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Belfast bound

We hit the ground running when we got to Belfast. We headed straight to Titanic Belfast. If you plan to visit, be prepared to say “wow” – a lot. That’s before you’ve even stepped through the door. At 38 metres tall the building matches the height of this world-famous passenger liner. The silver-sharded colossus that is the Titanic Belfast visitor attraction dominates the dock area on the south side of the city. It is utterly breathtaking and worthy of many, many wows.

Titanic 8There is something particularly haunting about the fact that this is exactly the spot Titanic was constructed. It’s this connection to the city that is really brought to life in the impressive interactive visitor experience across the four floors. My children Maisy, aged ten and seven-year-old Mack, were totally engaged with the stories of the construction and the design of the ship via totally immersive experiences. We enjoyed the floor-to-ceiling sound and cityscapes of early 20th-century Belfast. The best was the Shipyard Ride, a kind of aerial gondola trip that swooped us around recreated areas of a working shipyard. Complete with authentic smells and sounds, it took us up close to riveters and welders working in tiny spaces, so we could feel the heat on our faces. More wow.

We were able to peek at the first class cabins and compare their embroidered linen finery with the wooden bunk beds of third class. A 180 degree video experience guided and glided us around the ship's interior, and we could stand on the deck and look out across the ocean, impressively created by a surrounding video wall. The immersive nature of experience is one of the best I’ve had for a visitor attraction.

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Ali Ray

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Ali Ray is as passionate about camping as she is about eating and cooking with locally produced food. You can read more from Ali in Camping & Caravanning and online.

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The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show

Rob GanleyRead The Club's Senior Communications Manager's guide to this month's Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show at the NEC.


The Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show traditionally kick starts the camping season, and for 2016 it runs from 23-28 February at its regular home, the NEC Birmingham. I’ll certainly be there, and here are a few reasons why I reckon you should drop by too!

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This is a guest blog entry. All views are that of the author and not necessarily shared by the Club. Mention of any product or service on the blog does not constitute endorsement by the Club. All blog posts are moderated before going live.

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Destination Northern Ireland

Ali NI BunkIt's February half term. Destination Northern Ireland. Our suitcases are packed full of wellies, woolly hats, hot water bottles and even my trusty compact Cadac barbecue. We are heading on an adventure to camp and eat.

2016 is officially Northern Ireland's Year of Food, a time to promote the best of this unassumingly beautiful country's producers, growers, chefs, cafes, bakers and brewers. In the interests of Eat Local and my appetite, this seems like a great excuse to visit.

Left to my own devices, I'd be launching myself from one great plate of food to another, but this is a family trip, with husband and two children in tow so I've put together a mixed itinerary to keep everyone happy.

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Ali Ray

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Ali Ray is as passionate about camping as she is about eating and cooking with locally produced food. You can read more from Ali in Camping & Caravanning and online.

Read other posts by Ali Ray