Thursday, 8 November 2018

A WEEKEND IN BELFAST.



Myself and the boy headed to Belfast for the October Bank Holiday Weekend a couple of weeks back so I thought I'd put together this post on where we stayed, what we did, where we ate and just my general thoughts.. so if you're planning a trip to Belfast any time soon make sure to keep on scrolling.


Where we Stayed: We stayed in Clayton Hotel Belfast which I found via Booking.com. Location wise, this hotel couldn't get much better, it's about a 5 minute walk from the city centre and in fact we didn't use transport once during our visit as we were able to walk everywhere we wanted to go with ease. The hotel decor was fine, not amazing but perfectly fine. The bed was comfy, however, the mattress was a bit on the soft side if I'm totally honest. Our room included all the essentials such as wash products, an ironing board, a safe and the all important tea and coffee station, I don't know what it is but I just adore having a morning coffee in bed when staying in hotels! We parked in the NCP car park which is located just behind the Clayton. A discounted rate of £10.50 per 24 hours is provided by the hotel if you present your parking ticket to reception upon departure so parking isn't an issue at all. Overall, I would certainly consider staying here again as the price seemed to be that little bit less than hotels nearby and the location couldn't have been much more ideal.


WHAT WE DID

U2: So the reason we were in Belfast that weekend was to see U2 on the Belfast leg of their eXPERIENCE & iNNOCENCE tour. They put on an incredible show in the SSE Arena.The best adjective I can come up with to describe them is just WOW, they had me feeling a range of emotions through-out their performance and their pure talent is undeniable. If you ever get a chance to go see them live, I highly recommend that you take it!


Victoria Square Dome: If you're a fan of hitting the shops, I just know you'll love Victoria Square Shopping Centre! The choice of retailers throughout the centre is pretty impressive. However, we didn't head there to hit the shops, instead, we went to see The Dome. The Dome is a 360 degree observation deck at the top of the shopping centre where you can eye up some bird eye views of the city for free. Not going to lie, I did get quite dizzy up there so it may not be the best idea if you're weary of heights but if not, I'd definitely recommend you head up as it's a great way to take in the city.

View from The Dome

Titanic Belfast: This is obviously one of Belfast's top tourist attractions so I would recommend booking in advance if you wish to head along. However, booking in advance isn't necessary but you'll likely have to wait a bit if you do just head along on the day. We didn't book in advance as organisation wouldn't be our strongest point but got lucky enough as we just had to wait a little over an hour. To kill that hour, we were allowed to board the SS Nomadic for a look around so really it felt like no time was wasted. Entry for an adult is £18.50 and this includes admissions to the SS Nomadic and the Titanic Experience itself. While it is a very informative and well put together exhibition, I did find my attention span slipping at times but I don't really see how they could improve on anything so that's just me personally. Having said that.. Of course I learnt quite a bit and felt pretty emotional towards the end of the experience as obviously, the loss of life was heartbreaking. I feel like this is a must-do if you visit Belfast, but once it's done. it's done..ya feel me?

Titanic Belfast

Botanic Gardens:
The Botanic Gardens went straight on my list of places to visit when I looked up Belfast. I just love plants, flowers and the whole structure of the big greenhouses that are a main focus point in these gardens - (aesthetic goals if you will). I'm far from having green fingers but I do really enjoy looking and walking through gorgeous gardens and of course, getting some blog and insta shots while I'm there. The gardens are located in College Park which is gorgeous in itself and if you get lucky like we did, you might just see some grey squirrels running about the place!

Palm House

Black Cab Tour: Doing a Black Cab Tour came highly recommended to us and we are definitely glad we took those recommendations. For those of you not aware, the Black Cab Tours bring you on a guided tour telling you about The Troubles. Again, this is certainly one of Belfast's biggest tourist attractions so I'd recommend booking in advance as surprise, surprise we didn't. The first and what seemed like the most popular company (Paddy Campbell's) we called was booked out for the day. However, luck was on our side and the second company we called was able to pick us up within half an hour. We booked with Belfast Taxi Coaches which we contacted on 028 9031 5777. The tour cost £35 for 2 people and picked us up where we were and dropped us to where we needed to go when it ended. The tour brought us to various murals around the city with the meaning behind each one explained to us. We were also brought to Fall Road, Shankill Road and the Peace Wall. I found the whole tour so interesting and informative, and our guide had some fascinating stories for us so definitely fit a Black Cab Tour in on your next trip to Belfast.


St.Georges Market: We headed to St.Georges Market one of the mornings for breakfast. You can find such a variety of foods here, from falafel to paella, from crepes to cakes, the list goes on. There are also an array of stalls selling various arts, crafts, vinyls etc. Food markets are always a hi-light of any trip for me and this was no different. Current opening hours for the market are Friday 6am-3pm, Saturday 9am-3pm and Sunday 10am-4pm. There was such a great buzz about the place with live music playing and lots to nibble on as you make your way around so it's a must visit in my opinion!

Check them out at www.meltingpotfudge.co.uk

WHERE WE ATE

Little Wing Pizzeria: We grabbed pizza from Little Wing on the way back to the hotel after the concert and also decided to head back there for a meal one of the nights, so as you can probably tell we were fans of this place. They have lots of options for toppings including vegetarian options and they also have a full vegan menu if you're looking for some good vegan pizza. It's a really cool little cosy spot with yummy food and friendly staff, what more could you want? We headed to the Ann Street branch FYI.

Little Wing Pizzeria

Fish City: Fish City happens to also be located on Ann Street and they offer a great selection of fish dishes, some chicken dishes and also some veggie dishes. I got the Cod Tacos and couldn't fault them.

Fish City

The Jailhouse: We didn't get food here, but had a couple of drinks and I'd highly recommend if for that. It's a really cool spot with a rustic type decor and a great selection of drinks to try. They also seemed to have a pretty impressive cocktail menu from what I saw. This place seems to be a popular spot and I can certainly see why.

The Jailhouse

Overall, I really loved Belfast as a city. It was busy but not too busy which I liked! It has so much history and culture and is just a really cool and vibrant place. I'd 100% go back for another visit!

 Belfast.. I'll be back.

I hope you liked this post and that it may help you out if you're planning a trip to Belfast, do let me know if you use any of my recommendations. I'd also love to hear of any must do or sees that you may have!

Until next time,
Love Shóna xo

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