Belfast, Past, Present and Future
Duration: 3 1/2 hours
Tour Code: bfs-001
Belfast has a long and often turbulent history. This tour of the capital city of Northern Ireland, takes you through the landmarks that have played their part in the city's colorful development, from its great industrial triumphs to the civil unrest, which has often tarnished Belfast's image. This tour reflects the drive, determination and pride that Belfast undoubtedly has in its wealth of skill and talent. The two giant cranes of Harland and Wolff shipyard dominate the Belfast skyline.
The tour will make a stop for guests to photograph Belfast City Hall; an impressive building with a 300ft long façade of Portland stone, which dominates Donegall Square. The renaissance style building has a whispering gallery and on the main landing is a mural by John Luke - a romanticized portrayal of the great old industries of Belfast; rope makers, linen and shipbuilding - which today appears somewhat naïve. In front of the main entrance of the City Hall stands a marble statue of Queen Victoria with bronze side figures symbolizing Shipbuilding and Spinning. The statue by Sir Thomas Brock was paid for by public shilling subscription and was unveiled by King Edward VII on 27th July, 1903.
Enjoy commentary on such sights as the Grand Opera House and the Albert Memorial before walking through the Quadrangle at Queen's University. Pass the Palm House in the Botanic Gardens - a superb structure of cast iron and curved glass panels built even before Kew Gardens opened in London in 1839.
There will be a drive through the alternative sights of Belfast including the political wall murals located on the Protestant Shankill Road and the Catholic Falls Road, which are a unique cultural experience. Time will be permitted for photographs.
You will travel a short distance outside the city to see Stormont, seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly. This building is a symbol of progress to Northern Ireland's troubled past, the power sharing executive with responsibility for Northern affairs rules from this impressive building.
At the conclusion of your tour you will return to the pier.
Please note: This tour is mostly panoramic with limited optional walking at the stops. There is a 45-minute easy walk through the grounds of the Queen's University which can be arranged with the guide not to participate in. Some of the sites visited on this tour are not wheelchair accessible and therefore, it is not considered suitable for guests who utilize a wheelchair. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain. The order of the sites visited or viewed may vary.