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The Titanic Memorial was first unveiled in 1920 at Donegall Square, but moved to the eastern facade of the Belfast City Hall in 1959. Dedicated to the souls lost in great mishap in 1912, the memorial features 'Fate' or 'Death' in the form of a woman yeilding a laurel wreath, overlooking a drowned sailor who is being escorted by two mermaids. The memorial statue now lies amidst its eponymous gardens and is open to public.
A beautiful remnant of the city's Victorian past, the Botanic Gardens was established in 1828 as a private garden by the Belfast Botanical and Horticultural Society. After the Belfast Corporation purchased it in 1895, it has been one of the city's most loved public green space and meeting place for tourists and locals alike. Spread across 11.33 hectares (28 acres), the park is a vibrant medley of roses, rare oaks, exotic trees and blooms. The arched cast-iron glasshouse Palm House and the sunken Tropical Ravine are some of its prominent features. The gardens regularly play host to concerts, festivals and other live performances, making it an idyllic cultural venue as well. However, the one thing while visiting this place is that opening times vary.
An attractive rolling parkland, Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park's crowning glory is its International Rose Garden. It's a treat for the senses with the scents and riotous colors of over 300,000 blooms. Come for the famous rose trials held here during Rose Week every summer. Set out in a series of circular gardens, each garden has a different theme and is decorated with striped tents. The park also provides an ideal starting point for exploring the Lagan Valley Regional Park. Though the park opens at 7.30a, the closing time varies seasonally, please visit the website for complete schedule.
The Rowallane Garden, owned by the National Trust, comprises over 20 acres (8.09371284 hectares) of grounds that present the visitor with a riot of color for most of the year. Many of the plants are non-natives, able to flourish in the warmer climes of the Down County. A Victorian horticulturist, John Moore, established this garden in the 1860s. Experimentation is on even today. In spring you'll see magnificent displays of rhododendrons, azaleas and blossom trees. In summer the gardens are distinguished by large flowered penstemon and by wild orchid meadows. Autumn brings dazzling foliage and in winter the gardens are a popular destination for rare birds (and their watchers). Jazz is played here in summer and at Christmas there's a Yuletide market.
One of the best day trips you can make out of Belfast is to the stately National Trust property of Mount Stewart by the shores of Strangford Lough. This beautiful building has been home to the Londonderry family for over 200 years and the gardens have earned Mount Stewart a World Heritage Site nomination. The magical Italian garden cannot be missed. If you come on Sundays in the summer months, live jazz is played in the garden for everyone to enjoy. Stay for a guided tour of the house where you'll see Hambletonian, one of the world's 100 most famous paintings, as well as chairs from the Congress of Vienna.