Cheap Seats: Northern Ireland
May 16, 2007
Next weekend — May 25-27Belfast, Northern Ireland: 75.15 pounds round trip
Fly Easyjet from London Stansted to Belfast International.
Weekend breaks in Belfast should be spent exploring the city’s four quarters, each offering plenty to see and do.
The cathedral quarter is home to Belfast Cathedral, the cathedral church of St. Anne, which contains many Celtic-themed mosaics and stained glass. The cathedral also has the largest Celtic cross in Ireland, according to the church Web site, www.belfastcathedral.org. Further down the road is Custom House Square, where visitors can dodge the spraying fountains and enjoy live concerts and art exhibits.
The Golden Mile between Belfast City Hall and Queen’s University in Queens Quarter is host to some of the best bars and restaurants in the area.
Sit back and enjoy a pint before heading out to explore the Botanic Gardens. These popular gardens contain many walking trails, offering delightful treks among the flower beds, rose gardens, shrubs and sculptures. Of particular interest within the gardens are the giant bird feeders and Palm House, one of the earliest examples of a glasshouse, made from curved iron and glass.
Efforts are being made in the Gaeltacht Quarter to renew the use of the Irish language. Travelers visiting shops and restaurants in this quarter will hear the melodic language in wide use. Handmade craft enthusiasts can visit Conway Mill, where everything from ceramics, paintings, furniture and wood sculptures can be purchased or commissioned.
The Titanic quarter beside the city harbor, where the luxury liner RMS Titanic was built by Harland and Wolff, is now a fast-growing city within a city. The rundown shipyards are currently being converted into apartments, hotels and restaurants. Visit this area to learn more about the Titanic and her sister ships, and visit the large cranes, Sampson and Goliath, that dominate the skyline.
Airfare prices include estimated taxes and are courtesy of the Web site www.skyscanner.net. Prices were verified as of Monday afternoon when Stripes UK went to press. Deals are not guaranteed to be available; restrictions may apply.