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Everything you need to know about attending the Tall Ships this weekend

By Jenny Kirkham

Ships ahoy! The amazing Tall Ships Races 2015 is now just days away and as the excitement builds here is all the information you'll need.

This is the third time that Belfast has hosted the races, having previously welcomed the ships in 1991 and 2009.

More than 50 ships will anchor at Belfast Harbour from 2 to 5 July - a few have already berthed - with crews being welcomed by the annual Belfast Maritime Festival.

Spectators can get the best view of the ships over the weekend when they will be static and the public are invited to board and look around the ships.

For those wanting to see the ships in motion the best viewpoints will be along the Co. Antrim and Co. Down coasts as well as Ballycastle and Castlerock on sunday evening where they will be berthed ahead of the race on Monday.

Keep an eye on the ships are they sail into Belfast Lough here -  Tall Ships Belfast 2015 - track the vessels as they sail in to Northern Ireland

It is estimated that around 500,000 people are expected to make their way to the docks this weekend to join in with the festivities. If you are planning to be one of them, here is everything you need to know about attending the Tall Ships this weekend.

Opening Times

Thursday 2 July from 12 noon - 9pm

Friday 3 July from 12 noon - 9pm

Saturday 4 July from 10am - 10.30pm

Sunday 5 July from 10am - 4pm

 

What's On

All events at the Tall Ships run 02 July - 05 July 2015 and are free to the public.

Ulster Aviation Society Display - Queen's Quay, Titanic Quarter.

Tall Ships Workshops - Titanic Quarter.

Festival of Maritime Heritage - Titanic Quarter.

Scottish Maritime Museum Presents - Titanic Quarter.

Tall Ships Street Theatre - Titanic Quarter.

BBC NI at the Tall Ships - Titanic Quarter.

The Dock Market - Titanic Quarter.

 

Getting There

Over 500,000 visitors are expected to attend the Lidl Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival between 2 and 5 July. Here’s some information about how you can travel to and from the event so that getting there is plain sailing.

Public transport

Leave your car at home and hop on the bus or train with Translink. Visit www.translink.co.uk/tallships/ for details of their bus and train services and travel offers.

Park and Ride

If you'd like to take your car, there are two designated event park and ride sites. These can accommodate up to 4,000 cars, with a Translink shuttle bus service taking you to and from the event. The buses are fully accessible vehicles and will depart every five minutes.

Costs: Adults £2.50, children under 16 and senior citizens are free of charge.

  • Boucher Road Playing Fields park and ride

If you're travelling from the south and west (M1), your nearest park and ride site is Boucher Road Playing Fields.

  • Airport Road West park and ride

If you're travelling from the north and west (M2), Greater Belfast and County Down, your nearest park and ride site is Airport Road West (Ikea exit).

Car Parking

Over 10,000 city centre car parking spaces are available within a maximum of 15 minutes' walk from the Tall Ships event. You can find more information about city centre car parks on www.belfastcentre.com

Road Closures

All closures will be in place during the following hours:

Thursday - 10am to 10pm

Friday - 10am to 10pm

Saturday - 8am to 11pm

Sunday - 8am to 6pm

Queen's Quay will be closed from the junction with the Queen Elizabeth Bridge through to the junction with Queen's Road.

Queen Elizabeth Bridge will be closed from the start of the bridge leaving the city centre, will be closed and coned off throughout the event.

Corporation Square will be closed from the junction with Corporation Street through to Donegall Quay. Access will be maintained for businesses.

Donegall Quay will be closed from the junction with Albert Square through to Corporation Square.

 

Food and drink

A range of food is available at Tall Ships Belfast to suit every taste – local, national and international. Prices range from £2.50 for crepes to steak burgers at £4.50 and hog roasts at £7.

Host port sponsor, Lidl, will also provide some free food samples and cookery demonstrations.

You can bring your own food to the event but please dispose of litter responsibly by taking your waste home with you or putting it in the appropriate bins.

The Dock Market

Sample everything from gourmet waffles and award-winning burgers to cupcakes and fresh bakes at The Dock Market.

Street and Seafood Popup Market

If you're a food lover, make sure to visit the Belfast of NI Food Popup Street and Seafood Market for artisan stalls, chef demonstrations and local food and wine producers.

Heineken Sea Sounds

Heineken Sea Sounds will bring the best in locally sourced food, drink and live music to Queen's Quay near the Odyssey complex. Howard Street, Jolly Pies and Crepe Box are among the carefully selected food outlets, and there'll be live music throughout the day from The Russian Dolls, The Mindbenders, El Dude Brothers and more. Full bar service will be available on-site, with a selection of beers, ciders, spirits  and cocktails.

Local restaurants and cafés

Belfast has a great range of delicious restaurants to enjoy, from seafood cuisine at Deanes Love Fish, Tedfords and Mourne Seafood Bar to the Michelin Bib Gourmand award-winning OX Belfast, Bar + Grill at James Street South, Home Restaurant and Deanes at Queen's. You'll also find family friendly eateries including Fratelli Belfast, Avoca Cafe and Bistro 401 at Titanic Belfast.

To find out more about the Tall Ships festival in Belfast this weekend, head to tallshipsbelfast.com

Read more:

 

Tall Ships: Life on the high seas looms for our rookie deck hands

Tall Ships 2015: Belfast goes Dutch as three-master cruises in for sailing spectacular

Bigger and better Tall Ships will bring £10m windfall to Belfast  

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