Day trip to Belfast from Dublin

My 15 year old and I are staying with my cousin in Dublin March 30-April 4 and she suggested a day trip to Belfast. Different country, 2 hr accessibility by train, different than Dublin...
Looks like we could be in Belfast @ 10AM and leave @ 6 or 8 PM...
8-10 hours in Belfast.

I was thinking, 2-3 hour walk, from Center to Queens U., lunch, then head out to Belfast Castle for the afternoon, then dinner back in Belfast before heading back to Dublin.

What train goes to Belfast Castle? and

Any modifications/suggestions welcome

We are going to day trip to Kilkenney and Howth during our stay also.

Posted by Ceidleh
Boston, MA, United States
1282 posts

Check this website:

http://www.belfastcastle.co.uk/LocationMap.htm

York Station is still a 10 minute ride by taxi to Belfast Castle - you might want to take the bus instead.

I'd spend time walking in the Shankill/Falls Road area to get an understanding of the Troubles from both sides.

Posted by Robert
Columbus
4 posts

While reading more during lunch, Carrickfergus may be a better choice...as far as castles.
Good point on the Troubles' history lesson. Just have to get a feel for what my son wants to do at the time.

Posted by Ceidleh
Boston, MA, United States
1282 posts

You could do a hop-on/hop-off bus tour in Belfast which, among many others, has stops at Queens University as well as Shankill/Falls Road. Or take a black cab tour of Shankill/Falls Road.

If a 15-year old thinks it's a history lesson, they might not want to give it a try. Maybe rent "In the Name of the Father" or "Wind That Shakes the Barley" on DVD and have him watch prior to trip so once he gets there he's less likely to tune out. I've got a 15 year old nephew and he actually really got into both those DVDs - I guess they had enough explosions and gun battles to peak his interest, but he learned something about the history of Ireland. Much of "In the Name of the Father" was filmed inside Kilmainham Gaol right in Dublin, so he may want to go there while in Dublin. I'd also recommend you bring him to St. Michan's Church in Dublin where they will let him get right up close and touch the mummies in the underground crypt - it's a quick tour and doesn't cost much.

Posted by Robert
Columbus
4 posts

The Gaol is on the loosely constructed agenda, and because of the mummies, St Michan's is too.

I think I will rent In the Name of the Father, I've never seen it.

For some reason, though, cab and bus tours don't sound appealing. But, we'll see.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Posted by Pat
wichita, kansas
484 posts

Robert,--- The black cab tours of the Belfast Shankhill/Falls Road area are really one of the highlights of a trip to Northern Ireland. The drivers are basically your own private tour guides and are very knowledgeable as well as informative and amusing. You can find them at the train station in Belfast. I urge you to give them a try.

Posted by Flight Attendant
Niagara Wine Country, Canada
808 posts

It's really too bad that you won't have more time in BFS Belfast! If at all possible try to spend the night. Be sure to stop at the TI Tourist Information downtown. I've always found the Consultants there to be most helpful. They have never let me astray.

It would be a shame to miss out on seeing the Antrim Coast, Giant's Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Bushmills Distillery etc.
Why not Google a few of these places and consider adjusting your schedule accordingly?

Posted by Robert
Columbus
4 posts

Working on a budget...only way we could go was staying at my cousin's. ANd yeah, Ireland is a bad place to have a strict budget.

Yes, I know, the sights you mention would be fantastic to see.
Belfast merely came up as an attainable day trip, 4 hrs round trip.
If we had a few more days, an overnight would be more tempting to make it work.