This week’s post is courtesy of my lovely friend, and fellow blogger Sarah. She blogs at the brilliant The Sarah Story; a brilliant travel and lifestyle blog based in Northern Ireland.
Lucy is not a lady to follow the norm; she is always looking out for something different and exciting to do on her travels.
Her blog post on alternative things to do in Bangkok was the all the inspiration I needed to visit the Sirij Medical Museum. What a frightful afternoon that was.
Now that I am back in the motherland, I am always willing to try something new. Here are some ideas for your next visit.
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1. Have your picture taken on the stairs of Titanic
So, The Grand Staircase may be a replica but it is possible to perfect your best Jack and Rose poses. Each Sunday, Titanic Belfast hosts an afternoon tea in their Titanic Suite. There is ample time for photos, but who wants to when there is a wide selection of finger sandwiches, scones and cakes to munch on?
Belfast has an ever growing following of ice hockey. The Belfast Giants play each week in the revamped SSE Arena to a hardcore fanbase. Its popularity has brought some visitors in to support the Giants at each home game.
Belfast Cookery School is a great place to go solo, as a couple or as a large group of people. At the school, there are classes with traditional Northern Irish dishes or some international cuisines. Ingredients are sourced in Northern Ireland where possible and included with each course cooked is a matching glass of wine.
George Best is a Belfast hero. He is so loved, we named one of our airports after him. The walking tour takes you from where he grew up in Cregagh, east Belfast to where he played football before being scouted for Manchester United. The tour finishes in Roselawn Cemetery; his final resting place.
Another one for the foodies. It is recommended you do not eat at all before taking this tour as you taste 20 foods along the way. The tour takes you through Belfast, starting at St. Georges’s Market and rounding up in Cathedral Quarter.
The Mac is one of the new creative hubs in Belfast. It is a space for shows and galleries. I have attended each exhibition I have been in Belfast for. I do not claim to be ‘arty’ but each artist they show has made me think. They do great coffee too.
7. Munch on some Mexican food
For a small city, Belfast sure does have a lot of Mexican restaurants. First there was Boojum(http://www.boojummex.com/) (purchase forty and get a t-shirt; I have a t-shirt) and before we knew it many were springing up around the city. There are Chalcos, Acapulcos and Gringos to name a few. Each restaurant is full of people looking for their next burrito fix.
The Crumlin Road Gaol is where the executions of Belfast’s most hardened criminals occurred between 1854 and 1961. It is believed that there is paranormal activity in the area (and along the underground tunnel leading to the courthouse) and there are many paranormal tours throughout the year. If your trip does not coincide with one, there is always the guided tour.
Adjacent to the Lanyon building of Queen’s University is the Queen’s Film Theatre. It is the only independent cinema in Northern Ireland but screens old and new films. It shows blockbusters and documentaries that are not aired elsewhere. I frequently passed myself as a Film Studies student to spend afternoons watching films here free of charge.
Aunt Sandra has been producing confectionary since 1953. Now it is possible to have a factory tour and sample some goodies. There is an option to do a chocolate workshop. Sounds tasty.
11. SS Nomadic
The SS Nomadic is another White Star Line ship that transferred passengers from Cherbourg to Titanic. Today, the SS Nomadic is situated in a dry dock less than five minutes from Titanic Belfast. It is a museum with many guides willing to answer questions. Interestingly, there have been some weddings on board recently.
That is it for Belfast. I hope you enjoy taking part in these alternative activities; make sure you tell me all about your visit!