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NewsGreat Britain • 2013-05-01

Select the country and object's type Belfast Product Update April 2013

BVCB at SITC Barcelona / GB City Break Campaigns Awards, Accolades & Achievements

BVCB at International Confex


Belfast limbers up for 2013 WPFG & Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon

Sounds in the City! 1st Belfast Tattoo, Belsonic, Tennent\'s Vital & Bushmills LIVE / Belfast Music Week returns

City Hall lights up for European first/ Belfast wins Google eTown Award

Belfast Welcome Centre ticketing

1st birthdays for Titanic Belfast & The MAC / Landmark years for Linen Hall Library, Féile an Phobail & Festival of Fools

Forthcoming May Events

BVCB attends SITC Barcelona

Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau travelled to Barcelona, to join Tourism Ireland for SITC 2013, the largest holiday and travel show in the Catalonia region of Spain.

SITC (Saló Internacional del Turisme de Catalunya) attracts over 200,000 visitors each year, including leading travel media, tour operators, travel agents, providers of EFL (learning English as a Foreign Language) and business tourism buyers, as well as many thousands of potential holidaymakers looking for ideas and suggestions for their next short break or holiday destination. The three-day event provided a valuable opportunity for the participating companies, including BVCB, to showcase their product, do business with Spanish travel professionals and communicate what is unique about Northern Ireland as a holiday destination.

GB City Break Campaigns

In May, BVCB will be delivering two City Break Campaigns in partnership with Tourism Ireland. Both campaigns are designed to increase leisure breaks from the GB market with a strong Belfast focus on the range of unique and compelling experiences the city has to offer.

BVCB’s campaign in partnership with Stena Line and Tourism Ireland will run from 9th-20th May on Scottish TV, and will be supported by a digital campaign, highlighting the world class attractions, shopping, restaurants and night life visitors can experience in Belfast while promoting the Cairnryan to Belfast route and offering consumers an exclusive hotel deal when they visit Belfast with their car.

The second City Break campaign in partnership with Aer Lingus and Tourism Ireland will be implemented during May. The campaign uses radio to target the Greater London area and promotes the easily accessible routes to Belfast City from Gatwick and London Heathrow, as well as promoting Belfast as a vibrant city with unmissable experiences: music, fashion and festivals. The campaign will also be supported by direct mail activity targeting a database of over 500,000 people.

BVCB at Meet The Buyer

BVCB attended the annual Meet the Buyer trade event organised by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB). 150 international tour operators from North America, Europe, GB, ROI and Australia visited Northern Ireland for a series of sales meetings with key NI tourism industry at The Venue at Ebrington in Derry-Londonderry.

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BVCB at International Confex

BVCB recently attended International Confex at Excel in London partnering with Assembly Buildings, Belfast Waterfront, Bespoke Belfast, Hastings Hotels, Holiday Inn and Titanic Belfast at this year\'s event which is attended by key association, corporate and agency contacts including Banks Sadler, Carlson Wagonlit, Succinct Healthcare Communications and Citigroup.

BVCB also held a private dinner at the Savoy Grill attended by 23 key association clients, all with potential of bringing a conference to Belfast in the next few years. Clients attending included the Association of Surgeons (ASGBI), British Contact Lens Association, British Academy of Management and the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE).

BVCB will be attending IMEX Frankfurt (21-23 May) partnering with Belfast Waterfront to showcase Belfast as a business tourism destination to 14,000 hosted buyers and trade visitors over the three days. On 16 May the team will also travel to Brussels for a Tourism Ireland led Association Networking Event followed by a day of Sales Calls.

Recent Conference Wins

BVCB\'s conference team team confirm a number of high profile conferences for the city recently including the British Association of Management for 2014 which will welcome 650 delegates to the city for 4 days; and the RCPsych Forensic Faculty Residential Meeting which in the same year will see a further 450 delegates in the city over 3 days.

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Countdown is on to WPFG

The countdown to the World Police and Fire Games is picking up pace as the games recently marked less than 100 days to go. As the start date grows closer, so the numbers of athletes registering are increasing on a daily basis. There are currently over 7,000 competitors registered from 54 countries showing a rise of over 1,200 in the last four weeks.

