The Bernadine Project

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Running Away to Belfast

In January 2018 myself and my friend Mils had a serious case of the January blues and needed a trip away before heading back to university later that month. We are both students meaning that funds were somewhat limited, and flights are expensive so let’s be real here our options of where we could run away to was quite a short list. We decided to go to Belfast, booked our flights and hostel and then thought…what is there to do in Belfast? The reaction we got when we told our family and friends that we were heading to Belfast for a four-day midweek holiday was 'Why?' 

Mils was actually in Bristol at the time  and I was closer to London which meant we both had to catch separate flights and meet in Belfast, which in theory sounds like a great idea but somehow our flight booking organisation skills didn’t quite look at when the flights land which meant Mils had to sit in the airport waiting for me to arrive, we did have an emotional reunion though - it had been a long week apart. We caught the bus into the city centre and checked into our hostel, we were so hungry that we dumped our bags and headed straight for some food; we ended up going to Boojum, which if you are from England is essentially a much nicer Mission Burrito. Satisfied we headed off to our first Irish pub for the evening which was The Points. It was here that we ordered our first lovely Guinness. As we were sat there catching up an Irish band started playing, I honestly think we had the most stereotypical Irish experience at that pub it was hilarious. After drinking some dodgy drinks at The Points we headed on over the road to Filthy McNastys where we ended the night with some rather questionable dancing. 

The next day we went to prison. A statement I never thought I’d write, but it was actually a tourist attraction (I know, it’s really weird). We had the most hilarious tour guide and yeah, we might have bought the age of the group down by about forty years we still very much enjoyed it. It was extremely interesting and Rory our tour guide was very knowledgeable. We walked back via the university where we did geek out at how pretty it was; we did indeed run away from England to go sit in a different uni to our own, we aren’t sure why either. After moseying about for a few hours, we headed back to the hostel armed with snacks and ready for an afternoon snooze before heading back out. That evening we went to a jazz bar, I can tell you now that you won’t find Ryan Gosling waiting for you and La La Land does make them seem a bit more fun. We still had a lot of fun and I think it’s safe to say we will most likely not be welcome back anytime soon. Finishing the night off at Muriel’s, which fun fact used to be a brothel, it had such quirky decor and is defo worth a visit should you be in Belfast. We ordered several rounds of dodgy ales and called it a night, but not before taking the biggest D-tour around Belfast industrial estate trying to find "The World’s Best Kebab". 

Our last full day in Belfast was a lovely one, we started with an alfresco breakfast of to-go coffee and bagels and walked on over to the botanic gardens, which arguably weren’t looking their finest in the middle of January but the greenhouses were lovely and we had a full-on Instagram photoshoot here. We then headed on over for a quick visit to Ulster museum before heading on to lunch at a vegan restaurant that Mils found. We ate so well at this restaurant; it was so good! We both go the chilli and some tater tots. We’d basically been living off ale and chips so having a proper meal felt good. We got the bus back to our hostel where we freshened up before heading out to our last two bars for the trip. On tonight’s agenda was: The Thirsty Goat and The Dirty Onion. These two bars were so nice, and I would say our two favourites of the trip.

Our last morning was spent in a rather dodgy cafe having a rather dodgy breakfast before we both boarded our separate flights back to Bristol and London. Now, you might be reading this and thinking "wait, did you make it to the one and main attraction in Belfast aka the Titanic Museum?!" And no, no we didn’t as we are stupid and didn’t realise it was in Belfast…So, should you ever need to escape and relax for a bit definite consider Belfast as your go-to runaway spot, we had a great time. 

Bars Visited: 
Five Points ★★★☆☆
Filthy McNastys ★★★★★
Jazz Bar ★★★☆☆
Muriel’s ★★★☆☆
The Thirsty Goat ★★★★☆
The Dirty Onion ★★★★☆


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