2016 was a whirlwind of confetti and spanx, and I’m now on a new adventure as a newlywed! Luckily Mr Bitesize Traveller shares my wanderlust, so I have a few more travel tales to tell. So here goes… lets catch up! Starting with Belfast…
You can reach Belfast in around an hour from most UK airports, and it’s a budget-friendly, easy-peasy city break. We flew to Ireland for a beautiful wedding on the insta-worthy Lusty Beg Island, however frequent flights from Belfast to Bristol gave Mr BT and I 6 short hours to explore Belfast before heading home: The game was on!
We started in the Titanic Quarter, with the Titanic Exhibition, which is a 30 minute easy stroll from the city centre. We spent about 2 hours here, including a wander around the restored White Star liner SS Nomadic, the only White Star liner still in existence. I loved the exhibition, which is a brilliant social history of why the Titanic was, and remains, so important to the people of Belfast. It’s sensitive, not at all sensationalist, but have a hankie at the ready all the same.
Next we headed to the Little Wing pizzeria for hair of the dog and a feast of epic proportions. This hipster Italian offers a 2-course-plus-a-drink menu for £12.95 Wednesday-Sunday, with a side of beautifully-sculpted facial hair and people-watching. Perfect fuel for a day on your feet.
It’s easy to walk between the main sights in Belfast. City Hall is a few minutes’ walk from Little Wing, and offers free admission and regular guided tours. Or if you’re short on time it’s a photo opportunity on your way to the other sights – all well-signposted from here. Opposite City Hall is the Linen Library – Belfast’s oldest library – and a short walk will take you to the Opera House. If shopping is your thing, there is a lively shopping mall, which was home to 2 gorgeous alpacas and a fundraising event when we sped through.
Even a flying visit needs a tea-stop (we are British after all!), and Belfast didn’t disappoint. There are plenty of cafes to choose from, we had a brief stop for cappuccino and chocolate cake, and then headed to the Albert Clock, before heading to the airport.
We hired a car on this trip, as we were going farther afield for the wedding, however Belfast International Airport is close to the city and public transport will get you there quickly.
Belfast has a very cool vibe. You get a real sense that this is a thriving, forward-thinking city, while having pride in its heritage and roots. We’ll be visiting again, for sure. And next time we plan to do the free city walking tour and a Black Cab tour. We plan to head to the Giant’s Causeway too. Our micro-adventure in Belfast was a tiny taste of Northern Ireland, but enough to entice us back for more.