Belfast audio tour: The Best of Belfast: From Great Victoria Street to City Hall

The Best of Belfast: From Great Victoria Street to City Hall

Walking Tour

|
45 mins
|
0.5mi

About the Tour

Would you start a book from the second chapter?

Of course not. You’d start at the beginning, and you can think of this tour as the first chapter of your visit to Belfast. From the bustle of the Great Northern Mall to the dignified reflection of the Titanic Memorial Garden, it’s a perfect introduction to this endlessly fascinating city.

I’m a Belfast-born guide and I’d like to make you feel welcome here and share the city’s unlikely success story with you. From a crossing at a sand bank, without any natural resources, it mushroomed into a great Victorian city with thriving shipping and linen industries in the 1800s.

We’ll start our tour at Great Victoria Street. It’s where most people begin their journey through Belfast after they hop off a bus or train. Along the way, we’ll meet titans of industry who shaped the city as well as people who left their mark in the fields of science, architecture, religion, education and the arts. I’ll also point out a number of interesting buildings including the iconic Belfast City Hall.

On the tour, you'll also hear about:

• A hotel that has suffered 36 bomb attacks
• The Belfast Castle and the city’s beginnings
• What Milk of Magnesia is and how it soothed millions of upset stomachs for more than 150 years
• The Royal Belfast Academical Institution and its illustrious alumni
• Belfast’s ‘Black Man’ statue and the story of Reverend Henry Cooke
• The man who gave his name to the Wellington boot
• Thomas Cairnduff, the shipyard playwright
• The arrival of US Army troops in 1942
• The birthplace of the Titanic

Tour Producer

avatar

William (Billy) Dickson BEM

Billy is a fully qualified Blue Badge guide, a member of the Institute of Tourist Guiding & TGNI. He was born in Belfast and has lived here all his life. Billy is the longest serving tour guide in Belfast. He created a wide range of themed walking tours and prides himself in providing a tour to suit the interests of a particular group. During the height of the 'Belfast Troubles' he would be seen taking groups around his beloved city. Time has moved on and Billy is no longer doing tours on his own and many more guides are available today, but Billy is still in great demand guiding on coaches and walking tours and he was the obvious choice to be a guide on Voice Map.

Major Landmarks

  • The Crown Bar

  • Europa Hotel

  • Grand Opera House

  • Presbyterian Assembly Building

  • Royal Belfast Academical Institution

  • John Bell House ‘The Blackman’ Statue

  • Linen Hall Library

  • Scottish Provident Institution

  • City Hall

  • Titanic Memorial

Directions to Starting Point

The Great Northern Mail and Great Victoria Street is the first place most visitors arrive. The Crown Bar is on the opposite side of the street. You can't miss the two female statues where we start the tour.

Show Directions
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Tips

Places to stop along the way

Best to wait until the end of tour. Belfast City Hall has exhibition rooms on Belfast history with lots of images and objects. A wide variety of eating places near to Belfast City Hall. and including 'The Bobbin Coffee Shop' within the City Hall.

Best time of day

The end part of the tour includes the City Hall grounds.
1 October – 31 May 7am – 7pm
1 May – 30 September 7am – 9pm
For a free optional visit to City Hall, it is open Monday to Friday 9am until 5pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am until 5pm
.Please note: During some days during November and December, the grounds of the City Hall will be closed. Before booking the tour during these two months, phone the City Hall @ 02890320202.

Precautions

Always wear suitable clothing Belfast is a very safe city, especially the central area in which all sections of the community come together to shop and to socialise. Take normal precautions against pickpockets because you never know! Check the weather forecast and wear suitable clothing as it is know to rain in Belfast.

Comments

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The Best of Belfast: From Great Victoria Street to City Hall