Episode: Ireland Part 1
Date: 1st March
Story: Belfast City
Presenter: Trevor and Neville
First stop for Explore team was Belfast city, the capital of Northern Ireland. The city is easily accessible on foot, but for those wanting to explore the city a bit differently, then a Belfast city tour via a Black Taxi is the way to go. Here are the highlights of Belfast City that Neville and Trevor enjoyed.
- The Titanic quarter is a reminder of Belfast?s industrial and maritime heritage. It was ?in Belfast City that the Titanic was built. Here you will find plenty of things to do like W5- Ireland?s only purpose-built interactive discovery centre with 160 exhibits. Other activities to do in the area include taking a Titanic boat tour or going on a self guided tour which will take you back to the shipbuilding era in Belfast and allows you to learn about the visionaries behind the Titanic.
- Belfast Castle is located on the slopes of Cave Hill and offers views of Belfast Lough and the greater Belfast area. Here you can discover the history of Belfast. Public tours are held throughout the year and private ones can also be arranged.
- One of the most interesting places in the city is the Queen?s quarter. The architecture and artistic creativity is grand and a number of shops and bistros line the streets. The area is named after Queen?s University. The main building of Queen?s University is named after its architect, Charles Lanyon. Lanyon was one of the greatest figures in the development of Belfast?s architecture. While the Lanyon building is the focal point, there are many other historic buildings in the Queen?s Quarter worth exploring.
- The Peace Wall is a unique point of interest. It is symbolic of the troubled times between the Protestant Unionist and Catholics and is best visited with a Black Taxi Tour guide who is able to give great insight on this significant time in Northern Ireland?s history.
- Various murals can be found throughout Belfast and painted on the sides of houses. In the past, the murals were a way for people to express their opinions, make a plea to the rest of the world or commemorate events or people. Today, the murals are major tourist attractions.
- The Botanic Gardens is one of the most frequented parks in Belfast and has been enjoyed by the public since 1895. The garden has an enormous rose garden and rare oak trees planted back in the 1880s
- A unique feature of the Belfast Botanical Gardens is ?The Tropical Ravine?, or Fernery. It was completed in 1889 and is an example of horticultural Victoriana, designed to grow unusual species in a greenhouse environment. And it is home to some of the world?s most beautiful exotic plants that would otherwise perish if exposed to the Irish winter.