Growing up in Northern Ireland, amongst beautiful scenery and the by sea, you take things for granted. However, being away from it for 20 months and coming back, I wanted to just immerse myself in everything and anything Northern Irish. I wanted to see old places and explore newer ones too.
One thing I did manage to get to was the Titanic Centre in Belfast, a new attraction in Northern Ireland since my departure (March 2012).
For the benefit of those who don’t want to read the full blog posting, I’ll provide an overview.
Titanic Centre (or the Titanic Experience), Belfast, Northern Ireland. Noted to be the World’s Largest Titanic Exhibition Centre. The building itself is to scale in height of the actual ship and is located where Titanic was made (At Harland and Wolf Docks).
Titanic Quarter (1 Olympic Way, Queens Road, Belfast). Parking is available on site, but its also 1.7km from Donegal Square, which has more parking facilities
Getting there: A short drive (approx. 15 minutes from Belfast City Airport). If travelling from other parts of Northern Ireland, your best bet is to get off at Belfast Central station. Buses run to the centre, and there is a walking map on their website.
For the main Titanic Centre “Titanic Experience” £14.75 (adult) £7.25 (child 5+) under 5s free. Family ticket: £37 (2 adults, 2 children). There are other attractions within the centre, which have additional costs. It is cheaper to book online (which I’ve since discovered)
For more info, have a look here!
When I left Northern Ireland, I had some awareness of this centre being built (it commenced in 2009). It’s amazing how fast something like this can come together. Although to be honest, living in Christchurch, in a constantly changing environment, I should be used to this.
We left Coleraine on the North Coast, and arrived in Belfast in an hour. We got a parking space in the car park and wandered on into the centre. It was huge on the inside, with so much to look at. It had the usual gift shop and café, but also advertised other tours and afternoon tea events.
The centre was quite busy, and so we had to book a slot for a little later in the day. We headed out of the centre and along through the newly built Titanic Quarter. It was beautiful, looking back at the sheer size of the building and knowing that Titanic stood at that height.
There are newly built apartments along by the waterfront. We spent a little while here eating lunch and watch the world go by. I’ve said it numerous times about lots of places, but I just love being by waterfronts, harbours, rivers or the sea.
We later discovered another wee attraction called the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, which is located just a 5 minute walk from the Titanic Centre. This had free displays with reference to Northern Irish History (Worth a visit!)
Another part of the Titanic Quarter is the SS Nomadic ship, which is the last surviving ship of the White Star Line. There is a cost to have a tour around it, but we didn’t in the end, but it was amazing to see, knowing that it took passengers from Cherbourg out to board the Titanic.
When it was our time to get into the centre, we weren’t too far away. The enter exhibition took 2 hours to waned around, although if you stopped and read everything, you our be there longer.
The exhibition itself was very interesting, it was mixed between some Northern Irish history and history of Titanic.
My knowledge of Titanic was very little. Most of it learnt through the film (I wasn’t much of a history fan at school), but I found this really interesting. There were written pieces with timelines, audio recordings and artefacts everywhere.