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See the birthplace of Titanic from the water to really understand the whole story. This unique tour lets you experience first hand the sights and sounds of the bustling 19th-century port. Belfast Harbor has always been a romantic and mysterious place, oozing with tales from far-flung places and boasting a rich, dynamic history. Expert commentary, illustrated by photographs of the bygone shipyard, helps to illuminate the excitement and grandeur of those halcyon days when Belfast was truly the toast of the shipbuilding industry. The tour also takes in the historic Harland and Wolff shipyard and all the other landmark Titanic sites dotted throughout the harbor. The tour departs from the Number two jetty in front of the Royal Mail building beyond the sculpture of the “big fish”. The duration of the tour is 70 minutes. Call ahead to know more.
The Palm House inside the Botanic Gardens is a curvilinear cast-iron glasshouse which houses some of the exotic tropical plants of the Botanic Gardens. The shelter was founded in the year 1839 and was designed by Charles Lanyon, thus, making it the earliest example of its unique architecture style. The cool wing of the shelter showcases the flowers of Schizanthus, seasonal Chrysanthemums and Flame Nettles, whereas, the tropical wing is marked by a dome and houses taller exotic plants such as the Globe Spear Lily and jungle of Bromeliads and Frangipani.
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.
Situated in a splendid woodland setting close to Belfast Castle, Belfast Zoo offers great views over the city. One of the most up-to-date zoos in Europe, it has expanded its grounds in recent years to allow maximum enclosure space for its inhabitants, and now stretches practically to the summit of Cave Hill if you follow the recommended route. Belfast Zoo has proved a pioneer in the realm of ethical zoo keeping and houses elephants, giraffes, kangaroos and gibbons alongwith varieties of birds.
Streamvale Open Farm is a must if you're an animal lover or you have kids! The activities change season by season, but there's plenty to do when you come, including feeding the animals and witnessing live births. Apart from the cows, pigs and sheep, there are ponies to feed and a herd of red deer. If it all becomes too much of the outdoors life, there's an indoor play area and some tea rooms where you can take a break.
The Ark Open Farm, located just off the main Bangor-Newtownards road, is set in the beautiful North Down countryside. The farm houses a wide variety of animals, including rare poultry, cattle, sheep, and pigs. Children are encouraged to interact with the animals through cuddling and feeding. There are also nature walks, pony rides for all ages, and away from the animals, an adventure playground.