Belfast Telegraph

Tele Recommends: Northern Ireland's best busking spots

We've consulted the experts to bring you the best Northern Ireland has to offer - the places, the food, the music, the craic.

Allison McGrath is a singer-songwriter from Warrenpoint. She started her musical journey as a student in Belfast when she took to busking. She released her debut album Overboard in 2012. She is currently working on her second album.

What is Tele Recommends?

Asked to name Northern Ireland's five best busking spots, she recommends...

The subway beside the Albert Clock, Belfast

The acoustics are amazing here and volume levels are increased, which helps preserve the vocal chords. Buskers are sheltered from the cold Northern Ireland weather and folk can hear you even before entering the Subway from Custom House Square or Ann Street.

Pottinger's Entry, Belfast

Again this is a great spot for bad weather busking with good acoustics and heavy footfall. It's a little tight for space so only really suitable for one or two buskers at a time. Situated beside the Morning Star pub that serves scrummy lunches, I've been asked to sing for my supper here – a free meal in return for some entertainment.

Corn Market, Belfast

Singing on a sunny day at Corn Market (left) is hard to beat – people in their offices have been known to applaud out of their windows if you're doing well.

Sometimes a little crowd will gather to sing along with you and this is by far one of the most lucrative pitches for busking, although you have to get there early to claim the spot, as if you end up beside another busker with an amp you'll get drowned out. This pitch is my absolute favourite – it can turn into a real sun trap in the summer.

Hill Street, Newry

There's plenty going on here and the people of Newry are very generous. It would have been the main shopping area in Newry years ago but it still gets plenty of footfall as there are shops and it's close to the cathedral. No spot in particular, just pick a doorway and start to strum.

Dunnes Stores, Ormeau Embankment, Belfast

This spot is a little off the beaten track but Dunnes Stores has plenty of customers passing through who will stop for a while to listen and chat.

Very friendly folk, and Dunnes staff have even brought me a cup of tea to warm me up in cold weather.

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