Botanic

Gardens. Pick up the free, informative walking tour leaflet

at the Queen’s Welcome Centre where you can also buy a

range of Irish and QUB-branded souvenirs. Guided tours

can be arranged in advance.QB-4, University Rd, M7,

tel. (+44) (0)28 9097 5252, www.qub.ac.uk/vcentre.

09:30 - 16:30, Sun 10:00 - 13:00. YhSB

Cathedrals

St. Anne’s Cathedral

Dating back to 1776, the original St. Anne’s Church was

demolished in 1903 making way for a new Hiberno-

Romanesque-style Cathedral of Belfast. The foundation

stone was laid in 1899 and the cathedral built in five stages

across two centuries. The West Front, featuring Ireland’s

largest Celtic cross, was completed in 1927 and dedicated

to the victims of World War I. Though dedicated to St.

Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Cathedral

was originally named after Lady Anne Hamilton, wife of

the founder of the original Parish Church. The Anglican

Cathedral often holds inter-church services and past visitors

have included Royalty and Heads of State. It is also

the burial place of Unionist MP Lord Carson, regarded as

the founding father of the NI state. The Cathedral was extensively

refurbished in 1998 and, in 2007, a stainless steel

72m ‘Spire of Hope’ added to the roof.QC-1, Lwr Donegall

St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9032 8332, www.belfastcathedral.

org. Mon-Sat 08:00 - 18:00, Sun 08:00 - 16:00 (closed to

tourists Sun 11:00- 12:30). h

St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Cathedral

This neo-Gothic twin-spired Cathedral off Falls Road was

built in 1866 for the city’s increasing Catholic population.

28 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 29


What to see

The building was designed in 1860 by Father Jeremiah

McAuley, a trained Belfast architect prior to entering Orders,

and completed in 1866. Its magnificent twin spires

were added in 1886 and dominate West Belfast’s skyline.

The tower holds a carillon of 11 bells and, following major

restoration, the cathedral now boasts fine examples

of high Victorian Gothic decoration.QA-2, St. Peter’s

Square, off Falls Rd, M10, tel. (+44) (0)28 9032 7573,

www.stpeterscathedralbelfast.com. hWB

Parks, Gardens & Mountains

Botanic Gardens

This meeting place for the city’s students, families and

couples first opened in 1895. Its grounds are a profusion

of colourful flowerbeds, expansive lawns and magnificent

trees. Take a steamy jungle walk in the Tropical Ravine or

marvel at the collection of outstanding tropical flora in the

iron-and-glass Victorian Palm House. The Ulster Museum

and a statue of Victorian scientist Lord Kelvin are located

within the grounds. QB-5, Stranmillis Rd, M8, www.

belfastcity.gov.uk/parks. SB

Cave Hill Country Park

Belfast’s most striking backdrop looms dramatically above

the north of the city. Its craggy skyline rises 360m to the

sheer cliff face of McArt’s Fort, named after 16th Century

chieftain Art O’Neill. This prominent landmark’s instantly

recognisable silhouette is known locally as Napoleon’s

Nose, and the hill itself is pockmarked with those eponymous

caves. Marked trails, suitable for all walking levels (we

suggest you start your energetic stroll from Belfast Castle),

guide you to the summit for unparalleled views stretching

all the way to the Mountains of Mourne - it’s as though

a map of NI has been unfolded before your eyes.QF-1,

Antrim Rd, M1, www.belfastcity.gov.uk. NB

Belfast Castle

Beneath Napoleon’s Nose on Cave Hill nestles this 19th

Century Scottish Baronial-style building presented to the

city in 1934 by the philanthropic Shaftesbury family. Weekends

are often awash with traditional white weddings, so

wish the happy couple ’good luck’ then go explore the

manicured grounds with their cute Cat Garden, stunning

city views and children’s adventure playground. Apres

stroll, indulge in high tea in the restaurant or rummage

around the quaint antique shop. The interpretive centre

contains info on the surrounding flora and fauna, Castle

wedding pics from yesteryear and a roofcam affording

close-up views of those city sights. Tours available.QF-1,

Antrim Rd, M1, tel. (+44) (0)28 9077 6925, www.belfastcastle.co.uk.

LKYhNB

Belfast Zoo

Over 1200 animals populate the 55 acre Cave Hill setting of

NI’s top fee-paying visitor attraction. Among the 140 species

living in its natural woodland habitat are ’Big Cats’, primates, gi-

Stormont

ESTATE AND

Parliament

Building This

164-hectare public

park provides

an awesome setting

for one of NI’s

most iconic landmarks. Climb the steps to gaze at the

imposing Portland Stone structure and see some great

city views.

Parliament Building was opened by Edward, Prince of

Wales in 1932 and is home to the restored NI Assembly.

The building stands at the top of the mile-long Prince

of Wales Avenue behind a statue of Lord Edward Carson

(Unionist MP regarded as the founding father of

the NI State). It is topped by the figure Britannia, and

nearby is Reconciliation, a small water sculpture depicting

a couple embracing across a divide.

Free guided tours run Mon-Fri 10:00 and 15:00

(hourly in July, Aug, Easter & Hallowe’en) taking in

the main entrance, Great Hall, Assembly and Senate

Chambers and Committee Room. On Mon from 12:00

and Tues from 10:30, you can watch proceedings from

the public gallery. There’s also a small gift and coffee

shop, and fantastic Mo Mowlam children’s play area.

Qoff H-3, Upr Newtownards Rd, M4, tel. (+44) (0)28

9052 1802, www.niassembly.gov.uk. YhEB

Crumlin Road Gaol and Courthouse

raffes, zebras, elephants, penguins and sea lions. The Zoo also

takes part in almost 100 international breeding programmes

designed to save endangered animals from extinction. A Rainforest

House, Bird Park, visitor centre and Zoovenir shop - as

well as some of the city’s best views - add to a memorable day

out. And lots of year-round fun and events give children

(and adults!) a greater understanding of the Zoo’s inhabitants.

Some gradients are steep, and much of the Zoo is

outdoors, so wear appropriate footwear and clothing.

QF-1, Antrim Rd, M1, tel. (+44) (0)28 9077 6277, www.

belfastzoo.co.uk. Daily 10:00 - 19:00. Last admission

17:00. Adult £11.50, senior, student and 4-17 £5.80, family

(2+3) £31, U4 free. LKY NB

Divis & Black Mountain (478m & 390m)

These twin peaks of limestone and basalt dominate West

and North West Belfast’s skyline. A BBC Transmitter masts

sits atop Divis whose Irish name translates as black back.

Former owners, the Ministry of Defence once used it for

army training and, allegedly, surveillance. Belfast’s highest

peaks were acquired by the National Trust and open

to the public in 2004. The Trust has uncovered 2000 acres

rich in biodiversity and archaeological interest, as well as

constructing signs, paths and the Long Barn visitor centre.

Be aware that this no Sunday stroll, though, and sudden

changes in the weather can make conditions treacherous.

Come prepared - wear wellies and wet-weather gear and

let someone know where you’re heading. To get there

What to see

The foreboding facing edifaces of Crumlin Road Gaol

and Courthouse are connected by an underground tunnel

once used to spirit prisoners from the Gaol to the

Courthouse for trial - and back if convicted.

The Neo-Palladian Courthouse was opened in 1850

and is topped by a scales-free figure of Justice. Closed in

1998, the dilapidated building is privately owned with

no plans for redevelopment.

Opened in 1845, the black basalt and red sandstone

Crumlin Road Gaol was designed by Sir Charles

Lanyon and inspired by the cutting-edge layout of

London’s Pentonville Prison. Four Wings (A-D) radiate

from a centre Circle and rise three storeys, with a

fourth basement level. Each small prison cell was built

for single occupancy, though many housed up to four

cellmates during the 1970s.

Early inmates included women, children, petty criminals

- some bound for Australia’s penal colonies and

suffragettes.

Throughout the Troubles, the Gaol witnessed many

breakouts, bombings and rooftop protests. Inmates and

internees of note have included politicians Ian Paisley

and Eamon de Valera, loyalist murderer Michael

Stone and Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy.

The Gaol closed in 1996 and, following major restoration

re-opened in 2012 as a visitor attraction. Guided

75min tours take in the reception and Governor’s Corridor,

before descending into the haunted tunnel -

nighttime paranormal tours available.

The Circle, with its ornate railings and spiral staircase, is

the next stop before continuing down a restored wing

and into one of the 550 or so cells. At the end of the wing

is the Condemned Man’s Cell - larger than the others

to house two 24hr prison officers. Seventeen men were

executed here from 1854-1961, and all but two remain

buried in unmarked graves at the back of the complex.

Your first glimpse of the original hangman’s noose is

guaranteed to leave even the hardiest of visitors slackjawed.

And the descent to the basement ‘drop cell’ -

where the dead man was left to dangle until sure death -

will send a shiver down the straightest of spines. A short

walk outside reveals the large back yard, old hospital

building - and those unmarked graves. A gift shop and

cafe complete your unique day out, and regular events,

including Elvis and Johnny Cash tribute nights, make it

a unique nighttime venue. Q F-2, 53-55 Crumlin Rd,

M12, tel. (+44) (0)28 9074 1500, www.crumlinroadgaol.com.

Daily 09:30 - 17:00. Adult £8.50, 5-15 £6.50,

conc. £7, family (2+2) £25. Tours 10:00 - 16:30 daily.

From city centre, drive up Crumlin Road, past the Mater

Hospital, Crumlin Road Gaol and petrol station on

your right, turn right at traffic lights onto Cliftonpark

Ave, then take first right and follow signs to free car

park. HKLNB

take a Metro bus, walk or drive to the Upper Springfield

Rd. entrance, then trek to the summit for amazing views

stretching as far as Scotland on a clear day.Qoff F-3, Divis

Rd, tel. (+44) (0)28 9082 5434, www.nationaltrustni.

org.uk. LNB

Malone House & Barnett Demesne

Close to Shaw’s Bridge stands this elegant late Georgian mansion

with sweeping pastoral views across equally elegant

grounds. A very popular wedding venue, the building also has

a cafe and art gallery.Qoff F-3, Upper Malone Rd, tel. (+44)

(0)28 9068 1246, www.malonehouse.co.uk. LKYSB

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park

This 128 acre oasis, south of the city, is a sweeping sea of rolling

lawns and swaying trees and a masterclass in floral landscaping.

19th Century Wilmont House was taken over by the Dixons

in 1919 and bequeathed to the ’citizens of Belfast’ by Lady

Dixon in 1959.Q off F-3, Upr Malone Rd, tel. (+44) (0)28 9027

0467, www.belfastcity.gov.uk/parks. LKYSB

Museums & Galleries

Belfast barge

Inside the specially kitted-out MV Confiance floating maritime

museum you’ll find Holohan’s restaurant and, below

deck, info panels and interactive displays revealing the

city’s proud shipbuilding past. Find out about The Belfast

30 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 31


What to see

What to see

northern ireland in wW2

Belfast Blitz Memorial Plaque On the corner

of the Belfast Telegraph

building,

a small section of

pockmarked stone

provides a tangible

reminder of the

1941 Belfast Blitz.

Over 100 German

Luftwaffe planes

bombarded the unprepared city on April 15, killing 900 people

and injuring a further 2,500. A lone plaque on the stone

tells how the newspaper published ‘without interruption’.

QC-1, 124 Royal Ave.

