Longing for a day out? Whether you’re desperate to hit the shops, or simply need of a change of scenery, Belfast is brimming with things to do now that restrictions are being lifted. We’ve rounded up some inspiration for safe, socially distanced days out, giving you the chance to get out of the house and discover something new.
Have a Picnic in the Park
Belfast is full of beautiful green spaces and now is the perfect time to discover them. Pack a picnic and head to Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in south Belfast where can stroll through the famous rose garden and spread a picnic blanket somewhere among the 128 acres of parkland. Or go to Botanic Gardens in the heart of the of Queen’s Quarter. Pick up takeaway food from HappyDog Hot Dogs, Sakura or BaoBun on Botanic Avenue and enjoy it in the pristine gardens overlooked by a Victorian palm house. The perfect escape for a sunny afternoon!
Go on a Shopping Trip
Online shopping just isn’t the same as leisurely browsing in-store, and now that retail in Belfast city centre has reopened, you can finally get your shopping fix off-line again! You’ll notice new measures in place, including limited numbers in stores and new navigation markers in Victoria Square and CastleCourt shopping centres to make sure everyone stays safe. There might be some queues outside, but take your time and make the most of it. Pick up a coffee from Clements or Starbucks and spend a day rediscovering the designer stores, high street brands and independent shops that make Belfast’s shopping precinct one of the best in the UK. And if you feel like you need a breather, visit the sensory room at Learning Space, which is designed as a quiet place of adults and children while shopping in the city centre.
Learn Something New on a Walking Tour
Many of Belfast’s walking tours have resumed, with reduced numbers to ensure social distancing. Join the Clifton Cemetery Tour (3pm daily in July) to visit the graves of radicals and reformers from a bygone era. Delve into our cultural past with Belfast Hidden Tours or learn about the city’s political history with DC Tours (10.30am daily). Belfast Bike Tours have also resumed, if you fancy discovering something new on two wheels instead of two feet.
Unwind in a Beer Garden
Looking forward to that first sip of draught beer? Belfast’s pubs have opened again with new social distancing measures, so you can enjoy that long-awaited pint with peace of mind. On sunny days, make the most of outdoor seating at the National, McHugh’s Bar, Dirty Onion and the Doyen. While bars have been able to reopen from 3 July, some may be subject to closures so check with individual pubs for the most up to date information.
Have an Outdoor Adventure
After a few months in the house, it’s time for an outdoor adventure! Get your adrenaline pumping at Colin Glen Forest Park, where the SKYTrek high ropes promises hair-raising zip lines and towering climbing walls guaranteed to take you out of your comfort zone! Have a go at cable wakeboarding at Let’s Go Hydro or try the mountain bike trails and jump parks at Barnett Demesne.
Take a Self-Guided Tour at Crumlin Road Gaol
Crumlin Road Gaol has reopened its Victorian-era doors again with a newly adapted visitor experience. Now you can walk through the historic prison at your own pace on a self-guided tour, while learning all of the fascinating facts you would have received on their previous guided tours. With over 150 years of history, there’s much lying within the old prison walls that makes Crumlin Road Gaol a must-visit!
Belfast has an amazing food scene, and while many of the city’s eateries offered a taste of it on delivery during lockdown, you can finally visit our award-winning restaurants again! Whether it’s a meal out with the kids in one of our many family friendly restaurants or a get-together with friends, choose from a huge range cuisines. Restaurants have been able to reopen since 3 July, but some closures may still apply so check with individual eateries for the most up to date information.
Get Lost in Narnia
Visit CS Lewis Square in east Belfast, a public space commemorating the Belfast-born author CS Lewis, and walk among characters from The Chronicles of Narnia! The square features seven bronze sculptures including Aslan, the White Witch, Mr Tumnus, the Beavers and the Robin. Grab a coffee to go from nearby Lamppost Café and go for a walk or bike ride along the Comber Greenway or Connswater Community Greenway.
Explore Stormont Estate
With an expanse of woodland to discover, Stormont Estate is ideal for an afternoon out with the whole family. Wander through the trees and follow the interactive walking trails, where kids can learn about biodiversity and the environment. Or take them to the children’s play park, where there’s also facilities for picnics and tabletop barbeques. The estate also has an enclosed dog exercise area, where canine family members can let lose off-lead!