As of 23rd April, 4,348 athletes have registered, with another 2,706 in the pipeline totalling 7,054. Pipeline registrations are team members whose captains have already registered. 54 countries are represented, with 35 per cent of those registered coming from USA, Canada and Australia. Information about the Games is available at or follow at or

Watch the latest WPFG video, presented by sports presenter Graham Little on YouTube

2013 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon for Bank Holiday Monday as first-ever Half Marathon is confirmed for September

Belfast will host the 2013 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May. Over 20,000 runners are expected to hit the streets of North, South, East and West of the City. This year\'s route will remain the same as the 2012 event; starting at Belfast City Hall and finishing at Ormeau Park.

Additionally, the first ever Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon will take place in Belfast on Sunday 22nd September 2013. The route will start at the City Hall and finish at the new Mary Peters Track. Full details will be released over the next few weeks. There will also be a Fun Run event. Closing deadline for entries is Sunday 8th September 2013.

The Gathering

The Gathering initiative supported by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland launched this year and runs throughout 2013. Celebrating the best in music, art, literature dance sport film and food events taking place across the island of Ireland, a dedicated website acts as a hub of information for participating events. BVCB encourages members to avail of the opportunity to include Belfast events and information on the platform. For more information, visit

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Belfast City Hall lights up for a European first

Belfast City Hall has become the first building in Europe to install a revolutionary new `intelligent` lighting system. New LED floodlighting on the exterior of the city`s civic headquarters is also the biggest single building project of its kind in Europe – and will help reduce both the Hall`s energy bill and CO2 emissions.

The City Hall is one of seven European buildings chosen to take part in the EU`s ILLUMINATE pilot project, which will see new solid state lighting systems installed on other landmarks such as the world famous waterfront in Genoa. Belfast will be the only city to use the innovative new `IntelliPower` technology, devised by Philips Electronics and until never used on two projects outside the USA.

Belfast City Council has agreed that the City Hall will be ‘colour-washed’ on a number of special dates throughout the year. These are St. Patrick`s Day, July 12th (Orangefest), Valentine`s Day, the Chinese New Year, Polish Independence Day and Gay Pride day.

Belfast ranks in Google\'s eTown Awards!

Belfast has ranked 12th in Google\'s eTown Awards, which recognises towns whose businesses are actively embracing the web. Other winners included Stratford upon Avon, Edinburgh, Richmond, Stansted, Towcester, Bournemouth, East Marlow, Blackpool, Harrogate, Blaydon-on-Tyne & Newtown.

Belfast tops survey as UK\'s friendliest place for older people

Belfast has ranked top in Friends of the Elderly\'s \"Frienderly Town Survey\" making it the friendliest city in the UK for older people. The survey was based on a range of factors related to wellbeing in later life including respect, dementia awareness, housing, facilities, safety, public transport, environment, whether residents would recommend their city to others and its friendliness in general Belfast is followed by Edinburgh, while Southampton, Plymouth and Newcastle complete the top five.

Queen\'s \"super solvents\" voted Most Important British Innovation of the 21st Century

Research by scientists from Queen\'s University Belfast on ionic liquid chemistry has been named the \'Most Important British Innovation of the 21st Century\'. The work of staff in the Queen\'s University Ionic Liquid Laboratories (QUILL) Research Centre has been named as the innovation that will have the greatest impact in the coming Century.

QUILL fought off stiff competition from 11 other innovations from across the United Kingdom to win the vote which was part of the Science Museum\'s Initiative on Great British past and future Innovations. This initiative was also sponsored, amongst others, by: Engineering UK, The Royal Society, British Science Association, Royal Academy of Engineering and Department for Business Innovation & Skills

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First birthdays/ milestone anniversaries

Titanic Belfast marks 1st birthday!

