Lace up your boots and steady your nerve! Not everyone who goes on a city break wants to visit art galleries and drink up the café culture. If you’re more interested in thrills and spills, Belfast has plenty of activities, tours and experiences to keep you busy
Head for Dragonstone, don your cloak, take up your sword and try hard not to let the bid for medieval power go to your head. The untamed landscape and rugged castles have made this corner of Northern Ireland the perfect location for shooting the hit TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ over the past few years.
If you’re a fan of the show, be sure to book onto one of the tours where you can dress up and immerse yourself in its fantasy world. Tour operators include Game of Thrones Tours, who run a trip setting off from Belfast’s City Hall taking in two mega-treks (of Winterfell and Tollymore) and a ferry trip across the mouth of Strangford Lough, and Winterfell Tours, whose experiences include an Archery Movie Set session, a Filming Location Cycling Tour and a Game of Thrones Overnight Glamping Experience.
Game of Thrones Tours
Depart from Belfast City Hall
Winterfell Tours Castle & Demesne
Feeling fearless? SKYTrek! activity centre at Colin Glen Forest Park will let you scoot high above Belfast and feel the wind in your hair. Set among the trees of the forest park in the heart of the Belfast Hills, the centre has a high 16m ropes course and a lower, less daunting 5m one. And if that’s not enough, there’s a 30ft multi-level rockface climbing wall and double 90m zip lines.
Colin Glen Forest Park
163 Stewartstown Rd
There’s plenty to keep you busy in and close to Belfast on a breathless weekend break, but if you can squeeze just one trip out of town into your schedule, do the Giant’s Causeway (by train, bus or car). You might have seen these world famous basalt columns – cast by nature in their weirdly beautiful shapes – on postcards a hundred times, but nothing beats striding this glorious landscape for yourself.
Climb up the Shepherd’s Steps for a clifftop hike or make time to venture across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge – another major highlight of the coast above Belfast. East of the Giant’s Causeway and suspended a knee-quaking 100ft above sea level, the rope bridge links the mainland with Rocky Island, offering incredible views of the old caves down below, Rathin Island in the distance and even Scotland on a clear day.
Even the most intrepid adventurer needs to relax in the evening, but that doesn’t mean an early bedtime. Belfast has a busy nightlife, reflecting its talent for music, love of comedy and passion for theatre. Head for Lavery’s, where there’s almost always a gig going on in the Ballroom or the Back Bar. Want to take the night on further? Zak’s Bar at The Apartment hosts live music six nights a week. Wannabe mixologists should book one of their cocktail masterclasses.
12-18 Bradbury Place
The Titanic Quarter isn’t just for history lovers. There’s plenty of room for modern style tribes in this dockside district, too. T13 delivers, as its name suggests – it’s a vast space dedicated to urban sports like parkour, skateboarding, rollerblading, BMX and scooter skills. The regular groups and clubs help keep all ages in shape in true urban-kicks manner, but there is also a calendar of events like street fashion and music gatherings. Keep an eye on the website for the latest news.
T13 Urban Sports Park