The portside capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast is steadily growing a reputation as one the UK’s top cities to visit. As well as the awe-inspiring natural scenery of the Giant’s Causeway and the historical draw of the Titanic Museum, there’s also a buzzing cultural scene just waiting to be discovered.
As part of our #rediscovertravel campaign, we’re encouraging visitors to Northern Ireland to try the road less-travelled. So be adventurous, and head off the beaten track to see historical distilleries, traditional pubs and some of the world’s best golf courses with our guide to the hidden gems of Belfast.
Visit the world’s oldest whiskey distillery
Found close to the Causeway Coast, Old Bushmills claims to be the world’s oldest whiskey distillery, and records date it back to 1608. Unique to Irish whiskies, Bushmills’ unique subtle smoothness is down to its master triple distilling process – something you can see for yourself with a factory tour. Afterwards, you’ll of course be able to sample the result of 500 years of tradition.
Visit a traditional Irish pub
With its Victorian features and atmospheric setting, The Crown is one of the best traditional gin palaces in all of Belfast. Once you’ve enjoyed a drink there, head to one of Belfast’s oldest pubs – Kelly’s Cellars on Bank Street. Full of old Irish charm, it’s the perfect place to while away an afternoon with a warming stew and a pint of the black stuff. Built in 1720, little has changed since its opening – with the same open fire and slanted walls and ceilings from 300 years ago. As the nights draws on, the pub plays host to local céilí bands and folk singers.
Tucked away in Belfast’s botanical gardens, Ulster Museum is the largest of its kind in Northern Ireland and home to a sizeable fine art collection. For kids, the discovery centres are unmissable: choose from art, history and nature, with each offering interactive play – including the chance to see a real dinosaur egg.
Take the Causeway Coastal Route
One of the greatest journeys you can make by car, the Causeway Coastal route spans 120 miles, passing crumbling castles and hidden beaches before arriving at Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland’s famous walled city. On your way, you’ll see the UNESCO protected Giant’s Causeway and have the opportunity to hike, explore and drink in some of the finest landscapes on the planet. If you can fit a round of golf in, the Dunluce Course is not only one of the world’s most idyllic, but also one of the most challenging.
If this has inspired you to #RediscoverTravel, take a look at our adventure page. What will you discover? Let us know with #RediscoverTravel!