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Outdoor Destinations to Explore in Belfast

March 28, 2013 - 9:12am
Outdoor Destinations to Explore in Belfast

Ireland is known for its natural beauty, and the wildlife is so prominent on the Emerald Isle that it's hard to keep it out of the major metropolitan areas. Travelers who come to Belfast can step out of the concrete jungle and into the wilderness without having to go far. There are a number of parks throughout the city that have historical significance as well, making them great destinations for people who want to relax in nature and get a taste of local history.

Titanic Memorial Garden
Belfast was the last port the famous Titanic cruise ship visited before setting out on its infamous journey. In addition to seeing the port itself, travelers can visit the Titanic Memorial Garden, which opened April 15, 2012 - the 100th anniversary of the famous ship's sinking, according to the city's website. The upper level of the garden features the "Belfast List" - 15 bronze plaques bearing the names of the 1,512 people who lost their lives that fateful night - and there are two Himalayan birch trees on either end of this display. On the lower tier, visitors will be surrounded by seasonal plants with a color theme that reflects the icy waters - white, silver, blue and green.

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park
This 128-acre park in south Belfast is among the most popular destinations for both locals and those visiting Belfast on an escorted vacation. Visitors can explore the City of Belfast International Rose Garden, which hosts a Rose Week celebration each July. There are many other unique sights to see, including a Japanese-style garden with fountains and other water features, according to GoToBelfast.com. Numerous eco-trails wind through the park as well, so guests can take a leisurely stroll through nature.

Lagan Valley Regional Park
Just outside Belfast, and very near Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, this natural area makes for a fun day of outdoor exploration. Travelers will want to wear their walking shoes to head down the many trails that wind through woods, along rivers and streams, and past heritages sites. There are relics that date back as far as the Stone Age, such as the Giant's ring. This ancient earthwork henge is likely more than 4,000 years old, according to The Guardian.

These examples of Belfast's deep connection with nature only scratch the surface of what this Irish city has to offer visitors who come to the Emerald Isle as part of their group travel package. Each unique site caters to a variety of guests and has something special to make a trip to Ireland unforgettable.