Four miles east of the centre, off the Newtownards Road, is Stormont, the home of the Northern Ireland Parliament until the introduction of direct rule in 1972, and now housing the Assembly created by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. You can’t visit the house itself, unless invited by an Assembly member, but it’s an impressive sight, a great, White Neoclassical mansion crowning a rise in the middle of a park (with adjacent cricket field) at the end of a magnificent long, straight drive. You can wander freely in the grounds, a popular place for a walk. Also here, though obviously not open to the public, is Stormont Castle, the office of the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

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