The world\'s largest Titanic visitor experience, Titanic Belfast has celebrated its first birthday! During its momentous opening year, the venue welcomed 807,340 visitors (471,702 came from 128 countries outside NI) and 351 conference and banqueting events. Additionally, 1376 bottles of champagne, 115,822 cups of coffee and 2869 Titanic German biscuits have been consumed.

After Hours at Titanic Belfast launches!

Titanic Belfast in association with U105 is lighting up Friday nights in the city with an enhanced gallery experience, tapas dining offering and evening bar complete with live entertainment. On Friday 3 May, the attraction launches ‘After Hours at Titanic Belfast’, offering an atmospheric experience in the amazing galleries, tapas dining offering and evening bar complete with live entertainment and Titanic characters in period costume on the first Friday of each month.

A big opening year for Belfast\'s Big MAC!

Celebrating a jam-packed year, The MAC has welcomed 300,000 people to 471 shows, 13 amazing art exhibitions, 75 family workshops and hundreds of school workshops, tours and activities, smashing its annual visitor target by 75%

Linen Hall Library celebrates 225th birthday

Formed on 13 May 1788, the Linen Hall Library celebrates it\'s 225th Birthday this year, with a week of special events. The library is the oldest in Belfast, having survived rebellion, world wars, famine, financial instability and political unrest, it still stands as one of the most enduring, iconic local institutions of the modern age.

The Linen Hall holds a number of treasured archives such as the Northern Ireland Political Collection, which features over 350,000 items gathered during the ‘Troubles’. Its Belfast and Early Ulster Collection is the most comprehensive in the world, and its General Collection, updated daily, includes everything from the latest best sellers to representations from all genres, fiction and non-fiction. The special week of celebratory events include tours, readings, lectures, a Gala dinner, performances, a Birthday party. For further information contact Linen Hall Library on 028 9032 1707 or

Féile celebrates 25th anniversary

Féile an Phobail celebrating its 25th birthday this year. With its origins as a small carnival parade and procession of sports clubs and street parties, it is now regarded as Ireland\'s Biggest Community Arts Festival, organising 4 festivals throughout the year, over 500 events across 60+ venues, and welcoming over 60,000 local, national and international visitors to West Belfast. August Féile runs 1-11 August 2013. Watch Feile\'s 25th anniversary video on Youtube

A decade of co-ordinated comedic chaos as Festival of Fools celebrates 10 years

The streets of Belfast City Centre and Cathedral Quarter will come alive for five days to the sound of laughter and the sight of acrobatics, music and comedy as the Festival of Fools celebrates 10 years. From 2 - 6 May, artists from around the world will be coming to perform at one of Belfast’s most popular events – the annual street theatre festival celebrating the international language of laughter.

People can also treat themselves to delicious deals in 17 restaurants, bars and cafes taking part in the Festival of Foods – a special voucher section is available in the festival brochure and downloadable from the festival website.

4th season of Game of Thrones filming confirmed for NI as Belfast welcomes June exhibition

It has been confirmed that the 4th season of Game of Thrones is to be filmed in Northern Ireland! Recording of the HBO series is set to take place in Belfast and other local locations.

Free tickets go on general release on 17 May for the Game of Thrones exhibition at Titanic Belfast (taking place 8-17 June). The exhibition will feature over 70 original artefacts including props and costumes as well as interactive elements. There will also be a limited number of pre-release tickets from

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Awards, Accolades & Achievements

Diageo wins Workplace Award

Diageo has been named the Best Large Place to Work at the Annual Best Workplace Awards. The leading global drinks company which employs 400 staff across its four Northern Ireland sites, recently accounced 14% global growth for the iconic Bushmills brand whilst the company\'s facility at Mallusk now supplies 65% of the world\'s Baileys.

Operated by the Great Places to Work Institute, firms go through a rigorous selection process, including a detailed survey of staff attitudes alongside a rigorous culture assessment. According to the institute, The Great Place to Work list \"highlights organisations that create and maintain an environment of trust in the workplace\".

