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Belfast Political Walking Tour

I will be in Belfast at the beginning June and I am interested in joining one of the walking tours of the murals that include both Loyalist and Republican guides. Can anyone recommend a particular tour operator for me? I am not interested in a cab tour; I want to do the walking tour. Thank you!

Posted by
37 posts

I was just in Belfast about a week ago, but didn't do any Troubles tours myself. However, I met a woman who'd done a three hour walking tour that including both Loyalist and Republican guides. She said it was intense and disturbing. They also didn't have any break and just walked non-stop. She was clearly intelligent, thoughtful, and well-educated and said that she already knew a lot about The Troubles. Even so, she said the tour was upsetting. I'm not sure if multiple organizations run tours like this or there's only one. If you do one, it's helpful to be aware of what you're getting yourself into. You might want to schedule something quiet and relaxing for afterwards.

BTW. There are plenty of other ways to learn about The Troubles and the current situation in Northern Ireland without taking any formal political tours. I found that, even if I wanted to, I couldn't ever really escape the divisions. What I concluded from my time there was that the situation is very complex and evolving and definitely not confined to the past. Once I crossed the border into the Republic of Ireland, I felt like I could relax and breath freely again.

Posted by
2 posts

Morfal- thank you for your reply and for sharing your experience. I am a walker, so no problem with the long walk, but I understand what you mean about the subject matter being heavy. I believe that like the black cab tours, there are several different options. I found one tour offered by the jail, which interested me very much, but it doesn't look like it's offered the days I am there. I found another tour by Coiste Political Walking Tours, but the conflicting stories tour that matches my interest isn't run the days I am there. I suppose I can always inquire at the hotel when I am there if they have any recommendations.

Posted by
211 posts

On our trip to N Ireland in 2015, we took walking tours in both Belfast and Derry. I think both guides were recommended in RS. Both tours were of course very sobering, detailed, emotional and personal. Both guides were good also at putting the Troubles into historical context. Both tour guides shed tears during our time with them. The experiences really brought home how alive this conflict still feels for those who lived through it, despite the peace accords of the 90s. We even ended the tour in Derry having tea with the guide at his mother's house in the Bogside neighborhood. Our Belfast tour was cab, our Derry tour was walking.

Posted by
56 posts

As a person born in Northern Ireland
I hate these troubles tours they give the wrong impression of NI to visitors..alot of these tours to for example the peace wall these areas are not representative of NI in general we don't live divided lives the areas that the tours go to are often in working class areas for example people of different backgrounds live together in middle and upper class areas of Belfast in peace and harmony go to the leafy streets of south Belfast and you'll see protestants and catholics living in harmony I am from Coleraine on the North Coast of Northern Ireland and it's a mixed town and for the most part people live in harmony I have both Protestant and Catholic friends to me we are all Northern Irish