Looking for some great things to do in Belfast City. When you get out of your Belfast City Airport Hotel check out some of our favorites.
Giant’s RingDistance from Belfast City Airport: 9.8mi / 15.8km
Off B32, 5km south of the city centre , Belfast City , BT7 1HP
+44 28 9024 6609
This enigmatic ancient monument, just a few minutes from Shaw’s Bridge, is an ideal place for a day trip and picnic. Little, if anything, is known about this awesome prehistoric 600-feet wide circular earthwork. Some scholars have suggested that it may have been a significant meeting place 2,000 years ago, but the exact purpose of the site remains unclear. Remains from a Stone Age burial were discovered under the dolmen in the centre and during the 18th century the ring was a popular venue for horse races. Nowadays the Giant’s Ring offers superb views of the parkland areas of South Belfast City, as well as a purpose-built 2,000 year-old walking circuit around its edge!
CarrickfergusDistance from Belfast City Airport: 13.1mi / 21km
Carrickfergus , Co. Antrim , BT38 7BG ,
+44 28 9335 1273
Carrickfergus Castle was built by John de Courcy after the Norman invasion of Ireland in the 12th century. The walls are a metre thick with several impressive defence features: arrow slits, twin portcullises and a ‘murder hole’ for raining boiling tar down on stranded enemies below. The centre of the castle is the Keep, in which exhibitions divulge intimate details of medieval life, such as the contents of those huge feasts (‘quail’, ‘seagull’, ‘pheasant’, ‘swan’, etc.) and dress. A room is laid out as a banqueting hall, where you can come and party as a private group. On the top floor there’s an enormous chessboard and a chest of medieval clothes you can even try on while you play. A cafe and gift shop complete the tour.
Albert Memorial Clock Tower
Albert Memorial Clock TowerDistance from Belfast City Airport: 3.1mi / 5.1km
Queen’s Square , Belfast City , BT1 3FG
+44 28 9024 6609
Pisa has its leaning tower and Belfast City has one to match – the Albert Memorial Clock Tower. Known locally as ‘The Albert Clock’, it was built in memory of Prince Albert following his death in 1861. The tower arouses most interest due to the fact that it leans slightly to one side as a result of subsidence. Much of the city centre suffers the same plight – buildings here were frequently built on wooden piles driven into muddy, reclaimed land. At the moment attempts are being made to rectify the tilt – the whole structure is swathed in construction scaffolding. From the tower you will be able to view two giant yellow cranes in Harland & Wolff’s shipyard. These are affectionately known as ‘Samson and Goliath’.
Andrew Jackson CentreDistance from Belfast City Airport: 14mi / 22.5km
Andrew Jackson Centre Boneybefore , Carrickfergus , BT38 7DG
+44 28 9336 6455
The parents of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, lived at Boneybefore in Carrickfergus before emigrating to America. Their son was born in South Carolina and served two terms as president from 1829 to 1837. The ancestral home, a single story thatched farmhouse with an open fireplace, has been reconstructed and is typical of local homes of the period. At the centre you can enjoy an audio visual show covering the emigration of the Ulster Scots, including the Jackson family, to America and see craftwork demonstrations and exhibitions. The Jackson’s cottage is located less than a mile from the town centre just off the Larne Road.
Ballance HouseDistance from Belfast City Airport: 17.7mi / 28.5km
118A Lisburn Road , Glenavy , BT29 4NY
+44 28 9264 8492
New Zealanders gained a distinguished Prime Minister in the Co. Antrim born John Ballance, whose political achievement Ballance House has been established to commemorate. The museum also explores issues of emigration and cultural exchange between Ireland and New Zealand, shares something of the power and intricacy of Maori culture, and reveals the initial hardships involved in pioneer life. Visit the Old Orchard, replanted with fruit trees from the 19th century by visiting All Blacks in 1989. Ballance House houses the Honorary Consulate for New Zealand in Northern Ireland. Anyone with a New Zealand interest or connection should make a point of visiting.
Bangor AbbeyDistance from Belfast City Airport: 10.3mi / 16.5km
Newtownards Road , Bangor , BT20 4BW
+44 28 9145 1087
Bangor Abbey is located on the site where the town was founded by St Comgall in 558AD. During the Dark Ages both the abbey and its university gained fame throughout the known world, but in the early 9th century a Viking attack saw some 900 of its monks slaughtered. The modern abbey now stands on the Newtownards Road just outside the town centre, right on the corner of Castle Park. The grounds include a small cemetery and a cannon from the Amazon, a ship wrecked in nearby Ballyholme in 1780.