Bushmills Irish Honey launches

Bushmills recently launched the latest addition to Bushmills Irish Honey to its collection of premium blends and single malts. Blended using Bushmills Irish Whiskey and pure Irish honey, the new variety “offers consumers a new choice that mixes well, is approachable and unique in its own right”, according to master distiller Colum Egan.

WorldHost helps Value Cabs drive the way to first class customer service

Twenty drivers from Value Cabs have undergone WorldHost training to ensure they are equipped with industry leading customer service skills when welcoming visitors to Northern Ireland. WorldHost is a world-class customer service training programme that has already been used to train nearly one million people worldwide, including front-line staff in hospitality, tourism and passenger transport for sporting and cultural events across the UK. NITB, in a strategic partnership with People 1st and the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL), is rolling out WorldHost in Northern Ireland to help businesses gain a competitive edge and position Northern Ireland as a world-class tourist destination.

Julie Hastings appointed Visiting Professor at University of Ulster

Marketing Director of Hastings Hotels, Julie Hastings, has been appointed Visiting Professor at the University of Ulster, joining the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management and working to develop relations between the University and the industry. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Julie is also a board member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a board member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and the CLIC Sargent Charity. Hastings Hotels has enjoyed an excellent relationship with the University dating back to the Hastings lectures in the 1980s. The Hastings family has previously been recognised by the University of Ulster for their contribution to the industry. An honorary Doctor of Letters was awarded to Sir William Hastings in 1998 and a DSc awarded to Howard Hastings in 2012.

Taste of Success as BVCB Members win Irish Restaurant Award gongs!

James Street South has won the \"Best Restaurant\" award (Antrim) at the Irish Restaurant Awards. Other winners in the Antrim categories include: Berts Jazz Bar (Best Customer Service), Mourne Seafood Bar (Best Casual Dining), Great Room Restaurant at The Merchant Hotel (Best Hotel Restaurant), Stevie Toman of OX Belfast (Best Chef) and Nick\'s Warehouse (Best Wine Experience) The Old Inn, Crawfordsburn also won the award for Best Hotel Restaurant (Down category)

Lagan Valley Island wins accessibility award

Lagan Valley Island Conference Centre has received the Silver Award for Access Excellence at the recent Meeting & Incentive Travel Industry Awards held in London. As the only conference venue shortlisted in Northern Ireland, the panel of judges highlighted that Lagan Valley Island Conference Centre demonstrates excellence in abundance, covering motor, visual and audio impairment, as well as a great customer service attitude. A point of difference that really impressed the judging panel was the RNIB React system – which is a talking sign system enabling visually impaired people to navigate the building independently. The use of new technology in this way was commended.

EU Funding Boost for North Down’s Tourism

North Down Borough Council has been successful in drawing down funding from the Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB) under the INTERREG IVA Programme Tourism call. The grant, totaling over £200,000, will see a number of tourism projects take place over the next two years as part of East Border Regions Tourism Development Plan. The total value of the Tourism Development Plan is in excess of £2.7 million which will support a range of projects throughout the East Border Region.

Hotel Receptionist of the Year Awards

Alex Sykes, Hilton Belfast has won the Hotel & Guesthouse Receptionist of the Year sponsored by Northern Ireland Hotels Federation. Other winners included:

Most Promising Hotel & Guesthouse Receptionist of the Year sponsored by Avvio

Winner: Micheal Farrell, The Merchant Hotel, Belfast

Runner-up: Sian Murray, Culloden Estate & Spa

Hotel & Guesthouse Reception of the Year sponsored by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Winner: Clandeboye Lodge Hotel

Runner-up: Bushmills Inn Hotel

Third Place: Culloden Estate & Spa

Moving On Music receives NI’s only award as 20 Composers Announced for first ever UK-wide New Music Biennial

Moving On Music \'s proposal to team composer Piers Hellawell and improvising virtuoso Bourne Davis Kane is one of 20 successful applications and the only from NI to participate in the first ever UK-wide New Music Biennial. Beginning in January 2014, the first edition of the New Music Biennial has been developed in partnership with Creative Scotland, Arts Council England and the British Council. The 20 brand new commissions selected from over 130 proposals will receive premiere performances in 2014 across the length and breadth of the UK.

