Best Buildings to Visit at Christmas
Belfast is a thriving city, and while there are plenty of places that are great for visitors, some are at their best in December. The Christmas holiday, and the days leading up to it, are a great time to visit this amazing, lively, historic city. Belfast is well known for hosting some of the best Christmas markets in the UK, which are in themselves worth the trip – but the city also has some superb buildings.
Many people who rarely go inside a church like to visit one during the Christmas period. If you have decided to visit Belfast, then you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the city’s collection of churches. Original parts of the St. Anne’s Cathedral building date to the early 1900s; the building was consecrated in 1904 and is well worth a visit. It’s situated in Belfast’s Cathedral quarter. The building has some of the finest stained glass windows you are likely to see. The city often holds musical and theatrical events within the vicinity of the church, as it provides the perfect backdrop.
While you’re feeling in the mood for visiting churches, the First Presbyterian Church on Rosemary Street is well worth seeing. The church, built in 1783, is the oldest surviving church in Belfast. If you return to the city in the summer, then try to catch one of their Wednesday afternoon musical recitals.
The Crumlin Road in Belfast became well known during the Troubles that started in the late 1960’s. If you want to understand more about the buildings and people of Belfast, then visit the Crumlin Road gaol.
The jail holds guided tours around the building, which dates back to 1845, and was closed as a working prison in 1996. Book the guided tour of the goal and you will learn a lot about both it and the city. If you visit at Christmas time, there are often special events held in the area. It is reputed that the jail is haunted, so be ready for some hair-raising tales – and, just maybe, some paranormal events.
You will find what remains of Dunluce castle at the top of the hills around Antrim. Large parts of the building have disappeared over the years, as they’ve been washed away with the cliffs, but what remains is set in a magical coastal landscape.
Belfast is renowned for holding a wonderful Christmas market. The market is in the European style and is held at the City Hall. Apart from the usual seasonal foods, you’ll find scarves, bags, pottery and an array of great gift ideas. If you make an early visit in November, it is well worth visiting the market, which is held between the 16th and 19th.
Belfast is a fascinating place to visit at any time of year, but the city really comes alive at Christmas!