disability cruising, Handicap, Traveling with disabilities

Disabled Cruisers Guide to Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland

The disabled cruiser visiting Belfast will benefit from an accessible transportation system. The bus service has handicapped accessible buses with ramps and wheelchair restraints. The rail service has dedicated space on-board for two wheelchair users, a ramp stored on board to assist with access and step free access around the station. Many taxi providers, such as Value Cabs, can provide wheelchair-friendly accessible vehicles when requested.

For those walking/rolling in Belfast, you’ll experience mostly flat and smooth surfaces, with the exception of a few mild cobblestones. 

The Titanic Experience is exceptionally well-equipped to cater to disabled visitors, with accessible bathrooms, blue badge parking, and rentable wheelchairs. Ulster Museum, can be easily navigated. The elevator accesses all floors and the walkways are wide and spacious, with slopes alongside staircases, meaning that very little in this museum need be missed.

Visit Belfast City Hall which offers free, daily tours and their permanent visitor exhibition stretches over 16 rooms. For those with mobility issues, a lift is available to transport guests to different floors, and a wheelchair is also available to rent. Or venture out to The Giant’s Causeway. Instead of following the path, the shuttle bus provides a suitable alternative for those with mobility issues.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast is the capital and largest city in Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom.

Among the most popular trips whilst in Belfast include the Bushmills distillery tour, Titanic Belfast, Belfast Castle, Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Belfast Cathedral and the Botanical Gardens. Belfast Zoo is a good choice for younger guests and animal lovers.

Further afield, around a 2 hour drive from Belfast lies the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s most famous natural attraction.

Where You’re Docked

You’ll dock at the Port of Belfast, about 2 miles northeast of the city center. 

Free shuttles run between the harbor and the city center every 15 minutes.

Getting Around

On Foot: Belfast is one of those small, intimate cities that caters to pedestrians, so walking here is a pleasure. Many attractions are within a short stroll of each other and there are plenty of pubs for those who need to stop along the way and refortify themselves.

By Bus: Belfast’s Metro bus system is quick, easy and fairly inexpensive. You can purchase one-way trips or all-day passes. All buses are wheelchair accessible.

By Taxi: Cabs in Belfast are plentiful but expensive. Look for the classic black London-style taxis, and avoid the non-official varieties that may not have a meter and can sometimes charge outrageous fares. Many taxi providers, can provide wheelchair-friendly accessible vehicles when requested.

By Rental Car: Avis, Budget and a host of other rental car companies have offices in Belfast. Trying to drive and park in the downtown area can be quite a chore, though, so it’s better to rent a car only if you’re planning to explore the surrounding countryside.

Points of Interest

  • Giant’s Causeway – Along the Antrim Coast is the world-renowned Giant’s Causeway. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway is considered the Eighth Wonder of the World. The Disabled Cruiser visiting The Giant’s Causeway, will be pleased to discover the pathway to the causeway is relatively flat and wheelchair-friendly, however the shuttle bus provides a suitable alternative for those with mobility issues. Even if you simply stay in the visitor center, you can explore the different interpretive exhibits, such as a 3D coastal model. The majority of the exhibits are tactile, interactive and/or available in Braille.
  • Antrim Coast – The Antrim Coast in the north of Northern Ireland, is one of the most scenic coastlines in Britain and Ireland, with breathtaking landscapes, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and the dramatic cliff-side ruins of Dunluce Castle.
  • City Hall & Titanic Memorial – The Titanic Memorial, located on the east grounds of Belfast City Hall, honors those who died in the RMS Titanic disaster, and includes a list of all those who perished on April 15, 1912. The Disabled Cruiser visiting The Titanic Experience will enjoy that it is fully accessible with a flat main entrance and smooth surfaces within the interior. Elevators are also available inside to help navigate the exhibition floors. Accessible restrooms with wide doors and grab bars are located on the site. It is a bit of a walk from the entrance to the old shipyards and some of the paving is the original cobbled paving, The walk to the Titanic’s Pump and Dock house is mostly flat, with some smaller uneven spots throughout. These can be avoided by staying on the main paths.
  • Belfast Pubs – Belfast Pubs have been the cornerstone of Belfast life for centuries. Some have music, many have good food and all offer a great pint or a comforting hot whiskey and loads of craic (the term for fun and conversation in Irish).
  • Botanic Gardens – The Botanic Gardens reflect Belfast’s Victorian heritage, boasting two notable period buildings, a children’s playground, a bowling green, a rose garden and assorted tropical plants and trees. The Disabled Cruiser visiting the Gardens will enjoy the Gardens as they are paved so wheelchairs can move around the grounds without problem. This park has been very well laid out and is completely accessible for disabled/wheelchair users.
  • Londonderry – Originally named Derry, Londonderry is the second largest city in Northern Ireland and lies on the west bank of the River Foyle. It features an almost completely preserved circuit of medieval walls.
  • Downpatrick – The town of Downpatrick in County Down, Northern Ireland has a strong connection to St. Patrick. It is here that St. Patrick began the conversion of Ireland and built his first church.
  • Carrickfergus Castle – Considered the first real Irish Castle, Carrickfergus was built in 1180 by the Norman John de Courcy to guard the approach to Belfast. For the Disabled Cruiser visiting the castle there is wheelchair access around the outside, most of the limitations are going up into the keep. Inside is semi wheelchair friendly, a lot can be accessed without problems.

Belfast Accessible Excursions

In the historic capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast, you’ll find an incredible array of breathtaking architecture, beautiful nature and intriguing historic buildings. Belfast accessible tours are step-free, lead by friendly, knowledgeable guides using accessible vans equipped with ramps or lifts.

Highlights of Belfast Wheelchair Accessible Guided Tour

On this wonderful, accessible, half-day tour of Belfast, you’ll experience the best highlights of the city.

Highlights of Belfast Wheelchair Accessible Guided Tour takes place in a fully accessible van equipped with a ramp. It includes very limited walking. For the stops along the way, you’ll experience mostly flat and smooth surfaces, with the exception of a few mild cobblestones.The tour has been designed to include accessible restrooms along the way. The accessible van used for this tour is equipped with a wheelchair ramp or lift to enter. It is suitable for manual wheelchairs, power chairs and mobility scooters alike.

Accessible Half-Day Tour to Antrim Castle Gardens

Antrim Castle Gardens, these 400 year old gardens have been transformed into a unique living museum. 

The Accessible Half-Day Tour to Antrim Castle Gardens uses an accessible van to transfer between Belfast and the Gardens. It also follows a completely step-free tour route, however, you will have to walk/roll approximately 1 mile at the Garden site. Most of the terrain in the garden is flat with a gravel path or a thin layer of sand. The Clotworthy House Courtyard is fully accessible with flat paving stones. There are also wheelchair accessible bathrooms inside as well as wheelchair lift to access the upper levels for gallery viewing. 

For Belfast Accessible Excursions please click here.

Disability-Cruising.com

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