We have just returned from a very pleasant city break in Belfast.
Arrived at Belfast City Airport at 09.45 and took the Airport Bus Service No. 600 into the city centre. We bought off peak day tickets, £2.90, only 90p more than a single journey. We stayed 3 nights at the Jury's Inn on Great Victoria Street, very good value B & B. The receptionist let us check into our room at 10.20 a.m. on the day of arrival. Room and breakfast of a good standard.
We then explored the city centre, around the City Hall area. After lunch we took a bus to Stormont and enjoyed a walk through the grounds and inside the main hall area (no charge). There is a small cafe / gift shop inside which serves hot drinks at very reasonable prices. That evening we ate at The Crown Liquor Saloon which was very close to our hotel. It is worth a visit, either for a meal or just a drink as it is the only pub owned by the National Trust.
Day Two: We took a full day coach tour to the Giants Causeway with Allen's tours, and we were collected from our hotel at 9.45 a.m. Although there were only 18 on the tour, we had the use of a full size coach. Ian was our guide, and was very informative and friendly. We made several short photo stops and longer ones at the Carrick Rope Bridge, The Giants Causeway and Bushmills Whiskey Distillery. Although we usually travel independently, it would not have been possible to make this trip by public transport, and enjoyed the trip very much.
Day Three: This morning we walked to The Queen's Quarter, about 20 minutes from the hotel. We looked round the University, The Botanical Gardens and the Ulster Museum, which were all free and next door to each other, We then walked round the Cathedral and Titanic Quarters and at 3.00 p.m. took the City Hall tour. These are free and run at 11, 00, 2.00 and 3.00 p.m. It is not possible to pre-book but it is advisable to arrive slightly early and sign the list at the main desk. The tour was very interesting, taking in the Council Chamber, The Robing Room, The Banqueting Hall and The Great Hall. Photography is permitted, After an early evening meal we had time to look round the shops as Thursday is late night shopping.
Day Four: This morning we purchased an off peak day bus ticket (as in Day 1) for £2.90 We visited The Falls Road and Shankhill Road districts and viewed many of the wall murals along the Peace Walls. We also visited the former Bogside area which has now been transformed into the Bog Meadows Nature Reserve,
Finally, we had time to enjoy a meal before collecting our luggage from the hotel and returning to the airport for our 18.30 flight home.