As a travel enthusiast, I’ve always been fascinated by the architecture and engineering of bridges. Belfast, with its rich maritime history, is a city that boasts a number of beautiful bridges and waterways that are definitely worth exploring. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the most famous bridges and waterways in Belfast and the best ways to experience them.
- The Harland and Wolff Cranes
Although not technically a bridge or waterway, the Harland and Wolff Cranes are a landmark in Belfast that cannot be missed. These iconic yellow cranes, also known as Samson and Goliath, dominate the skyline of the city and were once used to build some of the world’s most famous ships, including the Titanic. You can view the cranes from a number of locations in the city, but for the best views, head to the Titanic Quarter and take a tour of the Titanic Belfast museum.
- Queen’s Bridge
Queen’s Bridge, which spans the River Lagan, is one of Belfast’s oldest and most famous bridges. Built in 1849, the bridge was designed by Charles Lanyon and named in honor of Queen Victoria. The bridge is a popular spot for photographers, offering stunning views of the city’s waterfront. You can also take a stroll across the bridge and enjoy the views for yourself.
- Lagan Weir and Locks
The Lagan Weir and Locks are located on the River Lagan and were built in 1994 to control the water level in the river. The weir is made up of 19 gates that can be raised and lowered to maintain the water level. The locks allow boats to pass through the weir and continue upriver. You can view the weir and locks from the banks of the river or take a boat tour to see them up close.
- Albert Bridge
The Albert Bridge, also known as the Belfast Suspension Bridge, was built in 1869 and spans the River Lagan. The bridge was designed by Sir Charles Lanyon and was the first suspension bridge to be built in Ireland. The bridge is a popular spot for walkers and cyclists, offering stunning views of the river and the city’s skyline.
- Ormeau Bridge
The Ormeau Bridge, which also spans the River Lagan, was built in 1892 and was designed by Sir Thomas Drew. The bridge is famous for its distinctive green color and intricate ironwork. The bridge is a popular spot for walkers and cyclists, offering stunning views of the river and the surrounding countryside.
- H&W Shipyard
The H&W Shipyard, located on the River Lagan, was once one of the largest shipyards in the world and is now home to a number of businesses and attractions, including the Titanic Belfast museum. The shipyard is a popular spot for photographers, offering stunning views of the Harland and Wolff cranes and the river.
- River Lagan
The River Lagan runs through the heart of Belfast and is a popular spot for water activities such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. You can also take a boat tour of the river to see the city from a different perspective. The river is home to a wide range of wildlife, including swans, herons, and otters.
- The Big Fish
The Big Fish is a public art installation located on Donegall Quay that represents the history of Belfast’s waterways and the fish that inhabit them. The sculpture, designed by John Kindness, is made up of ceramic tiles that depict images of fish and other marine life. The Big Fish is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike and is a great place to take a selfie.
In conclusion, Belfast’s bridges and waterways are an important part of the city’s history and culture. From the iconic Harland and Wolff cranes to the historic Queen’s Bridge, there are plenty of beautiful bridges to explore. The River Lagan and its weirs and locks offer unique views of the city and are perfect for water activities or a leisurely boat tour. And of course, no visit to Belfast would be complete without a visit to the Titanic Belfast museum, which offers a fascinating insight into the city’s shipbuilding history.
Whether you’re interested in architecture, engineering, or just want to enjoy some stunning views of the city, Belfast’s bridges and waterways have something for everyone. So why not plan your visit today and discover all that this beautiful city has to offer? With so much to see and do, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.