Northern Ireland War Memorial

This small exhibition space near St. Anne’s Cathedral recalls

the ravages of WW2 - both on the battlefield and during

the Belfast Blitz. Artwork features strongly and attention

is drawn to NI’s wartime links with the USA. A bronze

sculpture depicts half lifesize figures of a mother guiding

her child through the ruins of Belfast on the morning after

the blitz of 15 April 1941. Soldiers’ artefacts are also on display

alongside uniform-clad mannequins, shiny medals,

propaganda posters and pieces of anti-aircraft shells. The

most evocative exhibit, however, is a revolving reel naming

each of the 1000 men, women and children who died

during the Belfast Blitz. A WW2 war veteran is often on

hand, so stop for a chat to learn more about the role Belfast

played in this pivotal period of world history. Q C-1,

21 Talbot St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9032 0392, www.niwarmemorial.org.

Mon-Fri 10:30 - 16:30. h

Bottom, The Rat Killer and the Harland & Wolff-built SS

Canberra, in fact, everything but Titanic. A unique location

for a meticulously presented chronicle of what they

call ‘the greatest story never told’. Look out for regular live

music and other events in its small performance space.

QBelfast Barge D-2, Lanyon Quay, Belfast Waterfront,

tel. (+44) (0)28 9023 2555, www.belfastbarge.com. 10:00

- 16:00. Adult £4, conc. £3, family and combined ticket

with Titanic Boat Tour £12. KY

belfast Exposed

NI’s only dedicated photography gallery is a favourite haunt

of the city’s art students and another cool creative space in the

thriving Cathedral Quarter. The gallery runs contemporary community-based

and international photography exhibitions and

houses over half a million archived images and negatives from

1983 to present day. Screenings and talks take place year-round.

Q C-1, 23 Donegall St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9023 0965, www.belfastexposed.org.

Tues-Sat 11:00 - 17:00, Sun 13:00 - 17:00. h

Belfast Print Workshop

NI’s largest print workshop provides facilities for etching,

screen print, lithography and relief printing, and its street

NI War Memorial Aug & Sept Events

In August, previously

unseen

WW2 exhibits

are on display

relating to Winston

Churchill

and local man

Captain Richard

Pim, Supervisor

of Churchill’s

Map Room. Pathe film footage recalls significant WW2

events including the Yalta Conference. ‘Pim and Churchill’s

Map Room’, a book based on the papers of Richard Pim

detailing the setting up of map rooms for Admiralty House,

Dunkirk, The Atlantic Charter, the Casablanca Declaration, Operation

Torch; the allied landings in North Africa, the Normandy

landing in 1944, and conferences in Washington, Quebec

and Yalta, is on sale in the gallery for £5.

In September NI War Memorial will contribute to the

European Heritage Open Days and Culture Night

Belfast by hosting two First World War Living History

events. Drop in to learn about the role of photography during

the First World War, dress up and pose for a photograph

souvenir, taken by professional museum photographer

Brian Rutledge. The gallery will present material relating to

First World War photography and the story of a box of old

lantern slides which was found in the organ loft of Alexandra

Presbyterian Church. The images were of soldiers and sailors

in First World War uniforms and were made by the famous

Belfast photographer Mr Alex. R. Hogg.

level gallery hosts regular exhibitions and a small shop.

Look for the beautifully renovated warehouse with dramatic

steel and mosaic sculpture, in the square facing The

Merchant Hotel. Q C-1, Cotton Court, 30 Waring St, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9023 0323, www.bpw.org.uk. Mon-Fri 10:00

- 17:00, Sat & Sun 11:00 - 16:00.

gt gallery

On the fringes of Cathedral Quarter stands this red brick building

whose ground floor houses one of Belfast’s coolest art

galleries. The stark concrete interior lends itself perfectly to

changing exhibitions of paintings, photography and installations.

You’ll usually find students from the nearby art college

contemplating the contemporary local pieces and scribbling

a few inspirational notes. Find it 2mins from the back of St.

Anne’s Cathedral beside Beggs & Partners bathroom showroom.

QC-1, Switch Room, 84-94 Great Patrick St., tel. (+44)

(0)28 9033 0920, www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk. Tues-Fri

10:30 - 17:30, Sat 10:30 - 16:00. h

32 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

THE MUSEUM OF NORTHERN IRELAND

IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR

21 Talbot Street, Belfast BT1 2LD • Monday – Friday 10.30am – 4.30pm

www.niwarmemorial.org

Tel (028) 9032 0392

Red Barn Gallery

Down a wee lane beside Rosemary Street Church nestles

this cavern-like art space featuring work from local or locally-based

photographers, painters and sculptors. Images and

artwork depicting the Troubles sit alongside those reflecting

today’s exuberant Belfast - and all the pieces are for sale

and searchable on the on-line archive. Call in, browse the

latest exhibit and grab yourself a real talking-point souvenir.

QC-1, 43a Rosemary St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9023 1901, www.

rbgbelfast.com. Mon-Sat 10:00 - 17:00. h

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Stroll through this outdoor collection of lovingly-restored

18th Century buildings and let the costumed guides bring

history to life. The transport section houses an impressive

collection of steam trains, railway memorabilia, planes and

horse carriages. Highlights include a DeLorean sports car,

made in Belfast and star of the Back to the Future films.

The Museum is 11kms east of the city centre on the main

A2 Belfast to Bangor Road. The nearest rail station is Cultra

Halt. Q L-3, 153 Bangor Rd, Cultra, Holywood, tel. (+44)

(0)28 9042 8428, www.uftm.org.uk. Tue-Sun and Mon

Bank Holidays 10:00 - 17:00. Adults £9.50, 5-17 £5, conc.

£7, U5 free. Family and individual museum tickets also

available. LKYEB

Ulster Museum

This eye-catching hybrid of 1960s concrete and neo-classical

architecture, features a 23m high atrium, and three

Zones across four levels. As you navigate the glass and

steel walkways, keep an eye on the Window on Our World

gallery where iconic objects from each Zone - including a

6m long Edmontosaurus dinosaur skeleton - further fuel

the imagination. Then spend the day exploring those History,

Art and Nature Zones, where a bona fide Egyptian

mummy, Spanish Armada gold and Peter the Polar Bear

are among the myriad of attractions. The Gallery of Applied

Art is said to house the best collection of its kind in

the world outside London’s V&A. Other highlights include

the impressive collection of Fine Art and costumes, and

an exhibit on The Troubles. Children are positively encouraged

to get up close and interactive with exhibits in the

Discovery areas. And everyone can discover their own

treasures at the gift shop and enjoy lunch in the ground

floor restaurant overlooking Botanic Gardens.QB-5, Botanic

Gardens, Stranmillis Rd, M8, tel. (+44) (0)28 9038

3000, www.nmni.com/um. Tues-Sun and Mon Bank

Holidays. 10:00 - 17:00. KYhSB

Libraries & Archives

Central Library and Newspaper Library

This red sandstone and black granite building was

opened in 1888 - the same year Belfast achieved city

status. The grand staircase and first floor Reading Room

with fine domed ceiling are worth a peek. And the adjoining

Newspaper Library houses NI’s largest collection

of local and Irish newspapers, some dating back

to the 1700s. Chapter One café and regular events and

exhibitions will feed the body and mind. Q C-1, Royal

Ave, tel. (+44) (0)28 9050 9150, www.ni-libraries.net.

Mon-Thu 09:30 - 20:00, Fri 09:30 - 17:30, Sat 09:30 -

16:30. Kh

August - September 2014 33


What to see

Linen Hall Library

Founded in 1788, Belfast’s oldest library is a focal point for the

city’s cultural community who love to leaf through the books

or simply enjoy those fantastic views across the City Hall. If

you’re into the history of the Troubles, seek out its unrivalled

A History of Terror

Walking Tour

Between 1968 and 1998 Belfast city centre witnessed

many of the most significant events of NI’s sectarian conflict

which became known as ‘The Troubles’. This unique

city centre walking tour visits nine of the sites and tells the

story of the Troubles and, most poignantly, the people

involved. Use of ipad images from the conflict expertly illustrate

the reality of living in Belfast during this time, while

the tour itself shows how far this city has come. Engaging,

enthralling and unbiased, tours are guided by conflict

historians, with the lead guide a History lecturer and Belfast

native born in the year the Troubles began. The tour

avoids political rhetoric but tells the stories in a balanced,

objective and historically accurate way. As educating for

locals as they are for visitors, they are a must for anyone

with a fascination for our troubled past.Q Dep. Front

Gates, Belfast City Hall, Donegall Sq. North, tel. (+44)

(0)771 6949460, www.deadcentretours.com. Daily

tours 10:30 (c.2hrs). £15pp - pay guide on the day or in

advance via website. Private tours available.

W5

NI’s only science and

discovery centre has

over 250 interactive

exhibits across

four spacious levels,

and a changing programme

of workshops,

events and

exhibitions. Check

out the fantastic new

‘climbit’ exhibit, a cross between a maze and a jungle

gym, combining physical fun, exploration and art. Oval

platforms are suspended from steel pipes and cables to let

visitors traverse over, under and through this amazing 3D

design, the first structure of its kind in the UK and Ireland.

Titanic Quarter location affords fantastic views across Titanic

Belfast and the Harland & Wolff shipyard. Great fun

for young Einsteins and a learning experience at any age.

Bring your own picnic or enjoy light bites at the cafe. And

the name It’s a zippier version of whowhatwherewhenwhy...

so now you know. QD-1, Odyssey Complex, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9046 7700, www.w5online.co.uk. Mon-Fri

10:00 - 17:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:00, Sun 12:00 - 18:00. July &

Aug open til 18:00. Last admission 1hr before closing.

Adults £8.50, 3-16 £6.50, Conc. £7, U3 free. Family and

season tickets available. LK

Northern Ireland Political Collection of books, posters, leaflets

and propaganda. A gift shop, café, tours, readings and lectures

all add to the library’s effortless charm. Q C-2, 17 Donegall

Square North, tel. (+44) (0)28 9032 1707, www.linenhall.

com. Mon-Fri 09:30 - 17:30, Sat 09:30 - 16:00. KYh

Public Record Office of NI

Established in 1923 following NI’s formation, PRONI is the official

place of deposit for NI records. Over three million official

and privately deposited archives mainly, but not exclusively,

relating to NI are held on its premises. If you want to trace your

NI roots, a visit to its state-of-the-art Titanic Quarter premises

is a must. A spacious Public Research Room houses a suite of

laptops and power points, and documents can be ordered,

researched and copied at the equally capacious Public Reading

Room. Thousands of documents of value to family historians

include church records, valuation books and maps,

letters, diaries and photographs. PRONI’s extensive website

has information on how to research your family history, and

searchable online resources include 19th Century Street Directories,

the Ulster Covenant and Wills. PRONI staff cannot

undertake research but can help and advise with the process.

Paid parking is via the main Odyssey car park with a short walk

to PRONI. Translink also runs a Metro Bus service to the area.

Children U14 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Photo ID required. No appointment necessary.Q off D-1, 2

Titanic Boulevard, Titanic Quarter, tel. (+44) (0)28 9053

4800, www.proni.gov.uk. Mon-Wed & Fri 09:00 - 16:45, Thu

10:00 - 20:45. LKh

34 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

No other city but Belfast can lay claim to having lived beneath

RMS Titanic’s magnificent shadow for so long. The

emerging superstructure, on slipway No. 3, dominated

East Belfast’s Harland & Wolff shipyard for just over two

years, from the moment its keel was laid in March 1909

to its departure on 2 April 1912. Only the cold North Atlantic

seabed has been its home for longer – from the

early hours of 15 April 1912 when the mighty ship collided

with an iceberg and came to its final resting place,

claiming 1512 souls. The triumph and tragedy of the

ill-fated liner has transcended into modern folklore, its

very name instantly recognisable throughout the world.

