Categories: Titanic

Every year the Belfast’s Maritime Mile comes alive as thousands attend a celebration of all things nautical. The Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival follows in the footsteps of the local seamen, dockers and visiting sailors who frequented the area over the centuries and toasts their major contribution to this city’s history.

With boat-building demonstrations and storytelling sessions, pop-up picnics and kaleidoscopic kites, there are events and activities for all ages and interests. The festival usually takes place towards the end of May. So if your ship is in, ensure you make the Maritime Mile and Titanic Quarter are one of your ports of call for a weekend filled with fun and adventure.

Learn the ropes

You’ll have lots of chances to go on deck or get hands on at the festival. On the Titanic Slipways, festival-goers can see demonstrations of traditional crafts long associated with Northern Ireland including boat-building, ropemaking, linen spinning and woodworking.

Visitors to the First World War-era HMS Caroline can tour the top deck, see the captain’s cabins and sick bay and enjoy maritime-themed family craft activities.

We also welcome an array of international ships and vessels whose crews are always happy to welcome visitors on board and show the ropes to aspiring wee sailors.

Mini mariners

In fact, children are spoilt for choice every year. With its choice of games and stilt-walking pirates the BIG Titanic Picnic is always a hit. Older kids can take off with the Kite Club and watch their aerial acrobatics. They’ll even get to make their own kite. Scientific Sue has become something of a favourite too with her weird and her crafty make and do.

There are always plenty of opportunities to get active in or beside the water. Paddleboarders, kayak fans and even practitioners of yoga will all find something at the festival for them.

And don’t forget the HMS Caroline where you can enjoy a maritime-themed play park and picnic area, watch theatre performances by Dockyard Alive and explore the brilliantly named Bonkers Betty’s Bizarre Bazaar.

Ahh Argh me hearty...meals

At some point on your festival voyage you and your little pirates are going to get hungry so head on down to the popular Maritime Market for some tasty treats on offer and grab yourself a treat at the onsite bar. The NI Pop-up Titanic Street Food Market at Hamilton Dock is flooded with great tastes and enticing smells from the abundance of food vans, trucks and stalls. This busy spot also plays host to live cooking demos that showcase Belfast’s thriving restaurant scene.

Arts and culture

Every year the festival hosts a colourful range of theatre, live music and dance. Local and international street theatre acts keep festival goers entertained throughout the weekend and you can catch live music on the quaysides almost every hour of the day. Cinema lovers will only need a deck chair and cosy blanket to fully enjoy the outdoor cinema shows and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the dancing flash mobs from the Ajendance Dance Company.

If you want all of this on your doorstep the Titanic Hotel Belfast (4*) might be just the first class ticket you’re after. This plush hotel is located in the former drawing offices of Titanic builders Harland & Wolff. What a place to stay for a festival weekend away.