We will visit Belfast & Bangor from 4th to 11th May 2018.
Vicky and I would like as many members and family to attend the event as possible if not for the whole 4th -11th for as many days/nights as possible.
The hotel for the visit is
Great Victoria Street
The chosen hotel is part of the Europa group of hotels in Nothern Ireland.
Europa Hotel is situated in Belfast central area, adjacent to the bus/coach/rail station (within yards/meters) in Great Victoria Street over looking the “Crown Bar” National Trust (but NO membership required here). Access to Belfast served by land sea & air. Land, rail and coach station next door to hotel, Sea ferry service to Belfast Stena Lines Belfast from Cairnryan (Stranraer Scotland) and Liverpool, short journey from ferry port to Hotel using one of the few Motorways in NI. By Air to Belfast International Airport (formally Aldergrove) about 20 miles NW. and Belfast City (George Best) on the south side of Belfast Lough, just 5 miles away, now no need for expensive taxi’s from the airport (Unless of course you wish?) as Ulsterbus company provide a service to/from airports to bus/coach station next door to hotel at a very, very reasonable cost and regular times. Ticket office in Airport arrivals hall. Cars if you are using, the Hotel has NO carpark BUT a public car park above the rail/bus/coach station at about £20 per day (i understand this can be discounted to £18 per day but not confirmed). As you will see from the projected itinerary we will be using a private coach company for visits in the Isle.
We have Block booked the following (open until the first week in March 2018)
25 Rooms all inclusive of Breakfast.
Cost Twin/Doubles are £59 per person sharing (£65 Saturday)
Singles are £97 per room per night (£106 Saturday)
Triples are £57 per person sharing (£63 Saturday)
Children under 14 years Free of Charge (over 14 years charged as adults)
A deposit of £50 per room deposit is required at time of booking.
Booking id 130434
Proposed program & tours
Friday 4th May
Arrival day unpack and refresh after the journey.
Evening Private room welcome party (Penthouse suite TBC) @ £26 pp.
Saturday 5th May
Coach trip (Coach cost £205) from Hotel lobby at 10:30 to Mount Stewart National Trust house, gardens and park land, on the shore line of Strangford Lough on the Ards peninsular.
Explore the house of the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry Alexander Stewarts and his wife Frances Anne Vane-Tempest, search for “Hambletonian” by George Stubbs. Enjoy the Dodo terrace and look for the Shamrock garden. Returning at about 16:30 from Mount Stewart.
Now Not a National Trust member? why not join, OR join the National Trust of Malta (I am reliably informed BIG savings) this has reciprocal access to National Trust of England, as does the National Trust for Scotland (and many many other NT’s) Also I am expecting to collect in the New Year your welcome packs & various flyers one of which (St. Patrick’s Trail) had 2 for 1 tickets for County Down (Not the Giants Causeway but more about that site later.)
Evening relax and catch up, remembering what you missed last night and don’t forget today’s venue, and plan tomorrow.
Sunday 6th May
Things don't start to early in Northern Ireland on a Sunday BUT.
From Belfast St. Georges Market to the Hop-on-Hop-off
RED bus tour of Belfast. First bus stops outside the Hotel at about 10:30 and run every 30 mins until 16:30.
Plenty of time to see the Titanic quarter, Crumlin Road Gaol, the Mhtseeing-tour/urals, Belfast City Hall and lots lot more of Belfast (don’t try and do it all in one Sunday, as we will be here on Monday).
Evening free time to recharge those batteries.
Monday 7th May and Bank Holiday or May Day.
That RED bus tour of Belfast is still very much valid and all those stop-off’s you missed are again available. BUT in Holywood (just along the Bangor road out of Belfast past the City airport there's one of very few if not the only May Day celebration with Maypole dancers, A coach can take us and return to the Hotel after the event so you won’t miss anything.
In the evening I have received an invitation to a Lodge meeting in Holywood OR Newtownards for a ceremony where the ladies will also be entertained. (Coach at £175).
What a day planned to take the East coast road from Belfast through Carrikfergus (possible stop at the Castle NOT NT) then onwards north to the Giants Causeway (NT), (Note access to the shore line and “Causeway” can be gained avoiding the NT Shop so no membership required) And then onto Bushmills distilleryf or lunch and the distillery visit and ice creams at “Morelli’s” Portrush latter on the beach? returning by way of the Dark Hedges (if open).
Evening relax and recharge.
Wednesday 9th May
“Lazy” (if you can have a lazy day here?) Why not take in those “Must” see’s you have in your pack, The Orange Museum the shores of Belfast Lough, Belfast Castle, Stormont including parliament building, Castle & grounds,
Orange Museum, City Hall, Titanic Experience or just relax in Belfast in the “Crown” over the road!
Evening. Lodge meeting in Bangor for 746 Bangor Union Lodge with the ladies sampling the works of Copeland gins in Bangor.
Thursday 10th May
Coach to Castle Ward on the lower shores of Strangford Lough .
And 18th century country house and garden. Again National Trust
Returning for our evening closing dinner.
Evening still in planning a suitable dining venue in Belfast or close by.
Friday May 11th
It's good bye, farewell and we will see you ALL again in Tamworth, Staffordshire, October 12th -14th.