And now Belfast has commemorated its connection

with the opening of Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest

Titanic-themed visitor attraction, and SS Nomadic, Titanic’s

‘Little Sister’. Here’s our round-up of Belfast’s tours

and attractions taking you to the heart of this enduring

story.

Titanic Murals and Yardmen sculpture

Two murals on East Belfast’s Lower Newtownards Road

depict Thomas Andrews, Captain Smith, RMS Titanic

and the Harland & Wolff cranes. The black & white

painting at Dee Street is particularly impressive and

worthy of a photo-op. The Yardmen bronze sculpture

was created by Ross Wilson and depicts three shipyard

workers walking towards Westbourne Church from the

docks. Q G-2, Lower Newtownards Rd, East Belfast,

M4.

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

Titanic in Belfast

Belfast City Hall memorials

Reflect on the tragedy at the Titanic Memorial Garden

where a 1920 stone sculpture depicts female figure

Thane looking down on two sea-nymphs lifting a

drowned sailor. Heading its list of 22 local men who

perished is Titanic’s designer, Thomas Andrews. The

Garden also features the world’s only memorial to

name all those who died in the disaster. A statue of

shipyard founder Sir Edward Harland and plinth dedicated

to Lord Pirrie, shipyard chairman at the time

of Titanic, are nearby. And inside a commemorative

stained glass window depicts the ship. Q C-2, www.

belfastcity.gov.uk/cityhall/monuments.

TITANICa: The Exhibition and The People’s

Story Opened on 31 May 2011, the 100th anniversary

of Titanic’s Belfast launch, this exhibition connects the

indoor Transport and outdoor Folk Museums with exhibitions

and living history experiences telling the story of

Titanic and its era. More than 500 original artefacts from

the Museum’s collection are on display in the Transport

Galleries. And a Titanic trail leads visitors to the Folk Museum

to meet people who lived here before, during and

after Titanic’s maiden voyage. This unique two-centre

experience recreates the entwined life and times of the

city and the ship in a truly authentic setting. For full details

of the Museum’s prices and opening hours, see our

main listing on p.34. Q L-3, Ulster Folk and Transport

Museum, www.nmni.com/titanic.

August - September 2014 35


Titanic in Belfast

TITANIC TOURS

Titanic Boat Tours

Jump aboard the world’s only tour that traverses the

same water where this mighty ship was built and first slid

into the sea. Belfast locals are proud to proclaim, “She

was alright when she left here!”® - and this Titanic boat

tour offers an authentic perspective of the doomed liner

from on-board the small passenger ferries Joyce Too and

Mona. The 75min tour passes the significant historical

sites around Queen’s Island and the shipyards of Harland

& Wolff where Titanic was designed, built and launched.

Tours daily 12:30, 14:00 & 15:30. Tickets: £10/8, 2+2 £30,

U5 free. Dept. Jetty 2 beyond Big Fish sculpture. Combined

Boat Tour & Belfast Barge Maritime Museum

ticket: £12/10, £40 (2+2). Boats can also be booked for

private parties. Check website or call at the Maritime

Emporium (see p.56) for all the latest tours, times and

prices incl. 90min Sunday Harbour Lough Excursion from

May and combi tickets with Belfast City Sightseeing Bus

Tours. QD-1, dep. Donegall Quay beside the Big Fish

sculpture, tel. (+44) (0)28 9024 0124, 07718 910423,

www.laganboatcompany.com. Y

Titanic’s Dock and Pump-House

Once the ’beating heart’ of Harland & Wolff shipyard,

this listed Edwardian building houses a 12m deep

pump-well whose four engines could drain two dry

docks of 23m gallons of water in just 100mins. Of the

two, the adjacent Thompson Dry Dock is the largest -

Titanic Memorial, City Hall

and the place where Titanic had its final fit-out. The Dock’s

gargantuan proportions give an awesome indication of

Titanic’s scale and the tour includes a 44ft descent to its

base. Self guided and guided (1hr) tours reveal the engineering

excellence behind these colossal constructions.

The Pump-House Café & Visitor Centre has free WiFi,

souvenirs and info panels recalling Belfast’s industrial and

maritime heyday.Q G-2, Queen’s Rd, M26, tel. (+44)

(0)28 9073 7813, www.titanicsdock.com. Daily 10:00 -

17:00, Fri from 09:30. Self Guided/Sat & Sun 14:00 1hr

Guided Tours: Adult £6/7, 5-16 £3.50/4, U5 free, Senior

Citizen £5/6 (Mon-Fri), £5.50/6 (Sat-Sun), Student £5/6,

2+2 £14/15. Group rates available. LKY

Titanic’s Pump-House, Titanic Quarter

36 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

titanic belfast

Rising phoenix-like from the

once bustling Harland & Wolff

shipyard, this £77m silver colossus

encases the dreams

and disaster that encapsulate

the story of Titanic.

Outside thousands of 3D

aluminium shards collide to

create a four-bowed building

designed to reflect the

White Star Line giant of the

seas. Each pinnacle is the exact

height of Titanic, giving

visitors a tantalising clue of the

large-scale exhibits within.

At the front entrance, a giant TITANIC steel sign sits

alongside a life-size Titanica female figure - a poignant

reminder that the ship sailed without this maritime

symbol of good fortune stretching from her bow. The

sculpture is said to have been inspired by Kate Winslet’s

role in the 1997 Titanic blockbuster.

Once inside, the ground floor, with cafe, restaurant,

shop and ticketing desks, features a full-height atrium

and large engraved compass rose floor design. Dramatic

use of metals and wood meld the past with the present

and create an authentic shipyard atmosphere in a 21st

century setting.

Ascend the stairs to begin your tour through nine galleries

taking you from 1910 to the present day. The story

starts with Boomtown Belfast where giant screens

show street scenes from the era and a large interactive

floor allows you to explore the ship’s plans.

Next the Arrol Gantry and gentle six minute Shipyard

Ride take you into the heart of Harland & Wolff with

sights, sounds and smells providing a sensory exploration

of what it was like to be a shipbuilder working on

Titanic.

Exit the ride and enter The Launch - a moment in

Belfast’s history when excited citizens watched in awe

as the world’s largest movable object slid into Belfast

Lough. A large translucent panel showing Titanic ahead

of launch clears to reveal the actual slipway where she

once sat.

Then it’s time to ‘board’ the ship as The Fit-out reveals

the opulence and craftsmanship embedded in her interior

design. Large glass cases display replica cabins from

all three classes. And a fantastic triple-aspect screen

takes you on a virtual tour of the ship - from boiler room

to bridge.

The Maiden Voyage introduces some of the people

who sailed on that journey, blissfully unaware of the

ship’s imminent fate. Photos taken by Father Brown provide

a priceless record of life on-board the luxury liner.

The Irish priest embarked briefly when Titanic docked at

Queenstown, now Cobh, Co. Cork.

Then the atmosphere changes starkly as you enter the

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

Titanic in Belfast

next gallery... The Sinking. A dark starry night descends

and, as the ship hits the iceberg and begins to list, messages

are relayed to nearby ships asking for help. Animations

show Titanic’s demise, with its final moments

poignantly projected onto a large wall of lifebelts.

An exact-scale lifeboat sits in silent observance as The

Aftermath recalls the British and American inquiries in

the wake of the tragedy. Over 1500 souls had perished -

and the fate of every single person who sailed on Titanic

- including the survivors - is recorded in fully-searchable

touch screens.

Myths and Legends explores the enduring global appeal

of the Titanic story, as books, films, music and television

tell their versions of the tragedy. A selection of

memorabilia, from the tasteful to the downright tacky,

is also displayed, showing just how ingrained the story

has become in our popular culture - even one hundred

years on.

Titanic Beneath’s 88-seat viewing theatre features images

taken by Robert Ballard, the man who discovered

Titanic in 1985. Look down at the glass floor to see dramatic

footage of the ship resting on the seabed - it’s as

though you are diving to the wreck yourself. Finally, an

Ocean Exploration Centre brings the story full circle

as marine biologists reveal life beneath our local shores.

The tour is self-guided with a member of staff in each

gallery to answer your questions. Also worth doing is the

separate guided Discovery Tour that reveals the symbolism

behind the build and surrounding landscaping

(Adult £7, Child £5, Conc. £6).

The top two floors house four conference and events

suites - one with an exact replica of the famous staircase

(not part of tour but can be viewed with Sunday

Afternoon Teas). Two subterranean levels provide paid

parking for 500 cars.

Allow at least half a day to see this super-sized attraction.

QG-2, Queen’s Rd, Titanic Quarter, tel. (+44)

(0)28 9076 6386, www.titanicbelfast.com. Daily:

April, June-Aug 09:00 - 19:00, May & Sept 09:00 -

18:00, Oct-March 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission 1h

40m before closing. Adult £15.50, 5-16 £7.25, U5 Free,

Student/Unemployed (Mon-Fri) £10, (Sat & Sun) £11,

Senior Citizen (Mon-Fri) £11, (Sat+Sun) £13, 2+2 £39.

Check online for group rates, late saver admission, Titanic’s

Dock & Pump House combi-tickets and special

events. HLK

August - September 2014 37


Titanic in Belfast

SS Nomadic

Titanic’s ‘little sister’ was built in Belfast at the same

time as her famous sibling. The last White Star Line

vessel afloat, Nomadic provides a unique link with Belfast’s

maritime heritage.

The luxurious interior and quarter size dimensions reflected

Titanic’s whose 1st and 2nd class passengers

she ferried from Cherbourg ahead of the liner’s illfated

Atlantic crossing.

During her eclectic lifetime, Nomadic served in both

World Wars, tendered thousands more trans-Atlantic

passengers and spent three decades on the Seine as a

floating restaurant.

Famous passengers included the ‘Unsinkable’ Molly

Brown, Marie Curie, Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor

and Richard Burton.

Nomadic was purchased in 2006 by the local government

and, following several years’ restoration, resides

beneath the shadow of Titanic Belfast.

Inside, touch screens, info panels, displays and projected

characters from Titanic’s heyday recount her fascinating

past. Compare the 1st and 2nd class quarters,

explore the engine room and peek into the Captain’s

cabin and crew quarters to imagine what life was like

for Nomadic’s inhabitants. Guides will help explain her

history, while period costumes and games keep children

entertained.

Through it all, the sobering reality that remains is that

one third of Nomadic’s 172 Titanic passengers perished

with the ship.

A small shop and coffee dock are on site, and regular

events are reflect this unique space - check online for

the latest details. Paid parking at Titanic Belfast and

the Odyssey.Q G-2, Hamilton Dry Dock, Queens

Rd, www.nomadicbelfast.com. Daily 10:00 - 18:00.

Adult £8.50, 5-16 £5, U5 Free, Conc. £6.50, 2+2 £22,

2+3 £27.

Titanic Walking Tour

Follow in the footsteps of Titanic’s builders in this, the city’s

only Titanic Walking Tour. Tour guide Colin Cobb and his

team’s extensive knowledge leaves no fact unearthed -

even down to the number of apples on board the doomed

liner (36,000, if you’re asking). The 90min tour takes in several

significant shipyard locations - including Titanic Belfast,

Titanic’s Dock & Pump-House and access to the 44ft deep

Dry Dock where the ship was fitted out. The entertaining

and detailed insight is suitable for all ages - whether a

self-professed Titanorak or not. QD-1, dept. front Titanic

Belfast, Queen’s Road. M26, tel. (+44) (0)7546 489875,

www.titanicwalk.com. Tours Sat & Sun 12:00. Adult £9,

10-16 £7, U10 £5, U5 free, 2+2 £28 (incl. Pump-House

Tour). Y

Titanic’s Thompson Dry Dock

In a part of Belfast where two cultures collide, tourism bodies

are working together to revitalise the area and make it

visitor-friendly. Lots of tourists want to see for themselves

the recent political history of this divided city and, in doing

so, are often surprised at just how close these two communities

sit... the Unionist Shankill and Nationalist Falls side-byside,

divided only by a Peace Line. With both sides making a

concerted effort to attract visitors, it’s worth taking time out

from the main attractions to visit these vibrant areas. Hop

off the Open Top Bus or take a Metro bus or Black Taxi and

explore at your leisure.