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Malone Lodge Hotel & Apartments Reopens

After months of extensive work, Belfast\'s Malone Lodge Hotel & apartments has fully reopened. The 4 star venue boasts a new 240 seater ballroom, 130 seater civil ceremony room, new executive wing of bedrooms and 2 presidential suites as well the new Knife and Fork Grill and Deli, located adjacent to the hotel as the first ever stand alone restaurant.

Culinary delights as Belfast serves up new restaurants

Belfast has welcomed new restaurants on Lisburn Road and Oxford Street. The latest addition to the Deanes Restaurant Portfolio is Deane and Decano, a smart and stylish Restaurant / Cafe / Bar with a distinctly Italian flavour. Located on the Lisburn Road, Deane and Decano opens for morning coffee, lunch, afternoon snacks and dinner 6 days a week. OX Belfast, the new restaurant on Oxford Street is the brainchild of Alain Kerloc’h, and Stephen Toman, former head chef at James Street South. Open Tuesday - Saturday for lunch and dinner, the premises seats 40, with a plate glass shop front overlooking the water, exposed brick and polished concrete details, as well as an intimate mezzanine area for more secluded dining.

Secret Garden Restaurant opens at Dundonald Nurseries

The Secret Garden Tea Room and Restaurant has opened at Dundonald Nurseries.

Affording beautiful views of Stormont, the premises offers a range of fine homemade foods. hot dishes, sandwiches and treats for the kids as well as cakes, tray bakes and afternoon tea. The restaurant is also available for events and special occasions.

New lounge at Culloden Estate & Spa

A luxurious lounge has opened in the Culloden Estate & Spa following a £1m investment in the 5 star hotel. The Crozier Lounge named after the last Bishop to leave the Culloden at the end of the 19th century, when it was a Bishop\'s palace, has created four new jobs. The £500,000 lounge offers a signature gin afternoon tea as well as cocktail and and array of 12 different typers of gin. Additionally, a further £500,000 has been spent on the kitchens, in the Spa, on energy efficiency measures and recarpeting and redecorating the banqueting suites.

Blue Plaque dedicated to H&W founder Gustav Wolff is unveiled in Belfast

The German industrialist who co-founded Belfast\'s Harland & Wolff shipyard has been honoured with a blue plaque outside his former home. Gustav Wolff founded the iconic shipyard with business partner Edward Harland in 1860. He also co-founded the Belfast Ropeworks with WH Smiles in the early 1870s which, with Wolff has chairman, became one of the largest ropeworks in the world. The Ulster History Circle unveiled the blue plaque dedicated to Wolff on the 100th anniversary of his death at 6 Station Road in Belfast (beside his former home, now demolished).

Hillsborough Castle opens for 2013 season

Extended opening hours for Hillsborough Castle will see the house open every weekend until 29 September, and for the first time it will open on Sundays as well as Saturdays. Tours run each half hour from 10.30am on Saturday and 12.00pm on Sunday, with the last tour at 4.00pm each day. Guided garden tours must be pre-booked and run at 11.30am and 2.00pm on Saturday and 2.00pm on Sunday. Tours for groups of 10 or more can be arranged Monday to Friday from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. Bookings can be made by contacting 028 9268 9406 or e-mailing

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Sounds in the City!

Odyssey Arena to host first Belfast Tattoo in September

This historic event taking place on 27 and 28 September has its roots in Ulster Scots tradition and will showcase some of the finest musicians and dancers from across Ulster in a two hour show which will allow the artistes and bands to feature and showcase their talents on a scale or in an arena never before available to these artistes and bands. Moving forward, it will now be an annual event for the City of Belfast.

