DURATION: 7½ hours
» 0930-1200 Depart Ship and drive to Belfast CastleÂ Brief Stop at Belfast Castle – photo stop
» 1200-1330 Free time in Belfast – lunch on your own
» 1330-1430 Drive to Mount Stewart
» 1430-1600 Visit Mount Stewart House and Gardens
» 1600-1700 Return to Ship in Belfast
Belfast is the capital city and the largest city of Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster and after Dublin it is the second largest city on the island of Ireland.
Belfast is nestled beside the River Lagan and Belfast Lough clanked by the Castleereagh Hills on the south and the Antrim Hills on the north. Belfast blossomed as a commercial and industrial centre in the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries, and thanks to its thriving linen, rope-making, tobacco and shipbuilding industries, became the most industrialized city in Ireland.
Belfast’s industry has suffered serious decline since the 1960’s, creating much unemployment in the city, but in more recent years, large amount of money have been invested in the city’s infrastructure in an effort to stimulate the economy. This investment has been successful and is evident as you tour the city.
Your city tour will extend from one end of the city at Belfast Castle which affords fine views of the city, the port and the river to the magnificent edifice of Stormont on the far end of the city. In between you will see prominent Victorian buildings intermingled with new modern contemporary and classical building. View the murals of the Shankhill Road and the Falls Road which marks a bygone turbulent time in Belfast not so distant past.
After viewing the highlights of the city – enjoy some free time in the city centre with time to have lunch on your own
After lunch drive East via Stormont to Mount Stewart.
Mount Stewart is a National Trust Property situated on the shores of Strangford Lough. This beautiful period house was the birthplace of Lord Castlereagh, foreign Secretary of England during the Napoleon Wars. It was designed by George Dance and William Virtuous Moron. Its historic interest is surpassed by the strange beauty of its gardens. They were laid out by Edith, Lady Londonderry about 80 years ago largely for her children and include almost every style of gardening and supports and incomparable plant collection.
Mount Stewart has a mild, equitable climate which allows many tender plants to thrive. The gardens are noted for rhododendrons, rare trees and flowers as well as topiary art – however the greatest interest is the statuary, all created by local masons.
A feature of Mount Stewart Gardens is the Temple of the Winds, an 18th century folly and an architectural gem of 1785.
After your visit to Mountstewart, return to Belfast and your Ship
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Company Name: Specialised Travel Services Location: Ireland Reg #: 48828. Address: 80 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin