Recent Travels

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Belfast ‘ what about yer’ !

Ok, not a photography-related post however the images are all from a recent trip to the wonderful city of Belfast.

Originally i was thinking of the top ten things to do in Belfast, however, I thought I would just give a review etc on what and when.

Why Belfast!

Why Belfast?  To cut a long story short, for my 50th I thought I was going to Iceland, but someone had booked a trip to Berlin…? God knows why, so a massive curve ball was thrown in the good measure which meant Berlin was cancelled and with a few days spare a trip to Belfast was booked to see one of my best friends marry.  As a child all I knew about Belfast was about disruption, believe me, this is not the case now. 

What to do and where to go with Isle of Man Photographer

Titanic Museum 

This place speaks for itself, as Belfast is the home of the Titanic, although we did not visit on this trip we have previously. Discover how the ship was built, stories about the people and so much more. I would recommend if you go, prebook your space as the doors opening, it can get busy if cruise ships are in the city!

To find out more click here

The Titanic Exhibition on arrival to Belfast Harbour by Isle of Man Photographer
The Titanic Exhibition as seen when arriving into Belfast City

The Starks and Lannisters, which one are you, Jason Kinrade knows!

Game of Thrones Studio Tour

This is a must for any Game of Thrones fans out there.  From start to finish you are exported from Winterfell to Kings Landing.  You get to see the beautiful costumes, and sets with so much of behind the scenes snippets.  The tour is so very spacious that you actually feel you are the only ones exploring.  For me, this has to be one of the highlights of the trip.  I loved every second of the exhibition.  For details on how to book and more visit the following link here

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Places of interest with Isle of Man Photographer Jason Kinrade

Botanical Gardens 

A leisurely half an hour walk from the city centre to the beautiful gardens.  The colours and scents that fill the air were amazing.  A great place to wander around and people watch.  So many exotic plants in the glasshouses 

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The Crown Pub

The Crown Saloon Bar is one of the oldest pubs in the city of Belfast.  The interior is stunning and takes you back in time with its little booths.  I would recommend reserving a booth as they are in high demand.  The food was delicious, opting for a traditional meat pie with colcannon mash.  The whole building is incredible and its a must to visit even if its just for a pint.  

Refurbished in 1885, and at least twice since, The Crown is a grade A listed building owned by the National Trust and is a truly stunning example of a traditional Victorian gin palace.

The Crown Pub

For more details visit here

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A way to wander around the city

Game of Thrones Stained Glass Windows

To celebrate 10 years of filming in Northern Ireland, Tourism Ireland created six giant, stained glass windows depicting some of the most iconic scenes from Game of Thrones. These windows making up the Glass of Thrones walking trail are now on permanent display after being generously gifted by Tourism Ireland.

The windows were unveiled to coincide with the final season of the show with each one representing a different house or legacy; including the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, Targaryens, White Walkers and the Iron Throne. The designs include the most talked-about scenes from seasons one to seven based on fans’ online searches.

Find the Glass of Thrones installations dotted along the Maritime Mile, from AC Hotel past Titanic Studios to HMS Caroline. Take a stroll to rediscover the most iconic moments from the saga immortalised in stained glass.  It is evident how much Northern Ireland is featured in Game of Thrones from the studio to the amazing locations. 

There are so many pubs and restaurants to choose from and to suit every pocket.  So as a celebratory meal we opted for dinner at The Merchant Hotel.  The whole experience was totally amazing from the service to the interior.  Again, it was stepping back in time.  This building once was a bank and you can see this from the retained interior.  The evening kicked off with cocktails and after the fabulous dinner, we went for a liquid dessert that was delicious.  The Merchant is an excellent venue for afternoon tea as well and if you don’t fancy the splendour of the hotel you can nip into The Cloth Ear pub next door which is also owned by the hotel. For more details click here

If like me you love a tasty eggs benedict then head up to House which is on the outskirts of the city centre, it’s on the way to the botanical gardens.  This place has an upbeat sophistication with its funky interior and vibe. The breakfast was so good, that so needed to return the next day.

Food glorious food!

A great pub with its own micro brewery is The Deers Head.  The choice of ales is extensive changing weekly.  Also the pub has a great selection of gins, needless to say, several of the ales and gins were sampled over the stay.

I know this blog has nothing to do with my photography and it’s more about my recent travels, if you want to find out more about the collections I offer then click the image below.

Collections and Packages by Isle of Man Family Photographer

Watering holes

If you want something more upbeat with a colourful crown then head to Union St Bar, there are shows on daily from Trannyoke to quiz nights.  The atmosphere is very much fun, its a great place to people watch and believe me the Irish are such a welcoming and friendly bunch of people.  Oh yes, their food is delicious with a great choice.

Across the road from Union St is The Reporter pub, probably one of the smallest pubs in Belfast, here you will receive a very warm welcome which an excellent choice of drinks.

The Dirty Onion, hidden away in the Cathedral Qrtr

Another great find is The Dirty Onion Pub, a great place to socialise with a great choice of drinks and a thriving busy eating area too.

Also near Union St Bar is the Sunflower Pub,  it certainly has an interesting entrance, it is what I call a proper pub, no frills with just good beer.  It has a beer garden at the back that is very spacious with a great vibe too.

Union Street Bar!

Wherever you go you will see some amazing street art….


Very easy travel post-pandemic we took the Seacat with Isle of Man Steam Packet Company early sailing at 07:00 which gets you into Belfast harbour at 09:45 just in time for a late breakfast.  For more details on times and booking please visit them here

The return was with Easyjet with a quick flight time of twenty minutes, after hearing so many stories about checking in, security etc I was a little worried that this might have been the case at Belfast International, it wasn’t and check-in and security were effortless.  Belfast is a city that is steeped in history from the Titanic to its culture.  If you have never visited that why not give it a go. I am glad that a curve ball was thrown in my direction a few years ago and will return sometime soon.  


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