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Things to do in Belfast

Catch a classical concert at Ulster Music Hall

Since 1862, Ulster Music Hall ( has been a pillar of live entertainment for Belfast residents. Now home to the Ulster Orchestra, down the years it has seen the likes of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones and even Charles Dickens tread its boards.

Get your skid on at the Barnett Demesne trails

Located near Shaw’s Bridge, you can guarantee that when the owner of this former private estate handed the keys to the public in the 1950s, he wasn’t envisioning mountain bikes kicking up dirt through its woodlands. But that’s the draw of Barnett Demesne ( where 8.8km (5.4 miles) of trails await. Bike hire available.

Go horse riding in the countryside

Sheans Horse Farm (tel: +44 77 5932 0434; offers superb views and miles of tracks for experienced riders and novices alike. Just an hour from the city, riders can cross hills on horseback, negotiate tinkling streams, trot through hollows and canter along heather-covered slopes.

Shoot arrows like Anguy at Game of Thrones’ Winterfell

Game of Thrones was filmed at several locations throughout Northern Ireland, but few allow visitors to fire arrows like Anguy the Archer. Head to the medieval towers of Winterfell (actually Clearsky Adventure Centre (tel: +44 28 4372 3933;, one hour from Belfast, and try your hand at archery, rock climbing, canoeing and much more.

Featured Hotels


Tara Lodge

Located in the heart of the Queens Quarter, near the vivacious Botanic Avenue, this stylish 4-star hotel offers affordable luxury. With 34 rooms to choose from, all come with comfy beds, white and gold furnishings and large bathrooms. The breakfasts are pretty decent too.

Ten Square Hotel

Located just steps from City Hall, this 22-room boutique hotel is set within a Grade I listed building. Offering sophisticated interiors, with baroque touches and colonial finishes, its sleeping quarters stick to the modern. Cubist art and chaise longue make rooms unique, while its renowned restaurant is worth booking too.

Ravenhill House

This beautifully restored Victorian guesthouse, near leafy Ormeau Park, is a 10-minute bus ride from the city centre. With only five guest bedrooms, it exudes a homely, intimate ambience. Each room has handcrafted furniture and there is a library of books and music, plus Wi-Fi and award-winning organic breakfasts.

Ramada Encore Belfast City Central

A short saunter from St Anne's Cathedral, this recently opened Ramada offers all the quality you'd expect from a large chain hotel. Rooms are snug, with all modern amenities, and the breakfast offers a mixture of hot and cold choices.

Malmaison Belfast

Occupying a handsome converted mid-19th-century seed warehouse in the Cathedral Quarter, Malmaison is a stylish boutique hotel that combines period features (iron pillars, beams and stone-carved gargoyles) with its trademark contemporary style (Bordello-style bedrooms with mood lighting). Expect long, heavy velvet drapes, red and purple over-sized suede chairs, and a sleek bar.

The Merchant Hotel

One of the city's most luxurious stays is the sumptuous Merchant Hotel built in 1860 as the Italianate headquarters of The Ulster Bank. Located in the Cathedral Quarter, the Grade 1 listed property features classically styled interiors, sculptures and antiques throughout. The pièce de résistance is the stunning Great Room Restaurant where meals, including traditional afternoon teas, are served beneath its grand dome.