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Belfast and County Antrim family holidays and breaks

Overview

Belfast has undergone some remarkable changes over the past decade or so that make it a good, if unorthodox, bet for a family holiday or short break. This one-time centre of shipbuilding and the linen trade is now a safe city full of culture, entertainment and excellent shopping. And the beautiful countryside of Country Antrim is just a short drive away, including Northern Ireland's most popular attraction, the Giant's Causeway.

Things to do with kids in Belfast and County Antrim

Discover the Titanic Belfast, built beside the site of the world-famous ship’s construction and comprising a state-of-the-art visitor experience telling its story from its conception in the early 1900s to its tragic end. Live links to contemporary undersea exploration bring the story into the 21st century, and there's an exciting ride through a dramatic presentation of the shipyards and the Titanic under construction. The building also houses a community arts facility and a family restaurant, café and shop.

Also in Belfast, take the kids to W5, a popular scientific discovery centre with lots of interactive displays, and visit Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory to see sweets, chocolate and fudge being handcrafted, 1950s style.

Explore County Antrim, with lots to keep you busy on a family holiday. The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction, is an amazing, UNESCO World Heritage-listed array of around 40,000 basalt columns, formed more than 60 million years ago through volcanic activity or, as legend has it, built by Irish Giant Finn McCool and originally stretching all the way to Scotland...

Take kids to clamber around the ruins of Dunluce Castle with its dramatic setting, then to the nearby Dunluce Centre, with a 4-D motion simulator, Finn McCools soft play adventure playground, laser drome, viewing tower with panoramic views of the small seaside resort of Portrush and the surrounding coast, and Tourist Information Centre.

Cross, if you dare, Carrick-a-Rede’s famous ropebridge, spanning a 24m-deep chasm. Originally used by fishermen to bring back freshly caught salmon, it offers superb views.

Views to White Park Bay and Portbradden, Portbradden, County Antrim

Views to White Park Bay and Portbradden, Portbradden, County Antrim

Eat

Family holiday eating for all budgets is easy in Belfast and County Antrim, with fresh seafood, the famous Ulster fry and good pub grub all readily available.

Giants Causeway, County Antrim© VisitBritain -Craig Easton

Giants Causeway, County Antrim

When to go to Belfast and County Antrim

Belfast is a year-round option family holiday and break option, although if you're exploring the surrounding countryside, summer is the most congenial time to visit.

Laganside at night, Belfast

Laganside at night, Belfast

Cost

Belfast is reasonably priced, and with good ferry and flight deals available, you can enjoy a family holiday in the region without incurring too much expense.

Titanic Belfast© Christopher Heaney

Titanic Belfast

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