Listen to an orchestra in your armchair, or lose yourself in an historic art collection from your kitchen table. Belfast’s museums, galleries and events venues have moved much of their content online, so you can explore a huge range of local art and culture from the comfort of your own home. We’ve rounded up some of the top online cultural experiences to bring Belfast’s vibrant arts scene to you.
National Trust Collections & Podcasts
Did you know the National Trust looks after one of the world’s largest art and heritage collections, and you can view lots of it on their website? Discover unique artefacts from their properties across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, and read about the fascinating history behind each. Or listen to the National Trust podcasts for stories, discussions and interviews with experts.
NMNI's Online Exhibitions
National Musuems Northern Ireland have a full suite of digitised collections on their website! Browse museum collections online, read curators’ blogs and collections stories and visit NMNI’s YouTube channel for fascinating interviews and videos about their artefacts.
Ulster Orchestra: Let’s Play at Home
Enjoy the sounds of the Ulster Orchestra in your living room with a huge collection of #UOLetsPlayatHome videos on their YouTube channel. Watch the orchestra members perform live-streamed recitals, solo pieces and split-screen chamber ensembles from their home to yours.
Linen Hall Library Online Archive and Events
As Belfast’s oldest library, the Linen Hall Library offers a place to delve into famous Irish and genealogy collections. Go to the Linen Hall Library website for access to digital collections, including Northern Ireland politics collections and a theatre and literary archive. Or join in on their fascinating online events, which include talks and discussions hosted on Zoom. Browse the full line-up on their website.
Belfast Exposed Digital Resources
Belfast Exposed Photography Gallery has launched a must-see range of digital materials. Content includes writings, portfolios and videos to encourage creativity showcase artists’ work. Got kids at home? Their website also has free activities for children and young people. Budding photographers can sign up to their photography classes, many of which have been adapted for online learning.
Seamus Heaney Homeplace
The doors at Seamus Heaney Homeplace might be closed but that won’t stop them their ‘homeplace to yours’! A line-up of acclaimed writers and musicians has been announced as part of their virtual programme of performances. Go to their YouTube channel for special guest performances from local talent including renowned author, Glenn Patterson, singer-songwriter Anthony Toner, award-winning poets Maureen Boyle and Stephen Sexton and the short story writer and playwright, Rosemary Jenkinson.
Discover Ulster Scots Online
Delve into Ulster Scots heritage on Discover Ulster Scots’ YouTube channel, where you’ll find lots of fascinating content on everything from emigration to traditional Ulster Scots dishes. Learn about the connection between our city and Belfast in Maine, and Londonderry in Ulster and New Hampshire; or discover the 1718 Ulster-Scot migration to America.
Museum of Orange Heritage
The Orange Heritage Museum’s ‘Heritage at Home’ showcases Orange stories from the museum’s archive. Browse the selection of stories and exhibits on their website.
Stories from the Maritime Mile
Discover the stories of Belfast’s waterfront from former employees who worked in the area, Q&As with workers and residents and memories from people who visit. Read the fascinating stories on the Maritime Mile website and let them bring the Mile to life, from Sailortown to Titanic Quarter.
Irish FA Virtual Workshops
Get together with a group and join a virtual visit to the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park! Irish FA have selected some of the most interesting stories from their 140-year history to discuss during a engaging virtual workshop aimed at schools and groups.