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Belfast Castle, constructed for the 3rd Marquess of Donegall in the 1870s, has a Scottish baronial architecture. In the grounds there are beautiful gardens and a heritage centre housing a permanent exhibition concerned with the castle and its surrounds. The castle is situated on the slopes of Cave Hill, which is part of Belfast Hills, providing splendid views of Belfast city and Belfast Lough.
Location: Antrim Road, Belfast
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Belfast City Hall
Belfast City Hall is located in the centre of the city. It has an impressive and imposing Edwardian structure, and its interior, lavishly decorated with beautiful Italian marble works, is quite splendid. It was built of Portland limestone during 1898-1906. The City Hall houses a number of local government departments.
Location: Donegall Square, Belfast City Centre
Botanic Gardens, located beside The Queen's University of Belfast and Ulster Museum, has beautiful rose gardens, colourful flowerbeds, variety of trees, a Tropical Ravine (built in 1887) and a Victorian Palm house (built in 1839) all of which combine to provide an exotic environment.
Location: Stranmillis Road, South Belfast
Getting To Belfast
A number of major airlines, such as BMI / Flybe / Easyjet / Aer Lingus, offer flights to Belfast from Great Britain, Republic of Ireland, mainland Europe and beyond. Two major airports serve Belfast and Northern Ireland - Belfast International (BFS) located 30 minutes drive from Belfast city, and George Best Belfast City Airport (BHD) which is only 15 minutes drive from the city centre.
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Cave Hill Country Park
Cave Hill Country Park is a large park which sprawls over part of the Belfast Hills providing spectacular panoramic views of Belfast city and beyond. There are a number of walking paths and the 5 famous Neolithic caves, after which the park is named, can be accessed. The top of Cave Hill, known as McArt's Fort, is where the United Irishmen planned their 1795 rebellion.
Location: near Belfast Castle, Antrim Road
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The Giant's Ring is a mysterious site reckoned to be 4000 years old. It has a circular earthwork embankment with a bouldered structure in the centre which could have been an important meeting / ritual place for Neolithic man. From the embankment there are splendid views across the Lagan Valley towards the Belfast Hills.
Location: near Shaw's Bridge, South Belfast
Grand Opera House
The Grand Opera House, opened on 23 December 1895, hosts a wide range of local and international entertainment encompassing theatre, musicals, opera, ballet, comedy, concerts, pantomime and much more. Designed by the famous Victorian theatre architect Frank Matcham, it has great gilded plasterwork and exquisite painted ceilings.
Location: Great Victoria Street, Belfast City Centre
Titanic Belfast - the world's largest Titanic visitor attraction - is a must-see for all visitors to Northern Ireland. It is located in the centre of Belfast, on the slipways where RMS Titanic was built. Inside this iconic building, visitors will re-live the entire Titanic story from her construction to the fateful maiden voyage, and her discovery off the coast of Newfoundland.
Location: Titanic Quarter, Queen's Island, Central Belfast
Harland & Wolff - The 'Titanic' Shipbuilder
Harland and Wolff (H & W) Shipyard are world renowned Belfast shipbuilders, dating from the 1860s. The most famous ship built by H & W was the Titanic. The ship, designed by some of Britain’s most experienced engineers, and incorporating extensive safety features, sank in the early hours of 15 April 1912, after only four days into its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
Built during 1910-12, the Titanic was a super liner 882.5 feet long, 92.5 feet wide. Boasting a swimming pool, gymnasium, squash court and Turkish bath, the Titanic was unrivalled in elegance, and with a crew of 700 provided luxury accommodation for more than 1,500 passengers. Compliant with the regulations of the time, the ship set off with lifeboats barely sufficient for half the 2,228 people on board. Lack of adequate number of lifeboats led to the loss of 1,517 passengers and crew members when the ship sank early on the fifth day of her maiden voyage, after striking an iceberg off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland enroute to New York.
Location: Queen's Island, Central Belfast
Lagan Weir & Lookout Centre
The Lagan Weir is a series of steel barriers that move with the tide ensuring that the upper reaches of the River Lagan remains constant. It is accessible to the general public who can see how the weir mechanism operates. There is also a permanent well equipped exhibition which shows the social as well as commercial history of the Lagan and its surrounds. The Lookout Centre provides splendid views of the river.
Location: Donegall Quay, Central Belfast
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Lagan Valley Regional Park
Lagan Valley Park is a 12 mile stretch of open grasslands, wooded areas and nature reserves through which the River Lagan flows. It also has the Lagan Canal Towpath which is aligned to the river providing scenic walks going right up to Lisburn town bypassing Shaw's Bridge, Drumbeg and Lambeg.
Location: Lockview Road, Stranmillis, South Belfast
Sir Thomas & Lady Dixon Park
Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, also commonly known as Dixon Park, was part of the Wilmont estate. It is a large and most beautiful park containing the City of Belfast International Rose Garden which was opened in 1990 and features intricate landscaping, trial beds and around 20,000 rose bushes. It also has as a Japanese garden.
Location: Upper Malone Road, South Belfast
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St. Anne's Cathedral
St. Anne's Cathedral is a large, impressive Anglican cathedral. The architecture is neo-Romanesque and the interior has exquisite mosaic works with a floor made of stone brought from all over Ireland. The body of Sir Edward Henry Carson, architect of Ireland's partition, is buried inside the cathedral.
Location: Donegall Street, Belfast City Centre
Stormont Parliament Building
Stormont is a big classical building set in large parkland. It houses the Northern Ireland Parliament, and also serves as government administrative offices. Nearby is the Scottish Baronial Stormont Castle which contains the offices of the Northern Ireland Secretary of State.
Location: Upper Newtownards Road, East Belfast
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The Queen's University of Belfast
The Queen's University of Belfast is a major university catering for most disciplines of study. It plays an important role in the educational as well as industrial and cultural activities of the province. The university hosts the annual Belfast Arts Festival. The main building, with cloisters and an entrance tower, was designed by Lanyon in 1849 and has a similar architecture to that of Magdalen College, Oxford.
Location: University Road, South Belfast
Ulster Museum is the largest museum in Northern Ireland. It contains impressive displays of archaeology, antiquities, Irish art, science and natural history collections. Also housed in the museum are the famous gold and silver treasures salvaged from Girona, the Spanish Armada's flagship which sank off the Antrim Coast, near Dunluce Castle.
Location: Botanic Gardens, South Belfast
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The Waterfront Hall is a state-of-the-art concert and conference centre providing a wide range of entertainments. It can accommodate up to 2300 people and has excellent facilities including restaurants and bars that provide great views of the River Lagan and Belfast city.
Location: Oxford Street, Central Belfast
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