Preceding the Belfast Tattoo, the arena is set to host an array of internationally renowned musicians, comedians and stage shows during the Summer including Eric Clapton, Meatloaf , Journey & Whitesnake, Alicia Keys, Eddie Izzard, The Who, Rod Stewart and We Will Rock You

Belsonic Lineup Announced

Basement Jaxx, Ben Howard, The Lumineers, Jake Bugg, Suede, Steve Angello and Bullet for My Valentine are just some of the acts due to perform at Belsonic in Custom House Square (16-17 August). Tickets from £27.50 + booking fee from, The Stiff Kitten and Ticketmaster Outlets

Kings of Leon set to play Belfast

Kings of Leon are the first headline act announced for Tennent\'s Vital

The band play Boucher Road Playing Fields on 14 August. More acts to be announced.

Of Monsters of Men headline Bushmills LIVE in June

Internatiomally acclaimed indie folk band Of Monsters And Men will headline Bushmills LIVE (19-20 June) The world\'s only music festival in an Irish whiskey distillery promises two days of the finest in handrafted music. Fans have the opportunity to get tickets to the event via the Bushmills Irish Whiskey Facebook Page

Belfast Music Week set to return in November

The fourth annual Belfast Music Week will run 11-17 November. Last November, more than 41,000 people attended more than 250 events in 70 venues across the city. This compared to 33,500 people attending 170 events in 45 venues in 2011 – when Belfast Music Week coincided with the MTV EMAs being held in the city. The the 2012 programme brought an associated economic impact of almost £2.1 million – an increase of around ten per cent over the previous year.

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Belfast Welcome Centre Ticketing

Van Morrison at Castle Ward - 26 May

The vivid and exploratory talent of Van Morrison will be back in County Down when he plays an open air concert during the International Bread Festival weekend at Castle Ward. Tickets £47 Book Online

View the promotional advertisement on YouTube

Lord Mayor\'s Party at Belfast City Hall - 18 May

Belfast\'s Lord Mayor Alderman Gavin Robinson celebrates his year in office as City Hall plays host to the Lord Mayor\'s Party on 18 May with live music and performances. Free tickets for the event will be available from Belfast Welcome Centre (in person only) from 7 May.

Bangor Belle Steam Train 5 + 25 May

Join the return journey from Whitehead, Lisburn and Belfast for an afternoon at the seaside in Bangor. Tickets: £15 (Adult) / £12 (Child)

Book online

Steam and Jazz - Friday evenings 14, 21 & 28 June, 5 July

Belfast Central to a Mystery Destination & return!

Get out the glad rags, dust off the straw boater - it\'s Jazz time! Join the restored 1960s steam train at Belfast Central. Relax and enjoy the sounds of New Orleans jazz from the Apex Jazz Band. Departs Belfast Central at 7:15pm, returning at 11:30pm. Book online

15th Annual International Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival (Warrenpoint) 22-27 May

Now in its 15th year, The \'International Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival\' started out with only 20 gigs and has now progressed into one of the World\'s most popular blues festivals boasting over 90 gigs

Tall Ship Blues Cruise-Grainne Duffy -£50.00

Sandi Thom + Band £15

Johnny Fean Band £10

Book online

Belfast Music Society \'Summer Recital\' - Xuefei Yang 5 June

St Thomas\' Church Tickets £15 - Concession tickets for under 25\'s available at Belfast Welcome Centre Book online

Sunflowerfest 9-11 August

Sunflowerfest returns to Tubby\'s Farm (Hillsborough) 9-11 August. Family camping tickets and single camping tickets are now available via Belfast Welcome Centre

Book online

Celtic Dream Song + Dance Show at Europa Hotel

Performances Fri-Mon from 19 July -26 August.

Doors open 8pm Showtime 9pm

Book online

Trialstar @ Custom House Square 22-23 June

The Trialstar show involves the very best of motorcycle arena trials specialists performing amazing feats of bravery riding motorcycles over cars, skips, jumps and 6ft high garden sheds

Book online

Tours including:

Historical Pub Walking Tour returns in May

Take a stroll around some of the City\'s historic hostelries - Tour operates Thu & Sat May to Oct. Meet at the Crown Dining Rooms (upstairs at the Crown Bar)

Book Online

Belfast Music Tour

Operates every 2 weeks @ 2pm- Meet @ The Ulster Hall Bedford St

Book Online

Late Night Art Bus Tour

1st Thurs of each month. Tour meets @ The Naughton Gallery, Lanyon Building QUB

Book Online

Late Night Art Walking Tour

1st Thurs of each month. Tour meets @ Belfast Exposed

Book Online

Experience Ards Tours - range of bus/walk/boat tours available

Change of Box Office for Crumlin Road Gaol

Note: Phone and online ticketing for Crumlin Road Gaol tours is now handled via the Gaol\'s Box Office 028 9074 1500 and \"Walk up\" tickets available at Belfast Welcome Centre.

