East Belfast’s skyline is dominated by the Samson and Goliath cranes which tower above the Harland & Wolff shipyard. The shipyard is the city’s proudest international asset – the ill-fated Titanic was built here – and is said to possess the largest dry dock in the world: over 600m long and 100m wide. Unfortunately, the area is very security-conscious and access is impossible without making a formal application.
East Belfast is trying hard to draw interest to its few attractions: there are notable murals at Freedom Corner near the beginning of the Newtownards Road, and the area does have some well-known scions. The theologian and author of the Narnia chronicles, C.S. Lewis, was born in Dundela Villas, and there’s a plaque commemorating him at Dundela Flats, which stand on the site where the house once stood, off Dundela. Another plaque on Burren Way in the Cregagh estate commemorates the childhood home of the late footballer George Best. And Van Morrison fans might get a thrill from seeking out his birthplace, a private house (with no public access) at 125 Hyndford St, off Beersbridge Road, and the many streets that feature in his songs (Cyprus Avenue, Castlereagh Road and others).