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Belfast Travel Blog

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Kids At Sandy Row Mural

Probably, no definately, spent way to much time trying to finish off blog of last trip to New york, and way to little time planning this one. So, the rough plan was very rough indeed. Intended to have a wander about, which I like doing, but not really used to doing it with the kids like that.  How easy, or how hard this would be would depend a lot on their reaction to the place.

Decided to head along past the Europa Hotel, where I had stayed previously. The Europa Hotel holds the dubious didtinction of being the most bombed hotel in the world, having been attacked on around 30 occasions. As we were walking towards it we noticed a crowd on the pavement opposite and went over to have a look. There was some charity event on and there were people absailing down the front of the hotel.

The Queen's University Of Belfast
Moving on we turned down to the right and into Sandy Row, a predominanly Loyalist area,the murals are a bit of a give away, and walked along it.

Getting to the end decided to head up towards the Queens University, which has been there since the late 1800's and was one of three universities Queen Victoria gifted to Ireland. Quite an architectural gem, and we walked in around the grounds. Came next to a Theology College and walked past the University Library, with it's strange sculpture outside, before heading into the Botanic Gardens. 

In the Botanic Gardens there is an old Palm House dating back to 1839, and we went in and had a look about at some of the plants and colourful flowers. As it was Sunday it closed at 3-45pm and we got chucked out :( and the Tropical Ravine was shut by then as well.

Part Of 'The Troubles Archive'
Walked around looking at some of the outside stuff and then headed up the way and into the Ulster Museum. Only recently reopened after a 3 year refurbishment. A lot of good stuff on the history of Ireland and Belfast and an area looking at the history of 'The Troubles' in an impsrtial factual manner, merely descibing events but without comment on them.

A good display on the history of Belfast, from when it was first mentioned and all through the years. There was also a fair bit on the prehistoric age and the geological formation of Ireland. Did find there were some odd exhibits that just didn't seem to fit in with any of the rest of it, in particular a canoe from the Solomon Islands.

The Crown Bar
While we were in the room containing this, one of the museum staff came up and told my daughter that during the refubishment all the exhibits had been removed apart from the canoe, as it was so large and that during the works on the building that this room had been built around the canoe :D .

The museum didn't close until 5pm so we had a good chance to see around most of it before we headed back to the hotel,stopping at an off sales on the way to pick up a few beers for the room, and put our feet up for half an hour. Didn't want to be going out for dinner to early, as pubs mainly, but a few restaurants, in the  UK can be a bit iffy about kids being in after 9pm, but not wanting to end up stuck back at the  to early was using that as a time to be finishing our meal.

City Hall At Night
Went out for the evening and headed along to City Hall, which looks great lit up at night.

Beside City Hall is the Belfast Wheel, a kind of cross between the London Eye and a Ferris Wheel, so you get the view but it spins round much faster. Kids wanted to go on it, so I parted with over £20 for the three of us to go on. Got a wee gondola to ourselves, and there is an automatic commentary describing the area round about and some of the stuff you can see in the distance. Was OK at night, but not that spectacular (since the last thing I'd done like that was the Empire State), and would likely be best done on a clear day to allow you to see out past the city.

Having gone round on it about 5 times, wondering if we were ever going to get off, it came to an end and I decided it was time to get something to eat.

Night View Across City From Wheel
HAd thought that one out as part of the very rough plan before we went and headed for The Crown.

The Crown is about the most famous pub in Belfast, you'll even find street signs throughout the city centre directing you to it. A listed building on both the outside and the inside it's decor goes back to Victorian times. Had been for a drink in it before, but they have a small restaurant are upstairs at the back where you can get some decent pub food that is good value for money. Had a main course and a dessert, washed down with a few pints of Cariling, in a place that had a real nice feel to it. Did get a bit busy later on, but was never full and the two girls that were serving were really good.

Finished off and paid, and this was where I would be restricted from my usual habits ;). Our hotel was very close, but there was a small mini market that was open til late and we bought some more stuff for the room. Went into hotel and into the bar and got a table, and the kids floated between there and the room, wanting to watch some stuff on TV, before calling it a night around 11-30.      

   

davegeddis says:
Great blog on where I call home!
Posted on: Jul 23, 2011
Dr_Seuss says:
It was a good day out Glen, just the sort of thing to get us started in the city. Liked the Ulster Museum, whuch had a great deal on the history through the ages 8). Still need to do a review for it :)
Posted on: Feb 21, 2010
GlenJ says:
Sounds like a good day mate :)
Posted on: Feb 20, 2010
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Kids At Sandy Row Mural
Kids At Sandy Row Mural
The Queens University Of Belfast
The Queen's University Of Belfast
Part Of The Troubles Archive
Part Of 'The Troubles Archive'
The Crown Bar
The Crown Bar
City Hall At Night
City Hall At Night
Night View Across City From Wheel
Night View Across City From Wheel
Spires Market
Spires Market
Grand Opera House
Grand Opera House
Abseilers On Europa Hotel
Abseilers On Europa Hotel
Northern Ireland Football Mural
Northern Ireland Football Mural
Welcome To Sandy Row
Welcome To Sandy Row
Sandy Row Orange Halls
Sandy Row Orange Halls
Malone Place
Malone Place
Moravian Church
Moravian Church
Belfast Wheel Sculpture
Belfast Wheel Sculpture
Crescent Church
Crescent Church
University Gates
University Gates
University War Memorial
University War Memorial
Enterance To University
Enterance To University
Queens Film Theatre :O
Queen's Film Theatre :O
Union Theological College
Union Theological College
Queens University Library
Queen's University Library
Library Sculpture
Library Sculpture
Palm House
Palm House
Palm House Shrubs
Palm House Shrubs
Flowering Plants
Flowering Plants
Cactus In The Palm House
Cactus In The Palm House
Wood Carving
Wood Carving
Bedding Plants
Bedding Plants
Share The Beauty Of This Gracefu…
''Share The Beauty Of This Gracef…
Ulster Museum
Ulster Museum
Celtic Cross In Museum
Celtic Cross In Museum
Home Rule Opposition Exhibit
Home Rule Opposition Exhibit
Totem Pole
Totem Pole
Ancient Deer
Ancient Deer
Solomin Islands Canoe
Solomin Islands Canoe
King William Plates
King William Plates
Playing With The Cannonballs
Playing With The Cannonballs
Statue Of Lord Kelvin
Statue Of Lord Kelvin
The Wheel
The Wheel
Lights Of Belfast
Lights Of Belfast
In The Gondola
In The Gondola
Europa At Night
Europa At Night
Opera House At Night
Opera House At Night
Dinner In The Crown
Dinner In The Crown
Belfast Hotels & Accommodations review
Decent Place For A Short Break
Located right in the very centre of Belfast it is an ideal place to base yourself when staying in the city. Sits right on the corner of junction with … read entire review
Belfast Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
The Crown Jewel Of Belfast's Pubs
The Crown is likely the most famous pub in Belfast, and of such note that you will find it signposted throughout the city cenre, along with the other … read entire review
Belfast Sights & Attractions review
Ulster Museum
More or less stumbled across it and wen t in,for the simple fact it was open :D. Only reopened in late October 2009 after being closed for renovations… read entire review
Belfast
photo by: vulindlela