Who was CS Lewis?
Clive Staples Lewis was a writer and theologian, most famous for creating The Chronicles of Narnia. He was born in east Belfast in 1898 and later attended Campbell College, a historic private boys’ school that’s still in use today.
In 1916, he was awarded a scholarship at Oxford University and, after completing his studies, went on to work there as a professor. Throughout his lifetime CS Lewis wrote over 40 books including fictional novels and Christian apologetics. Many of his works are still known and read worldwide today.
But perhaps the most famous of his works were The Chronicles of Narnia, a fictional series written for children that deals the Christian themes. The trilogy was adapted into three films: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in 2005; Prince Caspian in 2008 and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 2010.
Though buried in Oxford following his death in 1963, CS Lewis’ legacy lives on in Belfast. Uncover the man and the stories that touched the world, right here in the east of the city.
EastSide Visitor Centre
Packed full of information about east Belfast, the EastSide Visitor Centre on the Newtownards Road is a great starting point on the CS Lewis trail. Pick up a map and take a self-guided tour of local highlights, including St Mark's Church where CS Lewis was christened in 1899.
CS Lewis Square
Just outside EastSide Visitor Centre is CS Lewis Square. This beautiful public space has seven bronze sculptures of the characters from The Chronicles of Narnia, so you can walk among Aslan, Mr Tumnus, The Beavers, The White Witch and more.
The Lamppost Café
Visit The Lamppost Cafe, a family run café on the Upper Newtownards Road inspired by CS Lewis. With a Narnia twist on tea shop décor, a ragtime soundtrack and everything served on vintage crockery, you will feel as though you have stepped back in time (or into the wardrobe!)
Belfast’s hop-on hop-off bus tours visit CS Lewis Square and share lots of detail about the writer’s childhood, education and upbringing along the way. See the murals depicting scenes of Narnia and a portrait of Lewis himself, as well as other famous sights in the city he called home.
CS Lewis Festival
This annual festival celebrates CS Lewis’ legacy by connecting visitors and locals to the places that inspired some of his most loved stories. It usually runs in November and features talks, lectures, tours, exhibitions, workshops, theatre and film screenings. Visit this year’s CS Lewis Festival.
It’s thought CS Lewis’ inspiration for Narnia came from places like Dunluce Castle and Castlerock on the north coast and the Mourne Mountains in the south east. Explore the coastlines and beyond on a day-long coach tour and discover where the magic of Narnia was born.