Northern Ireland

Points of interest in the surroundings of Belfast

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Points of interest in the surroundings of Belfast
Inserted: 24.10.2017
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If you have passed the center of Belfast and you still have some extra day to visit around the capital of Northern Ireland? So it is definitely worth looking at the attractions in its vicinity. In the article you will find some places that are worth visiting and are easily accessible by public transport.

Belfast Castle

About 30 minutes by bus from the city center you can reach the northern part of the city, where the hill of Belfast is located overlooking the bay and the city in the valley. The castle is about a 15-minute walk from the bus stop.

Belfast Castle
Author: Dominika Charvátová © gigaplaces.com
History of the castle
Author: Dominika Charvátová © gigaplaces.com

History of the castle

The original castle built by the Normans in the late 12th century and located in the very center of the city was rebuilt in stone in the 16th century. However, the castle lasted only 100 years, when it was suddenly completely destroyed by fire, so only the name of the street Castle place has been preserved. Today's appearance and location of the castle dates back to 1862, when the noble Chichester family decided to place it in their deer park below Cave hill.

Cat garden
Author: Dominika Charvátová © gigaplaces.com

Cat garden

The castle also includes a not quite traditional garden, which is dedicated to the favorite cats of the former noblewoman, the owner of the castle. Cats do not go here in the form of statues placed in the greenery or resting on the ledge of a water fountain. You can also find their representations in the form of cut-out living bushes or as a mosaic on the sidewalk. Admission to the castle is free and you can see the interiors of the castle on your own during the opening hours without a guide.

Cave hill

The hills and character of the surroundings of Belfast are inseparable from the hills on its northern side, the so-called Cave Hill. These cliffs look down on the city itself in the bay from a height of 370 meters. Ideally combined with a visit to the castle, which lies at the foot of Cave hill with a hike up the cliff. There are 3 marked paths from the castle, when the circuit with ascent and return to the castle can be reached within about 1.5 hours.

Cave hill
Author: Dominika Charvátová © gigaplaces.com

Views of the whole of Belfast

From the top of the cliff you can see the whole of Belfast Bay, so the climb is really worth it. The road is prepared and clear, but after heavy rains it can turn into a muddy outdoor very easily. I would also recommend choosing better weather for the ascent, because at the ends there are often low clouds or fog, so it would be a shame to lose your view.

Views of the whole of Belfast
Author: Dominika Charvátová © gigaplaces.com

Divis a Black mountain

From Cave hill you can also see the adjacent even higher hills above Belfast, namely Divis – the highest of the hills on the outskirts of the city and Black Mountain with its characteristic TV towers. The whole area is under the auspices of the non-profit organization National Trust, which takes care of preserving the open natural landscape. Thanks to the many paths that intersect these hills, you can have fun for the whole day.

Divis a Black mountain
Author: Dominika Charvátová © gigaplaces.com

Stormont - Parliament building

Also worth a visit is the parliament building, known as Stormont, which is located about 30 minutes by bus from the city center. The building is located in a large park, where, in addition to the main driveway, there is a steeply ascending path to the building, as well as many footpaths and paths leading through the park. The whole complex is freely accessible and you can use free tours available on weekdays in the parliament building.

Stormont - Parliament building
Author: Dominika Charvátová © gigaplaces.com
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