Falls Road

Bi-lingual street signs and fluttering Irish flags are the first

things visitors often notice when they walk along the Falls.

The area is becoming known as the Gaeltacht Quarter, with

many shops and businesses offering Irish-language service

and accepting Euros. Of the road’s many historical and

political murals, the most photographed is on the side of

the Sinn Fein offices and features IRA hunger striker Bobby

Sands. For tourist info visit www.visitwestbelfast.com.QF-

2/3M10

Clonard Monastery

Built in 1911 in early French Gothic-style, and boasting a

6m-wide stained-glass rose window, this imposing church

and monastery is home to the Redemptorists. This Catholic

movement was founded in Italy in 1732 and its story is

depicted in floor and ceiling mosaics. The interior also features

red granite, Portland stone and marble columns. The

crypt was used as a WW2 air-raid shelter and contains the

bodies of over 20 priests - one of them the architect’s son.

Each June Clonard Church hosts a nine-day Festival of Faith

when 15,000 daily pilgrims pray at the shrine of Our Mother

of Perpetual Help. It is a spectacular sight and well worth a

visit if you’re in town. Outside this time, the Church is also

used as an impressive backdrop for occasional music per-

1. Divis Tower

2. St. Peter’s Cathedral

3. International Wall

4. Falls Remembrance Garden

5. Conway Mill

6. Bobby Sands Mural

7. Clonard Monastery

8. Royal Victoria Hospital

West Belfast & Shankill

formances. Q F-2, Clonard Gardens, off Falls Rd., M10,

tel. (+44) (0)28 9044 5950, www.clonard.com. Sun Mass

07:00, 09:00, 11:00, 12:30.

Conway Mill

West Belfast evolved as country people moved to the city

to work in its 32 mills. Though many have gone, this imposing

19th century linen mill remains, and today houses crafts,

workshops and small weekly market. The Irish Republican

History Museum has been set up by a local community

group and consists of artefacts and archive material from

former prisons. The Museum is open Tues-Sat 10:00-14:00 or

on request for group tours. Mill Tours also available. QF-2,

5-7 Conway St, M10, tel. (+44) (0)28 9032 6452, www.

conwaymill.org. K

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich

First stop for all tourists

has to be this newly

extended three-story

landmark where the

Irish language plays a

central role in culture

and the arts. Housed

in a former Presbyterian

church and named

after two 19th Century

protagonists of the Irish

language revival, the

centre was established

in 1991 and has a restaurant,

theatre, art gallery,

book & gift shop and regular céilís (traditional Irish music

and dancing sessions). Culturlann provides the focal point for

August’s West Belfast Festival and is also the official West Belfast

Tourist Information Point. Qoff F-3, 216 Falls Rd, tel. (+44) (0)28

9096 4180, www.culturlann.ie. KY

9. Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich

10. Rise Sculpture

11. James Connolly Plaque

12. City Cemetery

13. Bog Meadows

14. Falls Park

15. Milltown Cemetery

38 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - Septemeber 2014 39


West Belfast & Shankill

City Cemetery

Complete with bell and cast iron fountains, this Victorian

cemetery was opened in 1869 as Belfast’s first cross-denominational

burial ground. In 1916 sections were set aside for the

city’s Jewish community and the burial of deceased sailors

and soldiers. The war connections continue with a monument

to those killed in the 1941 Belfast Blitz and a Memorial Cross

in honour of locals killed in action in WW2. The cemetery is

the city’s largest with around 250,000 burials and, curiously,

a sunken wall dividing Protestant and Catholic plots. Many

of Belfast’s prominent figures from its industrial, religious and

political past are buried here including Viscount Pirrie, former

Lord Mayor and controller of Harland & Wolff shipyard during

Titanic, Sir Edward Harland, former MP, Mayor and one of the

shipyard’s founders and Daniel Joseph Jaffe, a linen merchant

and builder of Belfast’s first synagogue. Former Belfast Lord

Mayor Tom Hartley is an expert historian on the cemetery and

runs occasional tours. Find out more at An Culturlann. Q off

F-3, Falls Rd, M10, www.belfastcity.gov.uk/citycemetery.

Milltown Cemetery

This 1872 Roman Catholic cemetery

is a must-see in anyone’s modern

history tour of Belfast. Its entrance

features a Victorian Romanesque

gateway and large Celtic cross

adorned with Biblical scenes. Inside,

the Republic Plot has several highprofile

IRA graves, including 1981

hunger striker Bobby Sands, and

Mairéad Farrell, killed by the SAS in

Gibraltar in 1988. A vast expanse of

green space is the unmarked burial site of over 80,000 victims

of the 1918 pandemic flu. Q off F-3, 546 Falls Rd, tel. (+44)

(0)28 9061 3972.

West Belfast Taxi Association’s TaxiTrax

Tours These London-style Black Hackney cabs arrived

in West Belfast at the height of the Troubles and provided

an invaluable hop-on, hop-off service when regular schedules

were severely disrupted. Though the Troubles are a

thing of the past, the black taxis remain and are very much

a part of the local community. Driven and guided by a native

in the know, TaxiTrax offer Wall Murals, Historical, Po-

Rise sculpture aka the Balls on the Falls

litical, Titanic and Belfast Landmarks Tours. City centre hotel

pick-ups can be arranged to ensure a hassle-free adventure.

Q B-1, 35a King St. (behind CastleCourt), tel. (+44) (0)28

9031 5777, www.wbta.net. 90min Belfast City tours. £10pp,

min 3 people.

Shankill Road

The Shankill dates back to the Stone Age and is Belfast’s oldest

settlement. Shankill Road was named in 1831 after the

Gaelic Sean Cill meaning Old Church. Today it is a bustling

street with shops, snack stops, the Spectrum Centre and the

Shankill Memorial Garden. Take a couple of hours to explore

its Peace Walls and murals resplendent with Union Jacks

and tributes to the Royal Family. One mural of note, beside

the Rex Bar, depicts Unionist MP Edward Carson leading the

signing of the 1912 Ulster Covenant which opposed Irish

Home Rule and was also signed by close to half a million

men and women. Q F-2. M11.

Peace Walls

Since the onset of the Troubles in 1971, many Nationalist

(Catholic) and Loyalist (Protestant) communities throughout

Northern Ireland have been divided by Peace Walls.

These large stone and steel constructions were designed

to protect neighbourhoods from sporadic attacks and retain

a sense of peace and protection. Of the city’s walls,

West Belfast’s sections are the most visited. You can cross

from one side to the other via access roads at Lanark Way

(F-2) and Northumberland Street (A-1). And the best

place to photograph contemporary artwork - and add

your dawbs to the walls - is along the Shankill side of Cupar

Way, off Lanark Way. These roads close in times of

heightened tension, which may well be the case during

the summer marching season. Otherwise, it’s safe - nay

positively encouraged - to make the trip to Belfast’s biggest,

and most infamous, outdoor art gallery.

With acres of beautiful scenery and a sprinkling of historic

attractions, here’s the best this wee nook has to

offer. Small enough to explore in a few days, it’s time

to hit the open road and see for yourself. VIC = Visitor

Information Centre.

Northern Ireland in a

nutshell

Population: 1.81 million (2011 Census)

Area: 13,843 km2. c.175km wide and 135km high.

Border: 360km (with the Republic of Ireland)

Counties (in order of population): Antrim, Down,

Londonderry, Tyrone, Armagh, Fermanagh (Northern

Ireland’s six counties fall within the ancient Irish

Province of Ulster which also includes Counties Cavan,

Monaghan and Donegal).

Capital city: Belfast (pop. 267,500)

Other cities (in order of population): Derry (83,652),

Lisburn (71,465), Newry (27,430), Armagh (14,590)

Inhabited Islands: Rathlin (2001 pop. 75)

Highest point: Slieve Donard, Mourne Mountains

(852m)

Largest lake (landlocked): Lough Neagh (392 km² -

also largest in the British Isles)

Longest river: River Bann (129km)

Government: Part of the United Kingdom of Great

Britain and Northern Ireland (also comprising England,

Scotland and Wales). Prime Minister David

Cameron. Secretary of Sate Theresa Villiers MP (head

of the Northern Ireland Office). There are 18 NI MPs.

Due to their opposition of NI’s inclusion in the UK

(and Parliament’s oath of allegiance to the Queen),

Sinn Fein’s five MPs do not take their seats at Westminster.

Northern Ireland Assembly: (devolved powersharing

government with specific powers including

policing and justice, health, education, environment

and local economy). 108 Members of the

Legislative Assembly (MLAs). First Minister Peter

Robinson (Democratic Unionist Party). Deputy First

Minister Martin McGuinness MP (Sinn Fein).

Languages: English (predominant), Irish Gaelic,

Ulster-Scots (dialect variant of the English language

originating in Scotland).

NI Highlights & Hidden Gems

Giant’s Causeway Coast

& Glens

Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre

Q K-1, The National Trust Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre,

44 Causeway Rd, Bushmills, Co. Antrim, tel. (+44)

(0)28 2073 1855, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giantscauseway.

Visitor Centre open April-June & Sept. until

19:00, July & Aug until 21:00, Nov-Jan 09:00 - 17:00, Feb,

March & Oct until 18:00. Last admission to Centre 1hr

before closing time. Rocks accessible year-round. Adult

£8.50, Child £4.25, Family £21. Group rates available.

Many visitors to Northern Ireland add the Giant’s Causeway

to their itinerary. These iconic basalt hexagonal rock

formations provide a unique, somewhat unearthly landscape

definitely worthy of a visit. The state-of-the-art Visitor

Centre provides all the mythical and geological background

info you need to make your encounter with this

phenomena all the more memorable. The Centre also has

a cafe and gift shop.

Get there via the Causeway Coastal Route - regarded as

one of the world’s great coastal roads and an absolute

must for any visitor to Ireland. The signposted journey

begins in North Belfast; follow the M5 before veering off

to begin your coastal hug, passing magnificent Carrickfergus

Castle and detouring into Islandmagee. The

Route continues along the Irish Sea, taking in charming

towns and villages such as Glenarm, Cushendun and

the breathtaking Torr Head.

Next, the Glens of Antrim reveal emerald hills, rushing

waterfalls and woodland walks. The world famous Giant’s

Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Bushmills

Distillery and Dunluce Castle make a mighty foursome

along the North Antrim Coast. Rathlin Island provides a

unique daytrip or overnight far from the throngs - catch

the ferry at Ballycastle. Stop at Portrush or Portstewart

then continue to Limavady’s Roe Valley before ending

your journey in Derry. Sights, myths and legends make up

this unique landscape... and there are some lovely places

to stay en route. For more info visit www.causewaycoastandglens.com.

40 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - Septemeber 2014 41


NI Highlights & Hidden Gems

insight into life in Ireland over the last 200 years. Enjoy

the demos then sample the goodies straight from the

griddle.

