The Maritime Mile has public art dotted all along it, with work from renowned local artists. Follow the trail from the City Quays, across the Lagan Weir footbridge and along Belfast’s iconic waterfront to Titanic’s Dock & Pump-House. As you follow the trail to explore a selection of Belfast’s public art, you can also explore the city’s maritime past as you walk in the footsteps of the thousands of dockers who worked in the biggest shipyard in the world.
The Dividers sculpture, made of bronze with a stainless-steel core, stands proudly at 8.3m tall. It was produced in 2002 by local artist Vivien Burnside, framing views of Belfast or outwards to views of the sea.
Explore More: Take time to explore Belfast’s oldest graving docks by foot or visit the neighbouring Sailortown, which was once a thriving hub of the city’s docklands.
A gleaming bronze and stainless-steel angel reaches out from the bow of a ship built at the side of the Mission to Seafarers building. The figure is the worldwide symbol of the Seafarers’ Mission, a religious charity set up in the mid-19th Century, to provide sailors with shelter and comfort. The Angel, designed by local artist Maurice Harron, is captured here in the act of calming the waves. Find it at Prince’s Dock Street, off Pilot Street and just north of Clarendon Dock.
Explore More: Check out nearby Sinclair Seamen’s Presbyterian Church and Belfast Harbour Commissioners Office, both of which date back to the mid-1800s.
Just outside the AC Hotel Belfast you will see the first of a collection of six beautifully crafted stained-glass window installations which tell the story of Game of Thrones. Hand stained by local artists, each window depicts iconic scenes from the world of Westeros from White Walkers to bloodied daggers, rivalling Queens to fearsome battles. Join our celebration of 10 years of filming of the biggest TV show in the world right here in Northern Ireland!
Explore More: Why not hop on a Belfast Bike and enjoy a scenic cycle along the Maritime Mile, taking in the sights and sounds of our iconic waterfront from both sides of the River Lagan!
Our next stop is Queen’s Quay. You can’t miss Belfast’s Big Fish aka Salmon of Knowledge – it’s 10m long! The sculpture was created by Belfast artist John Kindness in 1999 to celebrate the regeneration of the River Lagan. The shiny blue and white scales are made of hundreds of tiny pieces of ceramic, each depicting moments in Belfast’s history.
Explore More: Take a boat trip with the Lagan Boat Company and experience the city from the water while learning more about Belfast’s Titanic story.
These distinctive navigation buoys celebrate the city’s maritime heritage. They were recently restored and took up residence on the Maritime Mile in 2019. Each buoy weighs around 3 tonnes and is made of thick steel plates riveted together. The three buoys are estimated to be around 80 years old and were used by mariners to find a safe channel to and from port.
Explore More: Visit W5 Belfast’s award-winning science & discovery centre. Located at the Odyssey Complex, W5 is a perfect day out for the whole family – time it right and you could enjoy a live science demonstration.
The innovative genius that lay behind the building of Titanic is celebrated in this spectacular 13.5m tall bronze structure. Artist Tony Stallard was inspired by the plastic frames of the Airfix model kits to create this giant model of the legendary liner using its component parts. The Kit was installed in 2009 and is located in Titanic Quarter, closed to where Titanic was built over 100 years ago.
Top Tip: Visit the structure at night to see it beautifully lit up blue and white. Stunning!
Explore More: Perhaps this is the time to relax, have a coffee and take in the calming views of the marina. There are many coffee stops to choose from including The Green Deli, Subway, Dock Café and Paper Cup!
Made from steel, these life size portraits celebrate local historical and cultural figures – you’ll immediately recognise silent film actor Charlie Chaplin who travelled on board SS Nomadic in 1952, on his way to premiere a film in England. He is accompanied by a shipyard worker who helped build the SS Nomadic and a French waiter who served on the White Star Line ship.
Explore more: You are now in the heart of Belfast’s Titanic Quarter – why not explore SS Nomadic, the tender ship to Titanic, or take a walk over to the historic Drawing Offices (now Titanic Hotel Belfast).
The delicate Titanica sculpture was created by the renowned Irish sculptor Rowan Gillespie and installed at the front entrance to Titanic Belfast to mark its opening in 2012. The sculpture is the form of a diving female figure and takes inspiration from the traditional female ship figureheads mounted on the prows of sailing ships. The life-size figure is cast in bronze and represents hope and positivity.
Top Tip: Don’t forget to take an Instagram worthy photo and mark your visit at the iconic Titanic sign!
Explore More: Visit Titanic Belfast, Belfast’s must-see visitor attraction, where interactive exhibitions allow you to uncover the true legend of Titanic, in the city where it all began. Or join a guided Titanic Discovery Tour to learn more about Belfast’s Titanic history.
The mural was a collaboration between leading local artists Terry Bradley and Friz, and depicts men from Sailortown and the docks, and showcases Belfast’s maritime heritage as well as traditions of murals and hospitality in the city. It was unveiled in 2019, marking the anniversary when the famous ship was launched on 31st May 1911.
Explore More: While you’re walking past, why not pop into Hickson’s Point for a pint and quick bite to eat! Located on the plaza outside Titanic Belfast, this destination bar was inspired by one of the first ship builders in the city and offers an authentic 1900’s public house setting.
As you continue along the Maritime Mile, make sure to spend some time at the audio-visual installation created by artistic duo Brian Irvine and John McIlduff. River Box is located on the Titanic Slipways, and is a striking piece of contemporary art that uses shipping containers to screen a specially produced ‘All The Things We Are’ video inspired by the port as a place of constant comings and goings.
Explore More: Walk along the life-size blueprint (etched in white stone) of Titanic’s promenade deck on the Titanic Slipways. Or visit the heritage rooms in the Titanic Hotel Belfast, formerly the Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices, where Titanic and her sister ships were first imagined.
As you continue along the iconic waterfront and walk along the Titanic Walkway, you will come to the magnificent Great Light. It is one of the largest optics of its kind ever built in the world and is around 130 years old. It weighs 7 tonnes, is 7m tall and produced one of the strongest lighthouse beams ever to shine!
Explore More: Take the interactive, self-guided tour of HMS Caroline, the last surviving ship from the Battle of Jutland in WW1. Or continue to Titanic’s Dock & Pump-House where you can walk along the vast dock where Titanic was fitted out – her last footprint on land.
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