Home to well over 300,000 people, Belfast is known primarily for two things. On one hand, it’s the home of the fateful passenger ship the RMS Titanic, which was built in the city’s docks before departing on its tragic trip to the USA at the beginning of the 20th century. On the other, it was the epicentre of the island’s political and ideological struggles during the infamous Troubles of the late 20th century.
And while there engaging tours which take in sights and sites relating to both of these important historical events, there’s so much more to the Northern Irish capital. If you’re planning a weekend away in Belfast and are on the lookout for some alternative activities to occupy your time, these four ideas should help to get your kicks while straying from the tourist trail.
1) Follow the CS Lewis trail
Are there any Narnia fans in the house? Book lovers who spent their youth marvelling at the adventures of the Pevensie children in The Chronicles of Narnia will be in their element in Belfast. The city centre is host to an enthralling trail of seven sculptures, each depicting a character from the first book in the series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
As well as the eponymous lion Aslan (pictured above), fans of the books can also expect to see The White Witch, Mr Tumnus and The Beavers, among other stunning works of art. There are also plenty of murals along the route depicting the characters in a different medium, as well.
2) Try your luck at 777 Casino
Although Northern Ireland falls under the umbrella of the UK on many governmental matters, its parliament does have the power to implement legislation on certain issues – and gambling is one of these. For that reason, there are no land-based casinos in the country, though gaming aficionados needn’t miss out.
Instead of visiting a brick-and-mortar venue, hopeful players can attempt to woo Lady Luck online, instead. 777 Casino offers a wide variety of fun slots to try out, while table games such as poker are gaining popularity by the day. Meanwhile, sports fans can test their predictive skills by laying a bet or two on the big match.
3) Cycle while you sip
Belfast city centre is largely flat, making the bicycle the ideal way to explore it. However, for those who are thirsting for an alcoholic beverage while in the home of Bushmills whiskey and Boatyard gin, Wee Toast Tours could pose the ideal option. This ingenious offering allows guests to board a bespoke bike that can cater up to 15 people… and best of all, it comes with its own onboard keg!
Each vehicle is piloted by a driver from the company, who will steer you round the city. All you have to do is pedal and pour yourself another drink! And if you don’t fancy the wares that are being peddled onboard, it’s absolutely fine to bring your own booze too. A great way to see the city and socially lubricate, all at the same time.
4) Get a head for heights at We Are Vertigo
Do you want to experience an adrenaline rush while in Northern Ireland? Lucky for you, Belfast opened the country’s first indoor skydiving centre in 2018! We Are Vertigo lets you recreate the thrill of leaping out of an aeroplane, experiencing freefall speeds of up to 200km without ever having to board an aircraft.
As well as that exciting opportunity, the adventure centre also boasts indoor ski slopes, a trampoline park and a rope park. It’s the most exciting way to work up a sweat in all the British Isles! There’s also an Alpine-themed restaurant for refuelling after you’ve gotten your exercise fill, as well.