Category: Places

An unashamedly biased choice of places we like in Belfast and Northern Ireland.

C.S. Lewis: icon of East Belfast 0

C.S. Lewis: icon of East Belfast

East Belfast has a number of cultural heroes. George Best and Van Morrison are perhaps the biggest household names. And as with any area pushing a culture and tourism agenda, there’s no shortage of...

A Belfast Blog: Sneak preview of something we're working on 2

A Belfast Blog – can you name the places?

A Belfast Blog ‘mystery locations’ – send your answers… This week we have decided to share a preview of something A Belfast Blog is currently working on… In its essence, it involves maps and illustrations. Possibly said too...

Hillsborough Castle. Photo: Sophie Hayles 0

A visit to Hillsborough Castle

I didn’t expect the Northern Irish residence of the British Royal Family and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to be a family-friendly attraction. But two adults (one pretty sceptical about my fascination...

The Perimeter © Aptalops 0

The Forbidden Zone

In Tarkovsky’s 1979 film Stalker, three men journey through the ‘Forbidden Zone’ – a damp, overgrown wasteland where the rules of nature no longer apply. Their goal is to reach a place within the ‘Zone’...

Park Love © Sophie Hayles 0

Park Love

When the highlight of your week becomes the supermarket shop, you know it’s time to find something else. My children are 2 years old and 7 months old. Constructive, outside-the-house activities are fairly limited. By...

Merchandise in the Museum of Orange Heritage shop © Jonathan Brennan 0

Orange is the new black

Every week on my way to the supermarket I pass a brown sign pointing towards ‘Orange Heritage’. You can’t be in Belfast for long and not be aware of Orangemen – from mural depictions...

Touring the Parliament Buildings (Stormont) © Aptalops 0

Symbolism and Symmetry at Stormont

Stormont is associated with scenes of massive political wrangling, with heavy bureaucracy, with feelings of immense frustration and confusion. I have made a few visits recently, and it’s disconcertingly peaceful and welcoming. The large...

Sinclair Seamen's Church - collection plates © Jonathan Brennan 0

Sinclair Seamen’s Church

The Rough Guide to Ireland‘s section on Belfast has an entry for a curious church in the docklands area, situated more or less on the quay opposite the Odyssey arena. The entry invites readers...

The Linenhall Library © Jonathan Brennan 0

The Linenhall Library

The Linenhall Library was one of the first places I discovered in Belfast. However, I’ve been reluctant to write about it until now, for fear of not doing it justice, because it really is...