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Belfast city is back and buzzing

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Crowds of people in the Cathedral Quarter for Culture night in 2018. Elaine Hill Photography

Crowds of people in the Cathedral Quarter for Culture night in 2018. Elaine Hill Photography

Crowds of people in the Cathedral Quarter for Culture night in 2018. Elaine Hill Photography

Belfast is used to bouncing back and that resilience has seen it weather the Primark fire and now the lockdown. With the Gliders making getting around by public transport easier than ever, there are lots of places to explore this summer.

After exploring the shops and stores on Donegall Place and Royal Avenue, or the Victorian St George’s Market, head for Victoria Square and don’t leave without taking in the views from the dome.

If you’re visiting, it’s well worth taking one of the many guided walking, bike or bus tours which have started up again, for a couple of enlightening hours’ entertainment.

In the city centre, the Cathedral Quarter’s maze of cobblestoned streets and warehouses that are home to trendy bars, clubs and restaurants is a must-see. Visitor attractions include St Anne’s Cathedral and the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

Titanic Quarter is growing all the time, with additions like the Maritime Mile guided trail including visitor attractions like the Big Fish and the Titanic Centre, reopening on August 1. While the interactive W5 has yet to open, the SSE Arena, home of the Belfast Giants, aims to return in early August. Watch out for reopening dates for the 5 star attraction, World War I survivor HMS Caroline.

Queen’s Quarter is a must on a sunny day with the restored Tropical Ravine in Botanic Gardens rounding off a tour of the Ulster Museum when it reopens on July 30. Or visit Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park and picnic in the famous rose garden.

Head for the west of the city to enjoy some Irish speaking craic or climb Divis or go to the east to discover more about some of Belfast’s famous sons including CS Lewis, George Best and Van Morrison. Take a walk through CS Lewis Square, featuring seven bronze sculptures from ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ or have a stroll through the grounds of Stormont and walk the famous avenue.

North Belfast is synonymous with the Zoo, always a brilliant day out. If you have the energy, take in Belfast Castle afterwards or if you’re really fit, have a go at Cavehill for epic views for miles around. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, one place that’s worth seeing is Crumlin Road Gaol which has reopened its Victorian era prison doors for self-guided tours. Discover over 150 years of history and follow in the footsteps of over 25,000 prisoners with access to all of the gaol including the hanging cell, underground tunnel and graveyard.

For more information on reopening dates and days out in Belfast, go to visitbelfast.com

Belfast Telegraph