A 3 days trip to Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, UK. This trip is suitable for friends as well as family. This was an exploratory trip with a bit of adventures too. The trip also covers a tour to beautiful locations of the renowned TV show Game of Thrones.
Arrive at Belfast
Pleasant walk at Botanic Gardens
Learn about 9000 years of Irish history and culture at Ulster Museum
Explore maritime history and Titanic story at the Titanic Museum
Trek/Hike to Cavehill country park for stunning views of the city of Belfast
Visit the Belfast Zoo and Belfast Castle
The Final Treat – Book a Game of Thrones Tour
- £250-300 for 3 days if you live in UK.
- Approximate return flight costs would be around £50 from anywhere in UK.
- If you wish to travel from India, the approximate expenditure will be around ₹80,000 per person.
HOW TO REACH
WHAT AND WHEN TO DO
- Arrive at Belfast and Check-in at your stay.
- Head to Botanic Gardens (after breakfast) for a pleasant walk.
- Visit the Ulster Museum at the Botanic Gardens to learn about 9000 years of Irish History.
- Take a stroll around the city center while you are on the way to Titanic Museum.
- Visit the Albert Memorial Clock and The Big fish (the salmon of knowledge) on your way to the Titanic Museum. You can also spot the iconic H & W industrial crane that belongs to Harland and Wolff, the company that built RMS Titanic.
- Head to the Titanic Museum to explore maritime history and the titanic story in an insightful way. This will take around 90 minutes to 2 hours.
- On your way back, visit St. George market to sample fresh produce and delights from in and around Belfast.
- Hike to Cave Hill Country Park to enjoy views of the city and the Irish sea from the top of the Hill.
- Visit the Belfast Zoo and the Belfast Castle.
- Head back to the city for a nice and relaxing dinner and enjoy the city under lights.
- A major reason to visit Belfast is the Game of thrones tour.
- Game of Thrones Tours Ltd. offers 2 different guided tours i.e.,
- Winterfell Tours
- Iron Islands and Giant’s Causeway Tours.
- You can decide which one to take on what day as both these tours will consume one day each. (You can find more about the tours on their website)
- The Winterfell tour’s coach will depart from Jurys Inn, Great Victoria Street, Belfast at 8:30 AM.
- The coach goes down the Ards peninsula to Portaferry, where you’ll be taken on a ferry across ‘the narrow sea’ to Strongford.
- The locations on site include the places where the following were filmed:
- Winterfell Castle
- Walder Frey’s Twins
- Robb’s Camp in the Riverlands
- Robb and Talisa Stark walking down the woods near the camp
- Brienne of Tarth dispatching three Stark bannermen en-route Kings Landing with Jamie Lannister
- Tyrion and Bronn being ambushed by the Stone Crows of the Vale
- You can either have lunch at one of the restaurants there or carry some with you as lunch is not included in the ticket price
- After lunch you head to Cistercian Abbey ruins where Northern bannermen pledge fealty to Robb Stark as ‘The King in the North’.
- The tour also provides you with props, cloaks, swords and shields to immerse yourself completely in the experience and be one of the Westerosi
- You then arrive at Tollymore Forest Park where the following were filmed:
- Intro scene where Wills the ranger finds the dismembered bodies in the snow beyond the wall
- Tyrion and Jon’s campfire on their journey north to the wall
- The bridge where the Starks discover a dead direwolf and her pups
- The tour concludes with a scenic drive through the Mourne mountains, source of inspiration for the world of Narnia as imagined by C.S. Lewis
- You will arrive back to Belfast around 18:00
- Enjoy the city lights and have dinner
- The coach departs from Jurys Inn, Great Victoria Street, Belfast at 8:00 AM.
- Carry lunch if you wish to save up and spend on souvenirs (restaurants are bit expensive)
- The coach will take the Causeway coastal route and cover the Carrickfergus Castle and Magheramorne Quarry, location of Castle Black and the Wall
- After refreshments, there is a photo stop at the cave where Melisandre gave birth to a dark spirit that kills Renly Baratheon
- Further, you will have a breath-taking experience crossing the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, (30 meters (98 ft) with rocks below)
- The path ahead takes you to Larrybane Chalk Quarry, where Brienne bested Ser Loras Tyrell and Catelyn brought news of Robb’s rebellion to Renly and his army
- After lunch, you will visit the ‘Iron Islands’ Ballintoy Harbour, location where the following were filmed:
- Theon came ashore on Pyke Island
- Theon later rededicated his faith to the ‘Drowned God’
- Ser Davos seeks the help of Salladhor Saan for the Battle of Blackwater Bay
- Gendry escapes Dragonstone in a rowing boat
- You then visit Giant’s Causeway, the UNESCO World Heritage site, the geological marvel of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, formed in the Paleogene Period, 50-60 million years ago
- There’s another photo stop before heading back to Belfast at the haunting avenue of beech trees, through which Arya and Gendry escaped King’s Landing
- If you are lucky enough you could meet the actors from the series and also couple of Pups that played Stark Direwolves in the series
- You will be back in Belfast at around 17:30.
- You can either spend another night in Belfast or leave post dinner.
WHERE TO STAY
The best accommodation option would be an AirBnB or a hostel/dorm unless you are a luxury traveler. Good hostels will cost around £15-20 per night and a decent AirBnB would cost you around £20-30 per night.
HOW TO TRAVEL AROUND
- Walking/ Hiking
Belfast has a good bus service in and around the city, but the frequency reduces after the regular commercial hours (typically 17:00 or 18:00). If the timings are not as per your convenience then you can book an Uber.
- Always carry an umbrella or a waterproof jacket with you. Weather in the UK is absolutely unpredictable
- Carry comfortable footwear (shoes) as you’ll be expected to walk a lot in rough terrains on the Game of Thrones Tours and wear suitable clothing to avoid getting scratched or cut by wild thorns
- Make sure your baggage is as light as possible on the tours and during your trek on Cave Hill
- Purchase day savers (day pass) or smart-card passes on the ticket counter in the bus stop or on your first bus journey to be able to travel unlimited in the city at a low cost
- Be attentive while interacting with people in the city. The strong Irish accent is sometimes difficult even for the British nationals to understand
- Book your Game of Thrones tour tickets well in advance
- If you are a student, don’t forget to ask for student discounts anywhere you go. Also, there are special ticket prices for students in both GoT tours and the Titanic Musuem
PICTURES FROM THIS TRIP
Want to experience more places outside India. Here are a few good reads:
Visiting the Least Visited Country in the World – Tuvalu
Singapore Itinerary for 4 days – A family vacation!
Xplore Sydney on a Student’s Budget
Backpacking Solo across Egypt
This Itinerary was contributed by a Community Member!
You can reach out to Tejaswi on his Facebook account.
Ensure you travel responsibly and keep your carbon footprint to the minimum. Happy Xploring!
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