QK-2, for further info and to book a demonstration,

contact the the Visitor Information Centre, The Braid,

Ballymena Town Hall, Museum & Arts Centre, Ballymena,

tel (+44) (0)28 2563 5900. Open 11:00 - 16:00,

every Fri in June, and Fri & Sat in July & Aug. Also for

pre-arranged group visits and events- check ahead

for details. Small admission charge applies. L

NI Highlights & Hidden Gems

Experience

ArdsTours

Rathlin Island and Rathlin Island Ferry

Overnighting on NI’s only inhabited island holds more than

a touch of the Robinson Crusoe’s. Stretching seven miles

from tip to tip, Rathlin lies just six miles from Ballycastle

and 15 miles from Scotland’s Mull of Kintyre. Learn about

its links with Robert the Bruce and Richard Branson at the

Boathouse Visitors Centre, enjoy a crab burger at Emma’s

Chip Ahoy, sink a pint at McCuaig’s Bar then overnight at

the landmark Manor House or a small selection of other

B&B, hostel and self-catering accommodation. Puffins,

seals, marked walks and boat trips complete your island

odyssey. Q K/L-1, www.rathlincommunity.org.

The Rathlin Express (25mins) and The Canna (40mins)

run frequently from Ballycastle. Return: Adult £12, child

£6, Family Day Return £32. Senior Citizens with valid

N.I. Smart Pass free. Booking Essential. Cars cannot be

taken onto the island unless you have a special permit.

QK/L-1, Ballycastle Ferry Terminal, 18 Bayview Rd,

Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, tel. (+44) (0)28 2076 9299,

www.rathlinballycastleferry.com.

Manor House, Rathlin

Arthur Cottage

The ancestral home of Chester Alan Arthur, the 21st US

President, is a short walk from the Co. Antrim village of

Cullybackey. The carefully restored thatched cottage

transports visitors to the late 18th century to see how

the Arthur family lived. Follow their story and trace the

link from a rural village in NI to The White House. Ladies

in period costume bake soda bread and pancakes

from traditional recipes over an open fire, providing an

Rathlin Ferry Summer Schedule

Rathlin Depart

Ballycastle Depart

07.30* 08.00*

08.30 10.00

08.45** 09.30**

10.15 11.15

11.00 12.00

12.00 13.00

15.00** 15.30**

15.30 16.30

16.15 17.00

17.30 18.30

All sailings subject to weather and other conditions.

* Mon to Fri only. ** June, July & August only

42 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

Boats moored along Strangford Lough

Ards Peninsula

Stretching from the market town of Newtownards in the

north and separating the shores of Strangford Lough and

the Irish Sea, this gently undulating landscape is a scenic

mix of pretty villages, rugged seascapes and unspoilt coastline.

Lough-hugging Portaferry Rd passes historic Mount

Stewart House and Gardens and the pretty village of Greyabbey

with its namesake Cistercian ruin, antique shops and

cafés. After visiting Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry, take

the short ferry trip to Strangford. Or discover

the other side of the Peninsula with its traditional seaside

stops such as Donaghadee and Millisle, and quirky Ballycopeland

Windmill. West of the Lough, Comber town is

equally pretty, and home to Castle Espie Wetland Centre.

QL/M-3, 31 Regent St, Newtownards, Co. Down, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9182 6846, tourism@ards-council.gov.uk,

www.visitstrangfordlough.co.uk. Mon-Fri 09:15 - 17:00,

Sat 09:30 - 17:00.

Experience Ards 2014

This programme of guided tours, organised by Ards Borough

Council, explores every nook and cranny of the borough

and uncovers the rich heritage, history and culture in

this area of outstanding natural beauty.

Now in its 12th successful year, this summer’s highlights

include exclusive boat tours to Copeland Island Bird Observatory

and a trip around Strangford Lough with the

rogue pirate Captain Codfish.

Lord Dunleath invites you to beautiful Ballywalter House

to enjoy ‘Tea with the Lord’ in an exclusive coach tour. And

you can explore the scenic towns of Comber, Ards and

Donaghadee on a series of historic walking tours. QFor

more info or to book tickets, contact Ards Visitor Information

Centre tel. (+44) (0)28 9182 6846 or go to ardscouncil.gov.uk.

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

by boat

by bus

on foot

Brochures available from Tourist

Information Centres provincewide

To book: 028 9182 6846

ards-council.gov.uk

North Down

Stretching along Belfast Lough’s shoreline, and spreading

across 50sq miles, North Down’s outdoor highlights

include sandy beaches, country parks, quaint villages and

historic sites. Bangor is the main town and Holywood its

stylish smaller sibling. Home to one of Ireland’s largest and

Blue Flag Award-winning marinas, Pickie Family Fun Park

and an abundance of seafront hotels and B&Bs, Bangor is a

haven for sailors and daytrippers in search of some seaside

japes. The town’s North Down Heritage Centre features the

history of Bangor which is one of only four Irish places on

the 13th Century Mappa Mundi map. The nearby village of

Groomsport is also worth a detour, with its charming seaside

setting and Cockle Row thatched fishermen’s houses.

Q L-3, Bangor VIC, 34 Quay St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9127

0069, www.northdowntourism.com.

Bangor Marina boats

August - Septemeber 2014 43


NI Highlights & Hidden Gems

NI Highlights & Hidden Gems

Carnfunnock Country Park

Carnfunnock Country Park covers 191 hectares of mixed

woodland, colourful gardens, walking trails and spectacular

coastline, with panoramic views of the Antrim Coast

and North Channel.

The walled garden with its unique sundials and wooden

sculptures is open year round along with a maritimethemed

outdoor adventure playground, golf driving

range and academy, way-marked walks, fitness trail,

orienteering course, geocaching, wildlife garden, public

toilets and picnic sites.

From March/April to October you can also enjoy a NIshaped

maze and family fun zone with miniature railway,

bouncy castle, bungee run, remote control boats and

trucks, WOW balls, bungee trampolines and 18 hole mini

golf course. A children’s activity centre with snack stop,

face painting, putting and outdoor games adds further

fun. Add a touring caravan park and camp site; 9 hole

golf course; barbecue areas and visitor centre with gift

and coffee shop and the line up is complete.

CARNFUNNOCK August & September Events

Below is a selection of event highlights. For much

more, visit the Carnfunnock website. Wear suitable

clothing/footwear for all events. All children must

be accompanied by an adult.

Sat 23 Aug

Teddy Bears’ Big Day Out

2pm - 5pm

Bring your bear along for an afternoon filled with family

fun including competitions and much much more! You’ll

be able to dance the afternoon away at the Teddy Bear

Disco and if you’re lucky, you’ll even get a chance to meet

Bubbles, the BIG bear who puts the ‘fun’ in Carnfunnock!

Teddies may be entered in any of the following competition

categories: biggest; smallest; most unusual; best

dressed; fluffiest, cuddliest and most loved. Also pop

along to the teddy hospital to visit our teddy doctor who

will gladly give your teddy the once over to make sure

they are feeling great. £3 per child.

Sat 30 Aug

Batty About Bats

8pm

Let Robin Moffitt of the NI Bat Group introduce you to

some of Northern Ireland’s cutest and fluffiest mammals

– BATS! Learn about their fascinating lives before venturing

outside into the grounds of Carnfunnock armed with

torches and bat detectors, to seek out these flying wonders

zipping overhead (weather permitting). £4.25 adult,

£3.75 Child/Conc. inc. light refreshments. Booking essential.

Bring torches. Suitable for age 7+years only.

Sun 21 Sept (part of Get Outdoors Weekend)

Wilderness Survival Day

2pm - 5pm

Bring all the family and see if you have what it takes to

survive being lost in the wilderness! Discover the art of

fire and shelter building, food foraging, flint knapping

and track mark identification with the NI Survival School.

For the more adventurous take part in a survival challenge

event and obtain a special completion certificate.

St. John Ambulance will demonstrate emergency first aid

techniques, without any first aid equipment. The Ulster

Aviation Society and local RAF Air Cadets will also show

you some special aviation equipment, rock climbing,

map navigation and other useful outdoor gear. Free public

event. The challenge event is suitable for those aged 8

years+ with advance booking required. Event is in association

with Northern Ireland Survival School, Climb NI,

RAF Air Cadets and St. John Ambulance (Larne).

44 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

Beauty and the beach

Submerged in a

warm seaweed

bath, cocooned

from the outside

world yet knowing

blue skies

and a sweep of

sand are just

minutes’ away.

This is the stuff

of quiet escape,

a lava stone’s

throw from the

Causeway coast.

On the fringes

of Coleraine,

nestled along a

secluded country

lane, is Bellisle Spa - a contemporary collection

of treatment rooms and relaxation spaces in which to

indulge your ethereal whim.

As befits its coastal location, Bellisle uses seaweed

both in its natural form and as a key ingredient in the

spa’s Voya organic beauty products. Harvested for its

natural goodness, Irish seaweed is said to draw out the

body’s impurities.

A soak in a tub of its silky strands certainly eases body

and soul. Not only that, but you even get to take home

your bag of beach booty and enjoy a few more relaxing

seaweed soaks. Talk about recycling being good

for you.

Back at Bellisle, the

natural hits continue

at the steam

chamber where

you and a friend

can mud-up in the

Moroccan Rasul

then rub down

with warm oils for

that baby-smooth finish. Aromatic Sea Salt and Vitality

Baths complete the aquatic experiences.

Scrubs and Wraps ranges from the Pure Organic Peppermint

Sugar Glo to Rose Hydrating Body Cocoon.

While seaweed oil and hot lava shell body massages

loosen those knots and invigorate the senses.

Pamper yourself with the Ocean Deluxe Facial, an indulgent

85 minute facial, back exfoliation and massage,

again utilising wild Atlantic seaweed. Or opt for

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

a Prescriptive Facial designed to complement your

own skin. Pregnancy treatments calm mothers-to-be,

and the couples treatment room ensures you enjoy the

moment alongside a friend... or even dad-to-be!

Pamper packages pull together your choice of treatments,

and you can end the day with Afternoon Tea in

the Tea Room. How civilised.

And if all that body

beautiful has you

too relaxed for the

homeward trek,

gather a group together

and extend

your stay at neighbouring

Bellisle House.

This six-bedroom (five are en-suite), two sitting room

detached home also boasts a stunning open-plan

kitchen, dining, sitting conservatory space complete

with its very own table tennis table! Double doors

open out onto a fabulous garden with gas BBQ, patio

dining space and, naturally, a hot tub.

Family get-togethers,

classy hen trips and

even a wedding celebration

are all sitting

pretty in this beautiful

modern space. And

with the spa right next

door, you’re really putting the ‘treat’ into retreat.

When the mood takes you, head east to the Giant’s

Causeway and North Antrim coast or west to Limavady’s

Roe Valley and Downhill beach. Even closer is

the pretty village of Castlerock with its soft sandy

shoreline and cluster of cute coffee shops.

Stunning scenery, rejuvenating treatments and self-catering

accommodation to-die-for. Bellisle - the beautiful

isle - what more can we say

Need to know:

Bellisle House & Spa

15 Isle Road

Macosquin, Coleraine, BT51 4JH

www.bellislespa.com

Tel. (+44) (0)28 7035 2121

Treatments from £40. Packages from £75. Bellisle

House from £250 per night (min three nights), £1,055

per week. Sleeps up to 14 people. Check ahead for seasonal

and last minute prices.

August - September 2014 45


NI Highlights & Hidden Gems

Lisburn City and Hillsborough

Granted city status

by the Queen

in 2002, Lisburn is

a shopping destination

with Bow

Street Mall, Lisburn

Square and,

a short drive away,

Sprucefield Shopping

Centre its

main retail hubs.

The rebranded Historic

Quarter dates back to the 17th Century and its rebuilt

streetscape remains pretty much unchanged to this day.

The Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum at the head of

Bow Street is a good museum with cafe and gift shop. The

WWT Castle Espie

Wetland Centre

Island Arts Centre is a shiny, state-of-the-art cultural centre

with eye-catching outdoor water jet and sculpture trail.

Sports fans can have a flutter at Down Royal Raceourse,

and Drumbo Greyhound Stadium. The nearby affluent

village of Hillsborough is home to an eponymous Castle

(Her Maj’s Official NI residence), Fort and Park, and has the

area’s best pubs and restaurants. And equally convenient

Moira village also has some delightful shops and cafes,

most notably the award-winning McCartney’s.Q L-3, Lisburn

Tourist Information Centre, 15 Lisburn Square, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9266 003, www.visitlisburn.com.

Armagh City

Armagh is Ireland’s ecclesiastical capital, with the spires of

St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland and Catholic Cathedrals

dominating the city’s skyline. Todays Armagh retains strong religious

links and is also brimming with historical monuments,

museums and heritage sites.

Striking Georgian buildings overlook the emerald green Mall

and nearby winding streets reveal cute cafes and shops.

Find out more about the city’s Palace Stables, Navan Centre,

Armagh Museum, Planetarium & Observatory and

other Orchard County attractions by getting in touch with

the Visitor Information Centre. Q40 English St, Armagh, tel.

(+44)(0)28 3752 1800, www.visitarmagh.com.

and Kilkeel combine to create a beautiful coastal journey

that makes you realise quite what a wonderful country

this is. Q L-4, Newcastle VIC, 10-14 Central Promenade, tel.

(+44) (0)28 4372 2222, www.visitmournemountains.co.uk.

Fermanagh Lakelands

Northern Ireland’s most tranquil county is a stunning landscape

of silvery lakes, green fields and verdant forests.

The bustling town of Enniskillen is the region’s capital and

a perfect place to drop anchor before, during or after navi-

NI Highlights & Hidden Gems

RATES

FROM ONLY

£19.00

per person

ARMAGH CITY

YOUTH HOSTEL

Recently refurbished | Range of multi-share

& private rooms available | En-suite rooms

with private showering facilities

Book at www.hini.org.uk or contact

Armagh City Youth Hostel

t: +44 [0] 28 3751 1800

e: youthhostel@armagh.gov.uk

Set on the tranquil shores of Strangford Lough, Ireland’s

only Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust centre is a picturesque

panorama of estuary views, tidal lagoons and

woodland walks. Begin your adventure at the visitor

centre, with its Loughshore Cafe, gift shop and everchanging

art gallery. Plenty of eco-friendly features

reflect its green tourism mantra and exhibits pave the

way for your outdoor odyssey.

A duckery, reconstructed crannog dwelling, bird

hide, fantastic new observatory and indoor and outdoor

children’s play areas make it a fun-filled, familyfriendly

day out. And October’s annual Arctic migration

of virtually the world’s entire population of Brent

Geese guarantees a particularly amazing spectacle.

Seasonal events such as Bat Nights, Pond Dipping

and Birdwatches keep wildlife fans flocking back for

more. Q78 Ballydrain Rd, Comber, Co. Down, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9187 4146, www.wwt.org.uk/wetlandcentres/castle-espie/.

May-Aug Mon-Fri 10:00 -

17:00, Sat & Sun 17:30, March-April and Sept & Oct

daily 10:00 - 17:00, Nov-Feb daily 10:00 - 16:30. Also

open until 17:30 Spring & Summer Bank and Public

Holidays. Adult £7.75, Conc. £5.95, 4-16 £3.80, 2+2

£20.90, U4 free. Price incl. Gift Aid voluntary donation.

Group rates available. LK

Armagh City’s cathedral skyline

Mourne Country

NI’s main mountain range may not be the Rockies, but what

it lacks in stature it makes up for in picture-postcard beauty.

The Mournes extend from the seaside town of Newcastle

in the north to the quaint village of Rostrevor in the south.

Man-made stone walls criss-cross green fields as Slieve Donard

(NI’s highest mountain) looks down from its 852m

granite peak. Newcastle is the area’s main urban attraction,

and the inspiration behind songwriter Percy French’s Where

The Mountains of Mourne Sweep Down To The Sea.

Long the summer destination of local holidaymakers, the town

moves seamlessly from the sublime to the silly with the magnificent

Slieve Donard Hotel & Spa, gleaming new promenade

and Royal County Down Golf Club within eyesight of brassy

amusement arcades and chintzy B&Bs. Don’t miss nearby Silent

Valley and Spelga Dam reservoirs set amid stunning scenery -

and Tollymore and Castlewellan Forest Parks - the latter home

to what was, until relatively recently, the world’s largest maze

(pic). Coastal towns and villages Ardglass, Dundrum, Annalong

46 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

ARMAGH CITY YOUTH

HOSTEL

If you’re on a budget or travelling with a group,

save money on a trip to Ireland’s ecclesiastical

capital with a stay at this revamped hostel. Spick

and span sleeping accommodation ranges from

male and female sharing en suite dorms to private

twin and double en-suite rooms. A common area,

TV lounge, free WiFi and self-catering kitchen

keeps visitors well catered for and connected. Bed

linen is provided, and there’s also a laundry room,

luggage room and car park.

Its private, secure location, right beside St. Patrick’s

Church of Ireland Cathedral in the centre

of this Georgian city, makes it an ideal base for

exploring Armagh’s two cathedrals, Navan Fort,

Palace Demesne, Armagh County Museum and

Armagh Planetarium.

Each year, Armagh city hosts several internationally acclaimed

cultural festivals including the John Hewitt

International Summer School in late July, The 7 Hills

Blues Festival in Mid-August and the Charles Wood

Festival of Music in late August, to name a few. For

more info on these and other events and attractions visit

www.armagh.co.uk.QK-4, 39 Abbey St, Armagh,

tel. (+44) (0)28 3751 1800, youthhostel@armagh.

gov.uk, www.hini.org.uk. April-Oct 08:30 - 11:00

& 16:00 - 21:30. Nov-March open for group bookings

20+ and certain events. From £19pp.

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

ARMAGH CITY

YOUTH HOSTEL

gating those magnificent lakelands or the glorious Erne-

Shannon waterway.

County highlights are many, but try to see the pretty town

of Belleek - famous for its internationally renowned pottery,

the magical underground world of Marble Arch

Caves -complete with glistening stalactites and cascading

waterfalls, and imposing Castle Coole - an 18th Century

mansion set in a landscape park and owned by the

National Trust.

We’re merely dipping our toes into Fermanagh’s tranquil

setting so, to find out more about this amazing waterworld,

ask for the region’s tourism brochures at Fermanagh

VIC, Enniskillen.QFermanagh Visitor Information

Centre, Wellington Rd, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, tel.

(+44)(0)28 6632 3110, www.fermanaghlakelands.com.

Cruising Fermanagh’s Lakes

August - September 2014 47


Derry~Londonderry

GET HISTORICAL

The Tower Museum has a permanent exhibition on

Spanish Armada ship, La Trinidad Valencera and also

offers a fascinating insight into the city’s often turbulent

history. And you can touch that history at newly-renovated

St. Columb’s Cathedral, Guildhall, 1st Derry

Presbyterian Church and Apprentice Boys Memorial

Hall.

GO SHOPPING

Foyleside and Richmond Shopping Centres are both

within the city walls. The Craft Village (Shipquay St) is a

pretty piazza with a lovely cafe and good quality, locally

made gifts. Niche shops can also be found in and around

the Diamond which is also home to Austins, the world’s

oldest department store.

GET CULTURED

One year on from Derry’s reign as 2013 UK City of Culture,

the arts scene remains at the very core of the city. To get

your fix, visit The Millennium Forum, Playhouse, Nerve

Centre and Verbal Arts Centre.

Derry~Londonderry

For more information on all events, tours, restaurants,

bars and accommodation, call into the Derry Visitor &

Convention Bureau, 44 Foyle St, tel. (+44) (0)28 7126

7284, www.derryvisitor.com.

First Derry Presbyterian Church & Blue

Coat School Visitor Centre

Presbyterians have worshipped in the City since the early 1600s,

and the first Church on this site was built in 1690. It was the first

Presbyterian Church in the City and is still the only Presbyterian

Church within the City Walls.

The 1690 Church was replaced by the present building in 1780,

with the Dungiven sandstone Vestibule added in 1820, and the

Portico & the four fluted columns with Corinthian capitals in 1902.

Beautifully restored in 2011, the Church reflects many

uniquely 18th century Presbyterian features, and great care

has been taken to retain as much as possible of the original

building. The Blue Coat School Visitor Centre, to the rear of

the Church, tells the unique story of how Presbyterianism

arrived in North West Ulster and develops themes such as

the ancient links between North West Ulster and Scotland,

Defending Derry’s Walls, Spreading the Word & Education

Northern Ireland’s second, and Ireland’s fourth, largest city

is small enough to explore on foot yet crammed with history

and culture. With the opening of the Peace Bridge and

re-emergence of historic Ebrington Barracks as a new public

Square, the city has stretched across the River Foyle for new

generations of locals and visitors to enjoy.

NAME THAT TOWN

Derry, Londonderry, Stroke City, the Maiden City, Legenderry:

what’s in a name Most locals use Derry, but many Protestant

Unionists prefer Londonderry. The original name of

Derry came from Doire, the Irish for ‘oak grove surrounded

by bog’. London was added in the 17th Century when King

James I’s Plantation of Ulster reapportioned land from Irish

Catholics to newly settled English Protestants. London’s

powerful trades guilds invested in the settlement, hence

the new name. Maiden City refers to the impregnable

walls which held out during the 1688-89 Siege of Derry.

And Stroke City is local radio presenter Gerry Anderson’s

neutral solution to the political impasse. Legenderry is the

latest label inspired by its 2013 UK City of Culture status.

WALK THE WALLS

Derry is the Dubrovnik of the North and Ireland’s most complete

walled city. Over 1.5kms of walls encircle the centre,

providing a unique walkway and affording panoramic views

of the surrounding area. These impressive 17th Century stone

fortifications can be accessed by clearly signposted steps, with

information plaques guiding you through the city’s historic

heart and often turbulent past.

Eat, drink and be Derry

Peadar O Donnells & Gweedore Bar

Crammed with locals, tourists and trad pub ephemera,

these adjoining bars are undoubtedly Derry’s

most lively down-home drinking and live music dens.

Peadar’s is all about traditional Irish music, while The

Gweedore attracts indie kids, Goths and rockers keen

to shake their thang or adopt an air of sophisticated

disaffection against the crashing backdrop of live and

loud sounds. Upstairs the nightclub plays the latest

tunes for those who fancy a bit of an unpretentious

boogie. Nights out don’t get much better than this.

QJ-2, 59-63 Waterloo St, tel. (+44) (0)28 7137 2318,

www.peadars-gweedorebar.com. Mon 11:00 - 01:00,

Tue-Sat 11:30 - 01:00, Sun 12:30 - 00:00. JE

TAKE A TOUR

Bus, boat, taxi and walking tours leave no historical stone

unturned and no curious question unanswered. Bus tours

take you through the centre, Catholic Nationalist Bogside

and across the River Foyle’s two road bridges to the more

mixed Waterside. Walking tours of the Bogside, site of

the infamous Bloody Sunday and Free Derry Corner, bring

this pivotal moment in modern history to life. Taxi tours

provide similarly indepth commentaries. And the Foyle

Cruiser tootles along the river at a sedate pace, with onboard

commentary on the city’s maritime history.

