News and Insights

A Week In Belfast

Category: Insights

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It’s alright talking about all of the fantastic events happening in Belfast, but talk is just that, and it’d be much better to take you through a fantastic week in the city, through my own eyes. If that doesn’t convince you that there’s plenty to see and do in Belfast, then I don’t know what will. My name is Stephen, and I’m an intern with Delegate Recruitment. Let me take you through some of the great times I had in Belfast, in the last week of June.

I took a trip to the Odyssey Pavilion in the centre of the city, next to the River Lagan. It’s a mere 10 minute walk from the historic City Hall, and the journey takes you over the river on the walking bridge, and with the sun shining, it offers a gorgeous view of the light reflecting off the still water. Inside the Odyssey Pavilion itself, there’s enough restaurants and entertainment to keep you trapped inside for days. Pizza Hut, Joe’s American Diner, and Rockies Sports Bar all offer fantastic food.

There’s also the renowned W5 science centre, the arcade, a 10-Pin Bowling Alley, and of course, the Odyssey Cinema, showing a range of fantastic films and some awful ones too, just like any great cinema. There’s also the Box Nightclub for a bit of late night entertainment. Our destination was the bowling alley, where I’ll pretend that I didn’t get beat by my girlfriend over and over again. I got in a few strikes, but it wasn’t enough to save me. After a few drinks and a trip to the cinema, we had another not-so close game of Air Hockey, a real sport, which I lost again.  She cheated this time.

The next day, I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Garden Party of Queen Elizabeth II, marking another historic event for Belfast and Northern Ireland as a whole. Massive crowds of people had gathered in front of the City Hall, waiting to greet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

They met the new Lord Mayor of Belfast, Nicola Mallon and attend a royal lunch. I wasn’t lucky enough to get a seat at the meal (my invite must have been lost in the post) but a few lucky friends reported that it was an amazing experience and a delicious meal. I’m not jealous in the slightest.

Over the next few days, the Queen took time from her busy schedule to visit some of Belfast’s biggest cultural attractions, including St. George’s Market, the infamous Crumlin Road Gaol, and even the set of HBO’s extremely popular television show, Game of Thrones, arguably the biggest thing on telly in the world right now. She apparently didn’t sit on the Iron Throne, but I suppose she has a perfectly fine throne back home in the palace to enjoy you can’t blame her for not wanting to risk sitting on that dangerous looking thing.

If all that doesn’t make you jealous already, then let me really rub it in by telling you about the rest of the week. Wednesday night saw me heading back to the Odyssey Arena to see Jason Derulo live in concert for a fantastic performance. It was a spectacular show, covering all of the best songs from his newest album. Fantastic support came from the opening act Fresh, and the DJ. The Odyssey Arena sees dozens of artists and bands perform every year, and its only one of many venues in Belfast. 

Robbie Williams was here only a few weeks ago, Katy Perry will be stopping by at the end of July, Ed Sheeran will be around in October, and Kasabian will be rounding things off before the end of the year. There’s also the Belsonic Festival in Custom House Square, with fantastic acts like Queens of the Stone Age, Biffy Clyro, Example, and Imagine Dragons playing in the fantastic open air venue. Hopefully the sun stays shining for the open air event, but the rain tends to be part of the fun anyway in Belfast.

When the sun’s shining, there’s no better spot to spend your day than in the Botanic Gardens. On Thursday we brought a picnic, and of course, Murphy came along for the journey, and he had a great time lounging in the sun and chasing the other dogs.

It was nearly impossible to get him back to the office afterwards. I guess he’d rather lie in the sun than get back to work. You can’t blame him!

With Northern Ireland being so compact, there’s plenty to do further afield. Nothing is much more than two hours’ journey away from Belfast, and convenient bus and train lines can take you to fantastic spots like the Dundonald Ice Bowl. It offers ice skating and another venue to lose at bowling. The venue also accommodates for indoor Laser Quest or outdoor Airsoft battles. Close by, Lisburn features the Omniplex Cinema, the Lisburn Swimming pool, and is surrounded by fantastic restaurants and diners.

You can’t forget about the beautiful North Coast, with the world famous Giant’s Causeway, the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, and the beautiful beaches, including the sprawling Portstewart strand. The strand is a great spot to visit on the weekend to get some sun and grab an ice cream.

We would be here all day if I listed everything fantastic there was to see in Belfast, you’ll just have to see the rest of it for yourself. This week has been particularly fantastic, with world famous pop stars and monarchy all stopping by to see the sights and sounds in the city centre. Let’s hope the fantastic weather sticks around and we can all finally get a decent tan.