Featuring our new Belfast building, Custom House, the Maritime Mile is an exploration of Belfast’s historic waterfront.
Custom House has been a part of Belfast’s rich maritime history since it was built in 1857. Merchants arriving in Belfast with goods to trade, had to first register at Custom House, so it is only right that the iconic building features as part of the city’s Maritime Mile walking trail.
Beginning at the City Quays, site of the Clarendon Docks and Sailortown, the trail takes the traveller past beautiful St Joseph’s Church, Belfast Harbour Commissioners’ Offices and Sinclair Seaman’s Church.
At Donegall Quay there is an opportunity to check out the Big Fish, also known as the ‘Salmon of Knowledge’, a giant sculpture which celebrates the regeneration of the River Lagan, and which resides between the river and our magnificent Custom House building.
Crossing the river on the Lagan Weir footbridge the dockside trail takes visitors into the Titanic Quarter where you come upon the SS Nomadic, the White Star Line’s last remaining ship, formally the tender ship for the Titanic. The SS Nomadic is docked moments from Titanic Belfast, both located adjacent to the drawing offices and slipways where Titanic was designed, built and launched in 1912.
Titanic Belfast itself is a superbly designed experience which tells the story of Titanic from conception all the way through to her devastating final hours.
Outside the building you can stand in the spot where Titanic was launched over a century ago. A life-size plan of the ship’s promenade deck offers the visitor a feel for its vast expanse, it is quite something to stand here and reflect on the tragedy.
Continuing along the path you come to The Great Light, one of the world’s largest optics of its kind and around 130 years old. Weighing 10 tonnes and standing seven metres in height, the light produces one of the strongest lighthouse beams ever to have shone.
At the end of the trail is the Titanic Dock and Pump House where visitors can stand inside the enormous dry dock where Titanic was fitted out, the largest dry dock ever constructed at the time and a huge feat of Edwardian engineering. It was in this dock that Titanic spent her last night in Belfast before embarking on her fateful voyage.
With such rich history on the doorstep, a good portion of this fascinating trail is easily accessible as an enjoyable lunchtime stroll for Custom House clients.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock & sightseers own!