48 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 49


Derry~Londonderry

Where to stay

and First Derry in the 20th century. Q Upper Magazine St,

Londonderry, tel. (+44) (0)28 7126 1550, bluecoatvisitor@

btinternet.com. Visitor Centre open May-Sept: Wed-Fri

11:00 - 16:00. Year-round guided tours by arrangement.

Church Sunday Service 11.30am. All welcome. Admission

free but donations to the Church & Visitor Centre

maintenance are greatly appreciated.

St. Columb’s Cathedral

Standing proudly within Derry’s Walls, St Columb’s Church

of Ireland Cathedral was completed in 1633 and is the

city’s oldest building. It is dedicated to St. Columba, the

Irish monk who brought Christianity to the area in the 6th

Century AD.

The Cathedral is widely recognised for its promotion of

ecumenical and bridge-building activities, and is held as

a religious venue acceptable to all communities. Much of

the area’s history and infinite spiritual value is encapsulated

within its walls. And a £4m renovation has this elegant

place of worship looking better than ever.

Many memorials, stained glass windows and other items reflect

the city’s history. Its Chapter House Museum contains the

“Promise Chalice” - sent to Londonderry in 1613 by the Honourable

the Irish Society as a symbol of their promise to build

a Cathedral. Also on show is the 270lbs mortar shell fired by

Jacobites during the 105-day siege of 1689. It contained a document

outlining terms of surrender refused by the Citizens.

Q London St, tel. (+44) (0)28 7126 7313, www.stcolumbscathedral.org.

Mon-Sat 09:00 - 17:00. Morning Service

daily 10:30. Sun services: 08:00, 11:00, 16:00 (except July &

Aug). Also 10:00 Family Service (4th Sun every month). Free

- group charges apply. Donations welcome.

Here is a small selection of Belfast’s abundant accommodation

options, many of which also have excellent

bars and restaurants. Star ratings from the Northern Ireland

Tourist Board. For more detailed info, visit belfast.

inyourpocket.com.

Cream of the Crop

Culloden HotelQL-3, Bangor Rd, Holywood, Co.

Down, tel. (+44) (0)28 9042 1066, www.hastingshotels.

com. HFLKDChhhhh

Europa HotelQB-2, Gt. Victoria St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9027

1066, www.hastingshotels.com. JHEKhhhh

FitzwilliamQB-2, Gt. Victoria St, tel. (+44) (0)28

9044 2080, www.fitzwilliamhotelbelfast.com. JH

FLKhhhh

Hilton BelfastQD-2, 4 Lanyon Place, tel. (+44) (0)28

9027 7000, www.hilton.co.uk/belfast. JHFLK

hhhhh

MalmaisonQC-1, 34 Victoria St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9022

0200, www.malmaison-belfast.com. JHKhhhh

Merchant HotelQC-1, 35 Waring St, tel. (+44)

(0)28 9023 4888, www.themerchanthotel.com. JH

FLKDhhhhh

Radisson BluQD-3, 3 Cromac Pl, Ormeau Rd, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9043 4065, www.radissonblu.com/hotelbelfast.

JHLKhhhh

Upmarket

Dukes at Queens QC-4, 65-67 University St, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9023 6666, info@dukesatqueens.com,

www.dukesatqueens.com. HKhhhhSB

Holiday InnQC-3, 22 Ormeau Ave, tel. (+44) (0)28

9032 8511, www.ichotelsgroup.com.JHFK

DC hhhh

Malone Lodge Hotel QA-5, 60 Eglantine Ave, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9038 8000, info@malonelodgehotel.com,

www.malonelodge.com. HFLKDhhhhSB

Stormont Hotel Qoff H-3, Upper Newtownards Rd.,

tel. (+44) (0)28 9065 1066, res@stor.hastingshotels.com,

www.hastingshotels.com. HILK hhhhEB

Ten SquareQC-2, 10 Donegall Sq South, tel. (+44) (0)28

9024 1001, www.tensquare.co.uk. JHBK hhhh

Wellington Park HotelQB-5, 21 Malone Rd, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9038 1111, info@wellingtonparkhotel.com,

www.wellingtonparkhotel.com. HRLK hhhhSB

(+44)(0)28 9023 8888, www.ibishotel.com. JK

Jurys InnQB-2, Fisherwick Place, Gt. Victoria St, tel.

(+44) (0)28 9053 3500, www.jurysinns.com. JHK

hhh

Park InnQC-3, 4 Clarence St. West, tel. (+44) (0)28

9067 7700/(+44) (0)28 9067 7701, www.belfast.

parkinn.co.uk. JHFKD hhh

Premier Inn, Alfred StreetQC-3, Alfred St,

tel. (+44)(0)28 870 850 63 16, belfastcitycentre.pti@

whitbread.com, www.premierinn.com. JLK hhh

Premier Inn, Titanic QuarterQG-2, 2a Queens

Rd, tel. 0871 527 9210/(+44) (0)1582 567890 - from outside

UK, www.premierinn.com. LKhhh

Premier Inn, Waring StreetQC-1, 2-6 Waring St,

tel. (+44)(0)28 870 423 6492, www.premierinn.com. J

Ramada EncoreQC-1, 20 Talbot St, tel. 0844 801

0331, www.encorebelfast.co.uk. JHLKhhh

TravelodgeQB-2, 15 Brunswick St, tel. 0871 984

8484, www.travelodgebelfast.co.uk. Jhhh

Guesthouses

Maranatha info@maranathaguesthouse.com, www.

maranatha-guesthouse.com. LSB

Rayanne HouseQL-3, 60 Demesne Rd, Holywood,

Co Down, tel. (+44) (0)28 9042 5859, www.

rayannehouse.com. LKhhhhh

Hostels

Belfast International Youth HostelQB-4,

22 Donegall Rd, tel. (+44) (0)28 9031 5435, www.hini.

org.uk. HLKSB

Vagabonds QB-4, 9 University Rd, tel. (+44)

(0)28 9543 8772/(+44) (0)7706 931943, www.

vagabondsbelfast.com. SB

Mid-range

Days HotelQB-3, 40 Hope St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9024

2494, www.dayshotelbelfast.co.uk. JHLK hhh

IBIS Belfast City CentreQB-1, 100 Castle St, tel.

Love Locks at Lagan Weir

50 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 51


Shopping

Belfast’s city centre’s main shopping areas are Donegall

Place and Royal Avenue facing the City Hall, radial

streets off Cornmarket (C-2, off Royal Ave) and, heading

south, the Lisburn Road. The city centre’s shopping

malls are Victoria Square off Cornmarket and Castle-

Court on Royal Avenue. If you want to explore smaller

city centre outlets and craft shops, check out the Fountain

Centre and quaint Queen’s Arcade.

Shopping malls and

markets

CastleCourt

This huge reflective glass building takes up a sizeable

stretch of Royal Avenue, Belfast’s main shopping drag, and

brings together high street names, a food court and market-style

stalls all under one handy rainproof roof. Debenhams,

Gap and New Look head up the fashion faves, and

St. George’s Market

Regarded as one of the UK’s finest

food markets, St. George’s

Food & Garden Market (Sat,

09:00 - 15:00) has around 250

stalls selling local and organic

produce ranging from fresh fish

to wild boar and smelly cheeses

to Armagh apples.

A market has existed on this site since 1604, and the elegant

Victorian red brick and glass structure you see today

is the culmination of a £4.3m renovation project.

Inside, the cavernous space has a vibe about it that’s

unique to the city. Locals mingle with tourists as live music

plays and traders display their tantalising wares. Savour

a couple of hours at this colourful smorgasbord and get

your maw round some great tasting international cuisine

and local grub.

On Fridays, food gives way to the Variety Market (06:00-

13:00) which, as the name suggests, is crammed with all

manner of antiques, bric-a-brac, clothes and curios. Sift

carefully and you might uncover a thing of rare beauty

and value. This is where the real locals shop, and a visit

gives you an insight into the shopping habits of some

of the city’s most colourful characters. Totally unpretentious

and worth an early morning potter before the high

street stores open their doors. The Sunday Market

(10:00 - 16:00) is a combination of the Fri and Sat markets

and with an emphasis on local arts and crafts. A free

shuttle bus runs every 20mins between the city centre

(outside Boots, Donegall Place or HMV, Castle Place) and

the Market. Dept. Fri from 08:00; Sat from 09:00.

QD-2, 12 East Bridge St, tel. (+44) (0)28 9043 5704,

www.belfastcity.gov.uk/markets. K

The Pound in your pocket...

£1 = €1.25, US$1.68, CAD$1.83, AUS$1.81 JPY ¥172,

RUB60 (xe.com Aug 2014)

Jaffe Fountain, Victoria Square

other well-known retailers include Laura Ashley, Exhibit

and Boots. There’s a cute children’s play area for hyper kids

and their weary parents, car-shaped buggies free to hire

and, for adult drivers, a multi-storey car park looming large

at the back. Q B/C-1, Royal Ave, tel. (+44) (0)28 9023

4591, www.castlecourt-uk.com. Mon-Sat 09:00 - 18:00,

Thur 09:00 - 21:00, Sun 13:00 - 18:00. LK

Fountain Street & Fountain Centre

A good selection of gift shops, gorgeous Sawers deli and a

sprinkling of cafes and bars are clustered around this small

pedestrianised area. Ride the escalator and get up close to

a Hamburg-made 24-bell clock and, in finer weather, enjoy

outdoor seating on the terrace surrounding the eponymous

fountain. Look left and you’ll find SpaceCRAFT which sells

and exhibits gorgeous local crafts from top notch designers.

Eagle eyes will spot the specially crafted street lanterns

complete with ’F’ insets. Nice touch. QB-2. K

Victoria Square

Belfast’s city centre retail experience received a major shot of

glamour with the 2008 opening of this shiny new shopping

centre. The landmark building spans a substantial strip of

Chichester Street, has several pedestrian access points and

boasts a House of Fraser signature store and big glass dome

with viewing gallery. Over 90 more shops, an 8-screen Odeon

cinema, restaurants, cafés, bars, salon and basement parking

complete your wallet-emptying expedition. Q C-2, www.victoriasquare.com.

Mon & Tue 09:30 - 18:00, Wed-Fri 09:30

- 21:00, Sat 09:00- 18:00, Sun 13:00 - 18:00. LK

SWEET TREATS

Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory

This history-steeped sweet shop has been serving natives

and newcomers with its sugary confections since

1953. Today the original Aunt Sandra’s nephews, David

and Jim Moore, continue the tradition and demonstrate

their craft as children and adults look on with wideeyed

glee. Shamrock lollies, Belfast rock and chocolate

macaroons are just some of the sticky souvenirs

to tempt shoppers. Willy Wonka plays on the screen

and the adjacent ice cream parlour implores you to pull

up a chair and enjoy yet more diet-busting delights.

Q G-3, 60 Castlereagh Rd, M5, tel. (+44) (0)28 9073

2868, www.auntsandras.com. Mon-Sat 09:00 - 18:00,

Sun 10:00 - 18:00. KY EB

Co Couture

Award-wining local chocolatier Deirdre McCanny has crafted

an exceptional sensory experience in this bijou basement

shop. As soon as you enter, the smell of chocolate is

nothing short of orgasmic. Her luxurious cocoa creations

are melt-in-the-mouth gorgeous, and beautifully packaged

in brown and gold-embossed boxes. Flavoured truffles,

marshmallows and chocolate bars are among the musthave

morsels. And a set of tables and chairs means you can

sit and enjoy some heaven-sent hot chocolate. Q C-2, 7

Chichester St, tel. (+44)(0)7888 899647, www.cocouture.

co.uk. Mon-Wed 10:00 - 18:00, Thu 10:00 - 20:00, Fri & Sat

10:00 - 18:00, Sun 12:00 - 17:00.

