Ah Belfast: it’s the capital of Northern Ireland, a city steeped in history, culture and some pretty fun things to do and see.
It’s also the city that our team found themselves in for our latest product shoot for Malones Triple Cask Irish Whiskey. But all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (literally – since our photographer’s name is Jack). In between snapping pics of our beautiful Irish whiskey bottle, there was plenty to explore, so we’ve put together this list of fun things to do and sights to see in Belfast for anyone who’s planning a visit and looking for inspiration.
From the quirky sculptures and statues dotted around the city, to welcoming bars and pubs, to the thrill and adventure of the magnificent Giant’s Causeway, here’s a list of some things our team enjoyed on their visit to Belfast – with a bottle of Malones Irish Whiskey in tow.
The Sheep On The Road
A shepherd herding his flock through a city of glass and concrete may be an alarming site, but you’re eyes are not deceiving you! The Sheep On The Road sculpture is by artist Deborah Brown and serves as a tribute to the cattle market that was once held in the spot on Lanyon Place. It also has a wider meaning, representing the essential part farming and livestock have played historically in shaping Ireland, and the part they still play today. As well as being cute and cultural, the bronze sheep and shepherd are very photogenic. What with the imagination and creativity the magical capital of Northern Ireland inspires, we’re sure you’ll be able to capture some class photos for the ‘gram.
Do sheep like Irish whiskey? – it may sound like the start of a cringey pub joke, but it looks like these Belfast sheep couldn’t get enough of Malones Triple Cask!
The Beacon Of Hope
Otherwise known as Nuala with the Hula or the Thing with the Ring, the Beacon of Hope stands tall – 19.5 metres tall to be exact – and watches over Thanksgiving Square. The lady-like sculpture holds “the ring of thanksgiving” above her head as if she’s about to drop it and start twirling it around her stainless steel and cast bronze body. The sculpture includes a globe marked with cities migrated and exported to by the people of Belfast, representing peace, harmony and thanksgiving around the world.
The Giant’s Causeway
Formidable cliffs slope down into the restlessly beautiful Irish Sea, as the wind whispers the secrets of giants. This is the Giant’s Causeway, a truly spectacular UNESCO world heritage site that can – and must – be reached easily from Belfast by car or by tour bus. It is undisputedly unmissable on any visit to Northern Ireland, and so naturally we couldn’t resist getting a few snaps of Malones Irish Whiskey along the Antrim coast. This force of nature harks back to the Volcanic Age around 60 million years ago, when the famous hexagonal stepping stones were formed.
The Albert Memorial Clock
Belfast’s very own leaning tower, the Albert Memorial Clock appears to tilt precariously. And it’s not just an illusion – the clock tower leans at least 4ft to the side due to being built on Belfast sleech – marshy reclaimed land above the silenced river Farset, which is hidden beneath Belfast streets. As its name suggests, the clock was built in 1869 as a memorial to Prince Albert (the husband of Queen Victoria) after his untimely death. The clock is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks, so it’s well worth adding to your list of places to visit in Belfast.
The Spirit of Belfast Sculpture
Quirky sculptures are everywhere in Belfast and we love the history and culture they represent. This intriguing design displays the lightness of linen and the strength of shipbuilding intertwined – two important components of Belfast’s industrial past. The statue is located on Arthur Square, and is a good spot to catch street art or atmospheric music as buskers gather here.
No sightseeing trip in the Northern Irish capital would be complete without a visit to some of Belfast’s best pubs. Like most Irish pubs they offer a fantastic pint of Guinness, some incredible whiskey and great craic.
For some of the finest Guinness in Belfast, visit Madden’s, a traditional Irish pub with quirky décor. It’s only a short stroll from the Albert Clock, and they’ve even got a cosy fire for those brisk winter days when the wind is howling.
Established in 1630, Whites Tavern is the oldest pub in Belfast, so you can get a feel for old Irish hospitality while also enjoying freshly caught seafood in their restaurant: The Oyster Rooms. The pub has a bustling atmosphere and is ideal for watching sports with a dram or two.
For a pub with a more modern feel, check out The Dirty Onion. This pub is perfect for enjoying traditional Irish music any night of the week.
Created by Irish publicans, Malones Irish Whiskey embodies the spirit of the Irish pub – community and great craic can almost be tasted in the beautifully smooth, complex liquid.