New for 2017
Recently completed, CS Lewis Square is dedicated to one of Belfast's most famous authors and features 7 sculptures of characters from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The sculptures include Aslan, Maugrim, Mr & Mrs Beaver, the Robin, the White Witch, the Stone Table and Mr Tumnus. CS Lewis Square is home to EastSide Visitor Centre, an interactive self-guided 'gateway' visitor centre and cafe. It charts the story of east Belfast's industrial heritage, the significance of the 'Yardmen' who lived and worked in the east of the city and how they contributed to Belfast's world famous shipbuilding industry. EastSide Visitor Centre is also packed full of information on east Belfast's most famous sons including Van Morrison, George Best and of course literary giant, Clive Staples Lewis.
Built in 1774 by the Belfast Charitable Society, Clifton House served as the Poor House for Belfast until the late 1880s. Now fully restored to its original Georgian elegance and with the history lovingly preserved, Clifton House now combines a fascinating interpretative centre with a large collection of antiques and artefacts. Fully guided tours are held each Friday at 3.00pm. Group tours can be arranged on request.
The Belfast Traditional Music Trail is a unique way to experience Irish music. With two professional musicians as your guides, walk through cobbled alleyways, past famous landmarks and on to private bars in some of the city’s oldest buildings. At each of the three stops you will be treated to a performance of traditional tunes, songs and stories, all of which make up your own personal ‘session’. Enjoy a local beer, cider, whiskey or Guinness while learning about the instruments, language, customs and history that make up Ireland’s vibrant musical tradition. Join us on this interactive experience and discover why Belfast is considered one of Ireland’s best cities for Traditional Irish Music.
In 2013, the Echlinville Distillery became Northern Ireland's first licenced distillery in over 125 years. Producing Dunville’s PX, an award winning single malt and newly released Dunville’s Three Crowns a premium Irish whiskey blend. 2016 saw the release of Jawbox, Echlinville first single estate gin. Your clients have the opportunity to taste these products and hear the story of the land from which they originate and of the people who brought them to life.
Echlinville Distillery is now taking group bookings for 2017. Guests will be met by distillery staff and offered refreshments before beginning a fully guided tour, ending with a tasting. Lunch can be arranged on request. The distillery also has on site parking that can adequately accommodate coaches and plans to open a gift shop in April 2017.
Titanic Belfast has been named World’s Leading Visitor Attraction at the prestigious World Travel Awards. It is the first time an attraction in Northern Ireland has won the award at the ceremony, which has been nicknamed the 'Tourism Oscars', in its 23 year history. Voted for by the public, the award saw Titanic Belfast beat off stiff competition to win this most coveted award. Download the Titanic Group brochure for more information on why Titanic Belfast has been given this great accolade.
Due to a successful 2016, Belfast Cathedral has increased the number of guided tours that it operators from 2 a day to 4 a day. Tour times in 2017 will be 10am, 12noon, 2pm and 4pm Monday to Saturday. This is in addition to the audio guide which is also available, meaning visitors can do a self-guided tour of the Catherdral outside of the tour times. Group tours can also be booked on request.
Visit Seamus Heaney HomePlace, the new arts and literary centre in Bellaghy, just 45 mins from Belfast and enjoy a unique journey through the life and literature of the late poet and Nobel Laureate. Experience the interactive exhibition, which flows over two floors and is full of personal stories, photographs and artefacts, bringing an encounter with the man and his poetry to life.
There are several new hotels currently being developed in Belfast, as well as several hotel extensions planned. The info is summaried below:
- The Bullit Hotel, Victoria Street - Owned by The Beannchor Group. Two Phase project.
Phase 1 opened in Oct 2016 with 44 rooms and Phase 2 will be completed mid 2017
with a further 40 rooms. Projected 4 star rating.
- HW Drawing Offices, Queen's Island - Owned by Titanic Foundation. 110 bedroom
boutique hotel due to open in early summer 2017. Projected 4 star rating.
- AC Hotel by Marriott, City Quays - Operated by Interstate Europe Hotels and Resorts.
This hotel will have 188 bedrooms and is due to open Feb 2018. Projected 4 star rating.
- Hampton By Hilton, Hope Street - Owned by Andras House. This hotel will have 179
bedrooms and is due to open early 2018. Projected 3 star rating.
- Grand Central, Bedford Street - Owned by Hastings Hotels. This will be the largest of the new
hotels with 300 bedrooms and is due to open in spring 2018. Projected 4 star rating.
- Maldron Hotel, Brunswick Street - Owned by Dalata Hotel Group Plc. This 239
bedroom property is due to open in April 2018. Projected 4 star rating.
- The Waring, Waring Street -Owned by Gravity Group. This 63
bedroom property is due to open in early 2019. Projected 4 star rating.
- Jurys Inn Extension - 80 additional bedrooms in summer 2017
- Benedicts Hotel Extension - 24 additional bedrooms in 2017
- Ten Square Hotel Extension - 55 additional bedrooms in 2017
- Holiday Inn Express Extension - 66 additional bedrooms in 2017/18
- Fitzwilliam Extension - 30 additional bedrooms in spring 2018