Comber, Island Hill and Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, Northern Ireland

So, after leaving Bushmills we headed south back Belfast way to Dundonald Touring Caravan Park. Situated 8 miles from the city centre, it was £24 per night for a fully serviced and spacious pitch which we had been able to pre-select online before our visit. What’s more the site was perfectly located for us, adjacent to the Comber Greenway 7-mile traffic-free old railway cycle path running from Comber to Belfast. The length of the route provides views of Stormont, Scrabo Tower, the Harland & Wolff cranes (Samson & Goliath), Belfast Hills, and the CS Lewis statue at the Holywood Arches.

We took this cycle path to explore the town of Comber, the birthplace of Thomas Andrews junior, a Shipbuilder and head designer of RMS Titanic who sadly perished on its maiden voyage. We hadn’t realised the deep connection the town had with Titanic which educated us a little more before our visit to the Titanic Museum the next day.

Venturing on a little further through the town brought us out at the shores of Strangford Lough and Island Hill nature reserve, which offers a circular walk of 1.5 miles around the island. Note, though, that this little island is only accessible at low tide. It was very peaceful here, just the sound of the birds, and we only passed the odd dog walker or two. Blissful 🙂.

While in Comber we ate lunch at the Sugarcane cafe/bistro in the square and before returning home after our ride, we picked up some essentials for dinner back at Jolly that evening when we took time to relax.

Moving from Bushmills to Dundonald, Belfast, stopping to take in the coastal views at Magheracross viewpoint

It was an evening of stark contrast on the Saturday night in the cathedral quarter of Belfast city. Wow, what a place! This city knows how to party. It was absolutely buzzing and so vibrant. Most of the bars had great names too, not your usual Brown Cow, Black Bull, etc. We stuck in the cathedral quarter all evening and visited The Thirsty Goat, The Cloth Ear, Dirty Onion (which has a Yardbird chicken restaurant upstairs but we visited Bunsen instead), and the Spaniard bar. We only scratched the surface of the great selection of bars and eateries on offer and so we’d love to re-visit this quarter in the future. Also bobbing around the area all evening were mobile pedal bars with music, like the Wee Toast Tours which looked brilliant fun. Maybe next time we’ll give this a go.

When we turned in after a fab night out, we had a feeling that our intro to this amazing city had really set the tone for the rest of our exploration of Belfast’s rich history. We visited as many sites as we could fit in during our two full days there, which we’ll cover in our next posts.

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

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