If you know me, you know I love to be on my bike cycling through Belfast...
Whether you're on the way to a meeting or just enjoying a leisurely ride, it's a great city for biking about with plenty of great things to see along the way.
I'm constantly inspired by the landmarks in this beautiful place we call home and cycling through Belfast is a fast, easy way to take in all the sights!
Come along with me as I take you through a journey of some of my favourite 'cycling through Belfast' moments and how they have inspired some of my artwork and products.
'On yer bike mate'
When cycling through Belfast you may hear one of our well-known local phrases - 'on yer bike mate' - which basically is an endearing way to jokingly tell someone to 'wise up' or go away!
(It can also be used to express disbelief at something that's outrageous or too good to be true.)
I felt like I had to capture this piece of Belfast culture for locals and tourists alike, so after sketching up this wee red bike I decided to turn it into a 'On Yer Bike Postcard' as a wee piece of Northern Irish banter.
Because Belfast is quite small you can actually cover a lot of ground by bike in a surprisingly short amount of time.
Here's a sample of an easy cycle you can do with friends or family to catch a lot of the sights along the way.
Stop #1: City Hall
Right bang in the middle of town lies the City Hall which is handy to the Visit Belfast Centre where you can find out local information as well as some of my products...
(plus there's a Belfast Bike station just right outside the black gates!)
If you do get a (rare) sunny day, the City Hall garden is a lovely place to take in the hustle and bustle of the city while enjoying some nature.
Inside there's a new free exhibition so you can load up on some knowledge and facts of some of the sights you'll see cycling through Belfast.
Stop #2 The Big Fish
From City Hall you can cycle straight to the Waterfront and follow the river Lagan up to the Big Fish.
Constructed in 1999 by John Kindness 'the big fish' (10 metres long!) has become an iconic part of the Belfast landscape and a favourite among tourists and locals.
Located near Albert clock, it makes a perfect stop on any bike tour, especially if you fancy cycling by the water like I do (and there's another Belfast Bike station close by.)
The kids like it because it's something a wee bit different and has a lot of personality with each ceramic tile being detailed with photos and text all relating to Belfast's history...
So you might actually learn something while you're there too!
Belfast is a city associated with water thanks to its rich history as a trading port and the legacy left by the shipbuilding industry. I think the Big Fish plays into this well as you can actually see the famous yellow Harland and Wolff Cranes from the sculpture.
I wanted to be sure I captured this when I sketched the design for my 'Big Blue Fish Tote Bag' (and of course I had to include a bike in there too!)
Stop #3: The Titanic Quarter
From there all you have to do is cycle across the Lagan Bridge and turn left following the water up passed the SSE Arena into the Titanic Quarter.
This is a very old and historic part of Belfast that looks brand new thanks to a lot of investment and development into things like Titanic Belfast, the new hotel and brand new apartments.
There are loads of things to see in this part of the city but it's all quite spaced out which means your bike will come in handy!
Things to see:
- Titanic Belfast Museum (voted best tourist attraction in the world!)
- Harland and Wolff Cranes
- The Pump House
- SS Nomadic
Stop #4: Cast and Crew
Let's be honest, no bike ride is complete without a wee stop for a cup of tea.
If you don't want to go too far you can check out Cast & Crew which is a local cafe right beside the Titanic hotel.
After sitting down for a well-deserved rest (and perhaps a tasty treat) you can also look out for my commissioned piece up on the wall.
Depending on how much time you have (or how sore your legs are) you can choose to call it a day, going back the way you came or decide to go explore some more!
If you want to extend your ride there are a few things a bit further out that I'd recommend if you're feeling adventurous:
- Victoria Park
- C.S Lewis Square
- East Side Visitors Centre.
All of these are easily accessible from the Titanic Quarter and there will be some signs pointing you the right direction.
What will you see cycling through Belfast?
Thanks for coming with me on my wee online cycling tour.
Let me know some of your favourite things to see when cycling through Belfast and be sure to check out the online shop if you liked any of my Belfast-cycling inspired products :)
All the best!
- Danielle Morgan, Flax Fox.