Ever since I saw the ASOS feature with Matt and Liv, Belfast has been playing on my mind. I've never been to Ireland, despite Liam's Dad being proud of his Irish heritage and my own parents coming back from Dublin absolutely raving about how much they loved it. I guess it has always eluded me, I would have chosen Paris or Venice rather than a city closer to home.
If images like these on my Pinterest, don't encourage you to visit, I don't know what would. It looks beautiful, doesn't it?
Some of the things I've read about which I'd really like to do are...
- Belfast Castle. I love a good castle, me. And this one looks beautiful doesn’t it? I blame my parents, who dragged me begrudgingly around National Trust properties as soon as I could walk, but now I’m so glad they did. I really appreciate beauty like this, especially in rural settings. I love finding out who lived in places like this and, often, what scandals happened within the four walls. Castles are havens for drama!
- St George's Market. It wouldn’t really be a holiday without a bit of shopping. According to their local tourist board, St George’s Market is one of the oldest in the city, and their Saturday craft market sounds right up my street. It even won an award for the UK's Best Large Indoor Market 2014 so this would definitely be on my top list to explore. I remember checking out the food market in Barcelona and just being so overwhelmed by the colours and the smells, maybe this could rival Las Ramblas?
- Titanic Memorial. When I’ve seen photos of this memorial I can’t help but think of Liverpool and the vast concrete art spaces. I think it’s really important to visit memorials and places of history when you go on holiday, it’s a chance to learn and connect with people you’ve never met before. I would love to visit the exhibition here, and to find out more about Belfast’s role in what is arguably the most famous disaster at sea of all time.
- Crown Liquor Saloon. Last but by no means least, when I’ve searched for “best bars in Belfast” this one has come top. Wonderfully, it is owned by the National Trust, and the photos show it’s got such a special character. I’d love to snuggle up in a corner and watch the world go by here.
So there you have it, top of my wishlist of places to visit in Belfast. Maybe some sort of roadtrip is the way forward, then I could get off the beaten track and explore some more of the coast and countryside. The wilder the better!
Thanks to Hotel Direct for inspiring me to write about my dream weekend away - have you been to Belfast? Please do leave your tips and recommendations below, I'm compiling a big long list of things to do, so who knows - it might be a reality soon!