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Birthplace of the Titanic is no disappointment - City of Belfast

Titanic BelfastMy last visit to Belfast was a short one, just a day in fact but it will forever remain in my memory one of the most fun days I’ve ever had. Perhaps it was a combination of the attractions and company but my quick visit which included a most amusing and interesting visit to the W5 interactive science museum was certainly going to be a hard act to follow.

On this occasion, my second visit, we had a little more time and a little more structure which helped. We had at least looked ahead of time and had a think about what we might like to see in the Northern Irish capital of Belfast and the little bit of time spent planning was richly rewarded. The tour started with Belfast’s largest and newest attraction, the Titanic Experience. Built on the site of the infamous HMS Titanic, this modern museum is impressive from the outset with the building itself based on a to-scale version of the impressive ship’s bow. Arriving early with pre-organised tickets, we were able to dodge the vast crowds that would shortly arrive to the new attraction.

The massive museum tells the story of Titanic from the conception to the creation to the sad watery end that we’re all so familiar with. A section of the tour takes you on a ride through the hot and intense shipyard whilst actual footage and a cleverly designed window really takes you back in time to the moment the great ship was launched on that actual spot. Overall the Titanic Experience is without a doubt the ‘must-see’ attraction for any visitor to Belfast.

MurelsThe next part of our visit involved a river boat trip on the river Lagan. The weather didn’t make this trip as enjoyable as it might have been but it certainly brought another dimension to the fascinating history of this city. Next on the list was a taxi tour of Belfast. There are a number of taxi’s in Belfast which serve not only as taxi’s, but which double as tour cabs. This was a great way to see ‘real Belfast’ as the knowledgeable driver showed us areas of the city that would have been otherwise inaccessible and explained the political history which has resulted in so much civil unrest over recent decades. The murals are a fascinating reminder and still to this day are painted to commemorate martyrs or highlight the current situation with which many are still unhappy. These tours are a great way to see the aspects of the city that interest you the most and can of course be arranged as part of your Great British Trip.

All in all the city lived up to expectation. Although perhaps less ‘silly’ than my previous visit, I have a great understanding and respect for Belfast’s industrial and cultural heritage and feel that I finally got to grips with understanding the political situation, how it came about and what took place. This city is great for historians, families and those who love to immerse themselves in local culture. Belfast really should be up there on your list.

Ruth Lancey, February 2013, Belfast

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