After the adventurous journey into Ireland and the exhaustion of a night crossing on the ferry I was dreading our 90 minute drive to our accommodation in Ballycastle. How wrong I was. Following a delicious breakfast courtesy of The Harbour Cafe we set off on our journey into unexplored (by us!) Ireland. The car photos don’t do the landscape justice. As we left the sights of Harland and Wolfe my tension melted away as the city withdrew behind us.
To say that Northern Ireland is breathtaking is an insult to it’s beauty. There are no words to describe the feelings of utter bliss that I felt descend as we made our way to Ballycastle.
After settling in and a good nights sleep we were well and truly ready to hit the Titanic museum in Belfast and planning our trip to The Giants Causeway on the County Antrim coast.
The Titanic museum is housed in an ultra modern building in Belfast, which offers ample photo opportunities. The building was designed to imitate the structural lines of a boat. The size, shape and colours are a modern day tribute to the legend of the famed vessel and it’s perilous journey.
The interior was equally as impressive. If I was to go to the museum again I would definitely opt for the audio sets which can be collected upon entry. This was something we were unaware of at the time but I feel the boys would especially have benefited from this as there are large portions of literature on the wall which they soon got fed up of reading.
The Titanic museum takes it’s patrons through the story of how the Titanic was built (this includes an optional ride with voice over explanation of techniques used) right up to its launch, the array of passengers, the decor, how it sank and the rescue mission including details of body recovery. There are many artfacts on display including sets showing the size of cabins and what was in them.
There were parts of the museum that were incredibly sad and other sections that helped you completely immerse yourself, literally, within the Titanic itself (3d floor which makes you feel as though you are travelling from the bottom of the ship upwards through all of the decks).
There is also an imitation 1st class deck where you can sit and take a load off which you will certainly need after all your walking!
One of my favourite parts was the cinema screen which showed the Titanic being filmed in situ on the ocean floor.
The Titanic museum took approximately 2 hours to walk around. We opted to pay in advance for our tickets and as it was a special occasion (our 10 year anniversary!) we also decided to book the afternoon tea. We did the afternoon tea after our museum tour.
I’m so glad we booked this extra as it gave a real sense of occasion to the day. The afternoon tea is held in a separate section of the museum not accessible to other patrons which again makes it feel all the more special!
On arrival we waited to be seated and ordered cocktails of course!
All the waitresses are dressed in traditional black attire with white frill pinafore. There was a live jazz band playing and the tables were arranged in front of an imitation staircase from the Titanic perfect for photo ops!
The afternoon tea itself was delicious. I loved it but my parents and husband felt it needed a few more savoury options. This was however our fault, for not paying attention, as our waitress did ask if we would like to swap any items on the menu. We should have opted at this point to swap more savoury instead of sweet.
We didn’t pay for our youngest as she was under 2 when we went and there was no option to purchase an afternoon tea ticket for her. My plan was to simply share mine with her however the waitress offered to get her a selection and to my surprise brought over the same sized tray as my sons at no extra cost.
The staff really made the afternoon tea extra special as they couldn’t do enough for us. This experience has also given me a new found love for Irish breakfast tea which was the brew we selected. Something I’ll definitley be ordering on my return home.
After our afternoon tea we went to the viewing are. From this you can see an outline on the floor outside showing the dimensions of the Titanic full scale where the ship itself was built. This helped the boys fully understand just how big the Titanic was. It was also possible to walk around this on the ground but we skipped this part and decided to move onto the Nomadic.
The SS Nomadic, in Belfast, has a rich history all of its own. The luxury boat was used to transport passengers onto the Titanic but following this was involved in doing the same job for the Titanic’s sister ship as well as serving and surviving world war 1 and world war 2.
Entry onto the Nomadic (just opposite the Titanic Museum) is included in the ticket price which makes it even more of a bargain!
The Nomadic was less crowded which gave the kids more freedom to explore. There were guides on board who gave an interesting opening talk with rundown of the Nomadic’s rich history, explained how its the last White Line Star ship in the world and how it came to be back in Belfast.
There are great interactive sections on the ship including 2 dress up sections which we took full advantage of.
The Titanic Belfast was an amazing day from start to finish and I would whole heartely recomment it to anyone going to Northern Ireland. Young, old, history buff or total novice there’s something to appeal to everyone on this outing. For more information please see the links below.
Please note. This is not a paid post. I did not receive free entry in exchange for this review. All opinions and photographs are my own. I will not receive compensation for you using the links below they are simply there for your convenience.