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Forthcoming May Events

Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

Adam Ant, Richard Herring, Julie Fowlis, Diane Spencer and Roy Walker are just some of the acts performing as The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival returns for a jam packed programme of comedy, music, art, theatre and special events 2-12 May

International Bread Festival

The National Trust, Castle Ward in partnership with Down District Council will host a three-day Festival at Castle Ward. On Saturday 25 May celebrity chefs will host a baking competition, on Sunday 26 May Van Morrison headlines a spectacular open air concert on the front lawn whilst there\'s a biking event on 27 May with food stalls, bike displays and live music..

Snapshot of May events

Government Art Collection Exhibition Workshop @ Ulster Museum 1 May

Linen Hall Library 225 Exhibition @ Linen Hall Library From 1 May

Strange Loop @ Golden Thread Gallery 2-25 May

Wartime Fashion - A Male Perspective @ NI War Memorial - 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 & 10 May

Demidenko Plays Grieg @ Ulster Hall 3 May

Chris Ramsey @ Belfast Waterfront 3 May

Rebecca Storm @ Theatre at the Mill 4 May

Miami Showband @ Courtyard Theatre 4 May

Unify Fashion Showcase @ Parliament Buildings, Stormont 4 May

Community Archaeological Dig on Divis Mountain 4 May

Spring Plant Fair @ Rowallane Garden 4-5 May

Antiques & Art Fair @ Mount Stewart 4-6 May

Rare Breeds Show @ Ulster American Folk Park 4-6 May

Vintage Fete @ Springhill 5-6 May

Merry May Day @ Holywood Town Centre 6 May

May Day @ Hillmount 6 May

May Day Celebrations @ Ulster Folk & Transport Museum - 6 May

Mirror May Day Races @ Down Royal 6 May

Lord Carson Signs Off @ Lyric Theatre 7-11 May

Making Connections Nature Walk @ Ulster Folk & Transport Museum 8 May

Oiche Bhride A Tribute to Brid @ An Droichead 9 May

Eric Clapton @ Odyssey Arena 10 May

The Factory Girls @ The MAC - 10-11 May

Mayor\'s Carnival Parade Lisburn 11 May

Kids Second Sunday @ The Belfast Barge 12 May

Ulster Drama Festival @ Theatre at the Mill 13-14 May

Balmoral Show @ Balmoral Park, Maze 15-17 May

James & The Giant Peach @ Grand Opera House 15-19 May

Garden Show Ireland @ Hillsborough Castle 17-19 May

Belfast Walking Festival @ Divis & Black Mountain 18 May

Let\'s go Batty @ Belfast Zoo 18 May

The Worker\'s City: Urban Walk @ Ulster Hall 18 May

Falletta Conducts Verdi @ Belfast Waterfront 17 May

Katona Twins @ The MAC 19 May

Country Fair @ The Argory 19 May

Ballyclare May Fair 21-26 May

Sing-a-long Grease @ Grand Opera House 22-23 May

Understanding Our Past @ PRONI 23 May

Northern Ireland Countryside Festival @ Moira Demesne 25-26 May

Jazz in the Gardens @ Mount Stewart 26 May

Family Adventure Day @ Castle Ward 26 May

Amazing Mr Noah @ WWT Castle Espie 27 May

The Gruffalo\'s Child @ Lyric Theatre From 28 May

An Evening with Strictly Come Dancing\'s Pasha & Katya @ Belfast Waterfront 28 May

Alan Niblock Trio @ Island Arts Centre 31 May

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