Belfast docks, the magic of the Maritime Mile

Maritime Belfast Trust, the charity responsible for preserving Belfast’s maritime and industrial heritage, this summer launched ‘Hello Maritime Mile’, a campaign encouraging everyone to enjoy an open-air museum of Titanic proportions.

Departing from the historic Clarendon and Sailortown docks, the ‘mile’ takes you to the Lagan Weir Footbridge and through the Titanic Quarter and ends at HMS Caroline in Alexandra Dock.

On, you can access downloadable guides and an interactive map to find out where all the things to do are, heritage sites to visit, places to stay and where you can eat or drink.

You can get to the ‘mile’ easily from Belfast city center (it’s a short distance) and you can travel it on foot or by bike, stopping at many fascinating and exciting experiences and places on the way. road, in particular:


This Grade 2 listed building was built in the 1870s and was known as the Wharf Chapel, with its spire often the first and last seen of the house for generations of sailors.

Located on Princes Dock Street, the chapel was closed in 2001 and recently received funding to allow it to showcase its rich maritime heritage through photographs, stories, films and exhibits.

The surrounding residential area of ​​Sailortown was once home to thousands of dockworkers and their families, and following redevelopment, St Joseph’s is one of the few remaining heritage sites.


The oldest remaining docks in Belfast Harbor, the Clarendon Dry Docks were built in the 1800s, by Belfast’s first commercial shipbuilder, William Ritchie.

He originally set up his shipyard at Old Lime Kiln Dock (where Corporation St is now located), but Ritchie needed a dry dock, so Belfast Harbor agreed to build a quay which Ritchie built himself. , completing it in 1800.

Known as Ritchie’s Dock for years, it was later renamed Clarendon Dock No 1. The second Clarendon Dock was completed in 1826.


Dating from 1857, the church was designed by Belfast architect Charles Lanyon and is named after a local businessman. The congregation was born out of missionary work among the sailors arriving in Belfast harbor. Don’t miss the stained glass window, the bell of HMS Hood (the ship of the First World War) and a pulpit in the shape of a ship’s bow.


The oldest dry dock on the Co Down side of the River Lagan, it was built between 1864 and 1867. A dry dock is a nautical term for an enclosed basin into which a ship can be brought for underwater cleaning or repair. .

The Hamilton Wharf is now a listed historic monument and for over 120 years it has been used for the repair, maintenance and equipment of ships. The Hamilton Wharf is now home to the SS Nomadic.


The world’s last White Star ship and the original tender ship of the RMS Titanic, the SS Nomadic is now restored to its original glory and back in Belfast’s Hamilton Wharf.

Most famous for the role it played in the history of the Titanic, a visit to the SS Nomadic combines the authentic legacy and atmosphere of this historic ship with the intriguing stories of its passengers and the ups and downs of its history. dramatic career.

Admission on board is now included with tickets for the Titanic Experience at Titanic Belfast.


Located on the Titanic Walkway, the Great Light is one of the largest optical beacons of its kind ever built. The optic is about 130 years old, weighs 10 tons and is 7 meters high. The Great Light served two lighthouses in its day, Tory Island off Donegal and Mew Island off the Co Down coast.

The optics would once have produced one of the strongest headlight beams, ideal for landing lights.

Mew Island Lighthouse was requested by the Belfast Port Commission as an important navigational aid at the southern entrance to Belfast Lough, built at a time when Belfast was the center of the world for flax, shipbuilding and shoe repair, and one of the most important ports in the world.


HMS Caroline is an iconic ship and a living legend in Belfast, her home for over 90 years. She is also the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland in 1916, the largest naval battle ever fought. HMS Caroline is a C-class light cruiser, built at Birkenhead at Lairds Shipyard in 1914.

After fighting in the Battle of Jutland, she was returned to service in the East Indies. HMS Caroline arrived in Belfast in 1924 and became the static floating headquarters of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. After being decommissioned in 2011, the ship was restored and opened as a museum in June 2016. It is currently closed due to Covid restrictions.


Located next to the Titanic Holds, Harland and Wolff Design Offices and Hamilton Graving Dock the very place where the Titanic was designed, built and launched in 1912, Titanic Belfast tells the story of the Titanic, from its conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through its construction and launch, to its maiden voyage and its subsequent place in history.

The Self-Guided Titanic Experience is the world’s most authentic way to experience the sights, sounds, smells and stories of the ship, and the people and city that made it.


This free, self-guided trail begins at City Quays and takes you past AC Hotel Belfast towards Big Fish.

Cross the Lagan Weir Footbridge and walk along the waterfront towards Titanic Belfast.

Keep walking and you’ll see the Great Light and HMS Caroline, with the last stop at Titanic’s Dock & Pump-House.

Download a map and head to each of the 20 stops, uncovering exciting questions and facts about the Maritime Mile.

Take the online quiz to get your own personalized certificate for a chance to win exciting prizes.

For more information and details, visit

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