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The well-worn cobbles of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter have seen some wild nights in their time. Weaving through its narrow streets, music old and new pulsates from the historic buildings. This is the beating heart of the city, and there’s no finer place to soak up the traditional Irish music scene.
And who better to help you navigate it, than a couple of professional local musicians? In the true sense of an old Irish saying, “Bíonn Siúlach Scéalach”, these two really are full of great stories. Join them on a traditional music trail around Belfast, where you’ll visit bustling bars in some of the city’s oldest buildings. At each stop, they share songs and stories, and perform traditional pieces using an array of instruments including evocative uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes), tin whistles, and more. You’ll learn about how the instruments work, the history of the trad scene here, and the tales behind some of its best-loved and most treasured compositions.
The tour begins at the Second Fiddle bar, a live music venue favoured by all in the city. You gather around the at the back of the pub to meet the guides and embark on your musical voyage. Later, you’ll visit McHughs Bar on Queen’s Square, established in 1711. One of the oldest buildings in Belfast, it has been carefully restored over time and is full of interesting paintings and historical pieces.
Best of all, this is not only a chance to sit back and soak it up, since trad music is all about the taking part! Whether it’s through tapping your feet, clapping your hands, singing along or even picking up an instrument and giving it a go yourself, these sessions are convivial, intimate and animated. Everyone can join in, sharing the enthusiasm of the players, and learning a new song or dance. Better still, you can toast the experience with a local beer (Belfast has a delicious array of them), cider, whiskey or Guinness as you go. As the tour draws to a close the melodies, the stories behind them, and the people who played them so lovingly, will stay with you long after you have headed home.
- Groups catered for
- Online Booking
- Prior Booking Required
- Euros accepted
Our Trail lasts around 2 ½ hours and will take place in Belfast’s vibrant and centrally located Cathedral Quarter.
Climbing stairs will be necessary on the tour. If you have any concerns about accessibility please contact us using the email button above.
Children are welcome on the tour but must remain under adult supervision at all times. Please contact us in advance as the tour may not be suitable for younger children.
- Belfast Traditional Music Trail