Gifts & Souvenirs

Carroll’s Irish Gifts

Irish paraphernalia, traditional gifts and other green-gilded

goodies are available at these city centre souvenir stores. Part

of the Ireland-wide chain, Carroll’s stocks enough big-name

products - from clothing to collectables and chocolates to

CDs - to keep the folks back home happy. Q C-2 51-53 Donegal

Place and C-1, 2-6 Castle Place, tel. (+44) (0)28 9031

3350, www.carrollsirishgifts.com. Mon-Sat 09:30 - 19:00,

Thu 09:30 - 20:00, Sun 10:00 - 19:00. Y

M.A.S. Silver

Take home a little piece of Belfast with The Belfastb Ring, a

beautiful piece of jewellery inspired by favourite city sights

and legends such as Titanic, George Best, the Harland &

Wolff cranes and Belfast City Hall. Designed by local silversmith

Mark Steele, the ring is available at his small city centre

shop. Check out the selection of silver rings, pendants,

bracelets, earrings, bangles, beads and much more. Many

pieces also come in-set with various semi-precious stones.

Engravings, jewellery repairs, watch batteries fitted, photo

images and jewellery cleaning for gold and silver is also

available. QC-1 33 Rosemary St. Mon-Sat 09:30 - 17:00.

Find out more via the M.A.S. Facebook page.

The Wicker Man

Showcasing and selling the work of over 150 Irish artists

and craftspeople, this treasure trove is an absolute must

for all you quality-conscious souvenir hunters. Perfumes,

marble, pewter and pottery sit alongside paintings, jewellery

and many other smaller items - with all price ranges

covered. Check out the gorgeous Irish textiles and clothing,

and feast your eyes on the small art gallery, and

bodhrans (Irish drums - pronounced borons) suspended

from the ceiling.Q C-1, 44-46 High St, tel. (+44) (0)28

9024 3550, www.thewickerman.co.uk. 09:00 - 18:00,

Thu 09:00 - 21:00, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. Y

Maritime Emporium

Shopping

Nautical artefacts, vintage posters and ship models

share space in this snug shop with seafaring prints,

furniture, and cushions made from old ships flags.

T-shirts proclaiming the oft-used tagline, ’She was alright

when she left here’ ®, and copies of Titanic’s original

plans as referenced by James Cameron for his epic

flick, keep Titanoracs happy. Run by the team behind

the Titanic Boat Tours, you can also buy tickets for this

trip. Find it at the base of Obel, Belfast’s tallest building.

Q D-1, Obel, 66 Donegall Quay, tel. tel. (+44) (0)28 9024

0124, www.laganboatcompany.com. Daily 11:00 - 16:00.

52 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 53


Shopping

CDC 6x9 ad 2013_CDC 6x9 22/07/2013 18:34 Page 1

Northern Ireland Map

Space Craft

The Craft & Design Collective has brought together

Artist/Designer/Makers from across NI to create this innovative

shop/gallery/exhibition area right in the city

centre. Head up the Fountain Centre’s escalator and

indulge in a dazzling choice of handmade pieces you’ll

find nowhere else in town. From the modest to the

more luxurious, and featuring everything from ceramics

to stylish jewellery, fashion and interior accessories,

Space CRAFT provides a relaxing alternative to the high

street mêlée... and gives you the opportunity to support

local Artist/Designer/Makers.Space CRAFT will

close on Mon 7 July and re-open on Tue 15 July.

QB-2, 9b The Fountain Centre, College St, tel. (+44)

(0)28 9032 9342, www.craftanddesigncollective.

com. Mon-Sat 10:30 - 17:30. J

Costumes, Props, Armour, Weapons and More...

Fri 8 to Sat 30 August

This exhibition celebrates

local Artist

|Designer|Makers’

contribution to NI’s

flourishing ‘Screen

Industry’. Over the

past ten years NI

has changed from

being a place with

little or no international

profile in the

‘Screen Industry’ to

a world-class location

for film and television

production.

Many local Artist

|Designer| Makers

have been working behind the scenes contributing to

this success; making costumes, props, armour, weapons

and more… The Craft & Design Collective decided

to track them down, find out what they’ve been doing

and persuade them to come out from behind the

scenes to exhibit their own work. This exhibition is

part of August Craft Month 2014 www.craftni.org/

augustcraftmonth/.

IN THE HOUSE, OUT OF THE HOUSE

Fri 5 to Sat 27 Sept

This exhibition shows selected Craft, Applied Art

and Design as exhibited ‘In The House’ at Castle

Ward during CRAFT FEST 2014. The pieces will

be exhibited alongside images of the pieces presented

in the truly wonderful and inspirational

surroundings of the Entrance Hall, Dining Room,

Library, Morning Room, Boudoir and Saloon of the

18th Century House at Castle Ward, Strangford, Co.

Down.

Be Original! Buy Original!

Space CRAFT is a shop, gallery and

exhibition area that sells ‘lovely stuff’ made

by local Artist | Designer | Makers.

Space CRAFT

9b The Fountain Centre

College Street

Belfast BT1 6ET

Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday

10.30am to 5.30pm

T +44 (0)28 9032 9342 www.craftanddesigncollective.com

E info@craftanddesigncollective.com

SHOP

GALLERY

EXHIBITION

www.spacecraftshop.co.uk

GO

UP THAT

ESCALATOR!

Shopping on the lisburn road

This walkable Queen’s Quarter stretch has a sprinkling

of designer boutiques, art galleries, home accessories

and to-die-for shoes, jewels and lingerie.

Bespoke baby gifts, melt-in-the-mouth chocolates

and relaxing day spas are all there for the asking. And

there’s a grande assortment of cafes, bars and restaurants

to ensure your shopping excursion is enhanced

by fine food, gourmet gifts and the occasional

cocktail. Qwww.thelisburnroad.com.

Shopping on the Belmont Road

Gift shops, cafes, a gallery and the art deco Strand

Cinema & Arts Centre populate this busy little East

Belfast street. The Park Avenue Hotel and Belmont

Tower, with its CS Lewis exhibition, top and tail this

retail thoroughfare which also boasts an oft-photographed

view of the Harland & Wolff cranes looking

down Pims Avenue. Qwww.belmontroadbelfast.

co.uk.

Follow Belfast In Your Pocket

on

and

M

I J K

L

1

1

2

2

3

4

3

4

NORTHERN IRELAND

M

I J K

L

54 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

facebook.com/BELFASTIYP

August - September 2014 55


Greater Belfast Map

Street index for the Belfast city map on pp.56-57

Academy St. C-1

Adelaide St. C-2/3

Agincourt Ave. C/D-5

Albert Sq.

C/D-1

Albion St. B-3

Alfred St.

C-2/3

Amelia St. B-2

Ann St. C-2

Ann St. C-2, D-1

Annadale

Embankment C/D-5

Apsley St. C-3

Arthur St. C-2

Ashborne Mews C-3

Ashleigh Ave. A-5

Balfour Ave. D-4

Bank St. C-1

Bankmore St. C-3

Bedford St.

C-2/3

Berry St. C-1

Blythe St. B-3

Botanic Ave. B/C-4

Bradbury Pl. B-4

Bridge End D-1

Bridge St. C-1

Bruce St. B-3

Brunswick St. B-2

Callender St. C-2

Camden St. B-4

Carmel St. C-5

Castle Lane C-2

Castle Pl

C-1/2

Castle Pl.

C-1/2

Castle St.

B/C-2

Chapel Lane B-1

Charlotte St. C-3

Chichester St. C-2

Claremont St. B-4

Clarence St. C-3

Colenso Parade B/C-5

College Gdns. B-5

College Park Ave. C-5

College Pk. C-4

College Sq. B-2

College St. B-2

Cooke St. D-4

Cornmarket C-2

Corporation St. C-1

Cromac St. C-3, D-2

Cromwell Rd. C-4

Cullingtree Rd. A-2

Distillery St. A-3

Divis St. A-1

Donegall Pass C-3

Donegall Pl. C-2

Donegall Quay D-1

Donegall Rd. A/B-4

Donegall Sq. East C-2

Donegall Sq. North C-2

Donegall Sq. South C-2

Donegall Sq. West C-2

Donegall St. C-1

Dublin Rd.

B/C-3

Dunbar Link. C-1

Dunluce Ave. A-4

Durham St. B-2

East Bridge St. D-2

Eglantine Ave. A/B-5

Elgin St. D-5

Elm St. C-3

Elmwood Ave. B-4

Erin Way C-3

Falls Rd.

A-1/2

Fitzroy Ave. C/D-4

Fitzwilliam St. B-4

Fountain St. C-2

Franklin St. C-2

Glengall St B-2

Gloucester St. C-2

Gordon St. C-1

Grace St. C-2

Gresham St. B-1

Grosvenor Rd. A-2, B-2

Gt. Victoria St. B-3

Hamill St. B-2

Hamilton St. C-2

Hardcastle St. C-3

Haymarket C-1

High St. C-1

Hill St. C-1

Hope St. B-3

Howard St.

B/C-2

Howard St. South C-3

India St. C-4

Ireton St. C-4

James St. South C-2

Joy St.

C-2/3

Jubilee Rd. A-4

King St. B-1

Lagan Bridge D-1

Lindsay St. C-3

Linenhall St. C-2/3

Linfield Rd. B-3

Lisburn Rd. A-5, B-4

Little May St. C-2

Lombard St. C-1

Lower Crescent B-4

Malone Ave. A-5

Malone Rd. B-5

Marcus Ward St. C-3

Maryville St. C-3

May St.

C/D-2

McAuley St. D-3

McClintock St. C-2/3

McClure St. C-4

Millfield B-1

Montgomery St. C-2

Mount Charles B-4

Murray St. B-2

North St.

B/C-1

Northumberland St. A-1

Ormeau Ave. C-3

Ormeau Bridge D-5

Ormeau Embankment D-3/4/5

Ormeau Rd. C-3,D-4,D-5

Oxford St. D-2

Peter’s Hill B-1

Pottinger’s Entry C-1

Queen Elizabeth

Bridge D-1

Queen St. B-2

Queen’s Arcade C-2

Queen’s Bridge D-1

Queen’s Quay D-1

Queen’s Sq. C/D-1

River Terrace D-3/4

Rosemary St. C-1

Royal Ave. C-1

Rugby Ave. C/D-4

Rugby Rd.

C-4/5

Russell St. C-2

Salisbury St. C-3

Sandy Row B-3

Servia St. A-2

Shaftesbury Ave. D-4

Shaftesbury Sq. B-3

Shankill Rd. A-1

Station St. Flyover D-1

Stewart St. D-3

Stranmillis

Embankment C/D-5

Stranmillis Rd. B-5

Sussex Pl. C-2

Talbot St. C-1

Tates Ave. A-5

The Gasworks D-3

Tomb St. D-1

Ulsterville Ave. A-4

University Ave. C/D-4

University Rd. B-4/5

University Sq. B-4

University St. B/C-4

Upper Arthur St. C-2

Upper Crescent. B-4

Upper Library St. B-1

Upper Queen St. B-2

Ventry St. B-3

Vernon St. C-4

Victoria St C-1, D-2

Waring St. C-1

Wellesley Ave. A/B-5

Wellington Pk. A/B-5

Wellington Pl. B/C-2

Wellington St. B/C-2

Wellwood St. B-3

Westlink A-2/3, B-1

William St. South C-2

Windsor Ave. A-5

Wolsley St. C-4

York St. C-1

58 Belfast In Your Pocket belfast.inyourpocket.com

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!