Your one day tour of Belfast departs from the Suffolk street
tourist office (outside the old stone church). Your guide
will do a quick introduction of the tour and will make sure
that everybody is happy and ready to go! We will be driving
through the northern suburbs of town, passing some interesting
sites on the way, which your friendly guide will tell you
more of, for instance Croke Park- Home of Gaelic Games, Dublin
Airport's new 2nd terminal and the controversy surrounding
it, and the Dublin Port tunnel that was built too small for
the larger trucks to use! You will also get a quick overview
on the politics of the North, but more so when in Belfast.
If the so called "troubles" era in Northern Ireland
is of interest to you, have a look at our "Politics"
section where we explain more about the origins of this conflict.
Welcome to Belfast City! We start our drive around West Belfast
which is home to the famous 'The Peace Wall' which divides
the republician and loylist communities. This is a sort of
peace line between these two factions. Here it will be explained
why the troubles started and how relations are today. The
wall murals tell their own story from both sides of the fence...
(See our "politics" section for more details). We
visit the Republican Museum, with a large collection of artifacts
and prison handicrafts, representing various phases of the
struggle for Irish Freedom. It also has a library for research
and audiovisual aids. We are the only tour from Dublin that
has access to the facilities, making it a unique experience!
(Please note that this is closed on Sunday and Monday).
Now you have some time to grab something to eat, and look
around on your own. Some suggestions maybe:
Visit the Crown Liquor Saloon with its wooden partitions
and ornate Victorian exterior, where you can show your political
preference by walking either over the crown at the front entrance,
or walk around it.
Visit the Grand Opera house, or otherwise visit St.
Anne's cathedral (also known as Belfast Cathedral) if culture
is your thing, and find out more about its "Black Santa"
or listen to its pipe organ play- the largest in Northern
Look out for the Albert Memorial Clock, Belfast's own
leaning clock tower!
If you are really a history fanatic, try the Linen
Hall Library. It is the oldest library in Belfast, and renowned
for its extensive Irish and Local Studies Collection, which
ranges from Early Belfast and Ulster printed books and includes
250,000 items in the Northern Ireland Political Collection,
which is the definitive archive of the recent troubles.
City Hall on Donegal square is a landmark site. Its
great dome will have you thinking of the White House. Incidentally
this is also the site from which bill Clinton addressed the
people of Northern Ireland in 1995.
We now depart for a introduction to East Belfast, home of
the Harland & Wolff shipyard and birthplace of the Titanic,
before heading south to the resting place of the Patron Saint
of Ireland: Saint Patrick.
We arrive at Downpatrick and we first visit the St Patrick
Centre which tells the story of Saint Patrick. Here you will
walk through the exhibition and then be shown a film all about
Saint Patricks life. When you finish here you will be
taken on a short walk to Down Cathedral and shown the last
resting place of the great man who it is said, brought Christianity
Our next stop is at the small seaside village of Dundrum and
the Norman castle which sits on high ground built by John
De Courcy in the 12th century. This is a fascinating stronghold
which has a circular defence tower inside strong fortified
walls. It is a ruin today but you can climb to the top of
the fort walls and see the amazing views for miles.
From Dundrum your guide will take you to Northern Irelands
largest mountain range called the Mourne Mountains. You will
stop at an area of outstanding beauty and gaze up at the highest
peak called Slieve Donard. Before you leave ask your guide
to show you 'gravity hill' where you'll see your bus roll
'up' a hill all by itself!!
Sadly we must depart the beautiful Mourne Mountains and start
to make our way back down to Dublin. You'll enjoy chatting
and reminiscing about your days adventure to Northern Ireland
while you listen to some traditional music along the way!
You should arrive back in Dublin at about 19:30hrs.