Clifton Street Cemetery Tour

Step back in time as you enter through the gates of Clifton Street Cemetery, opened by the Belfast Charitable Society in 1797 which catered to all of the citizens of Belfast.

Visit the graves of radicals and reformers from a time when Belfast was the Athens of the North as well as the final resting places of the industrial giants who help to shape Belfast into a global powerhouse.

Wealthy merchants and professionals purchased the Walled Plots, with many showing off their wealth through elaborate memorials and mausoleums.

Your tour guide will tell you tales of bodysnatching and the thousands of souls who lie in unmarked graves. Some lived out their final days in the Poor House; others died without friends to bury them and there are those who tragically lost their lives in the 1832 cholera epidemic and the Irish Potato Famine.

The highlight of the tour is the McCracken family grave where Mary Ann McCracken, the renowned abolitionist, philanthropist and reformer, was laid to rest at the spectacular age of 96.

All human life rests in Clifton Street Cemetery. Come and discover the stories for yourself!

Planning your visit:

Tours meet at Clifton House before proceeding to the cemetery

Please arrive 10 minutes before the start of your tour

Guided tours last approx. 1 hour

May Day Fiesta

Our Work, Our Lives, Our Place

On Saturday, May 4th the space behind the ICTU & the John Hewitt pub (Donegall St Place) will be transformed into ‘Larkin’s Square’ for an alcohol-free family fun day. Drop in arts workshops will start at 10am, followed by the May Day March & Rally at noon departing from Writers’ Square.

From 2 until 6 pm there will be free drop-in sessions of art workshops, a photo exhibition, music and poetry.  A walking tour and talks on the trade union movement with its historic connection to Belfast will take place throughout the afternoon.

The event is being jointly organised by the Community Arts Partnership and Belfast & District Trades Union Council.

Find out more and get involved at

Black Belfast – Horror and True Crime Walking Tour


Dare you stalk the streets of old Belfast and uncover the horrors that lurk in her grisly past?

The Black Belfast Walking Tour with Alternative Uls-Tours

Dates and times: Sunday 5th May, 11:00am & Sunday 12th May, 11:00am

 Belfast’s former red-light district and its connection to an infamous serial killer

• The forgotten medieval graveyard beneath Belfast shoppers’ feet

• How a Victorian wig shop brought Halloween back to Belfast

• The tragic tale of Belfast’s ‘lost boys’ and the ‘Satanic panic’ of the 1970s

• Belfast’s little-known Jack the Ripper suspect

• The bizarre haunting of a Belfast bridge

• Belfast’s body snatchers and the story of Burke and Hare

• Bram Stoker’s Belfast visit and the true inspiration for Dracula

• The curse of the Titanic mummy

• The killing of the last wild wolf in Ulster

• Northern Ireland’s own Dr Harold Shipman and a chilling personal link

Please note:

• The walking tour starts at the Albert Memorial Clock on Queen’s Square in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast city centre, where your guide will be waiting for you

• Please arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled start time

• The tour will end outside the Dock Cafe on Queen’s Road in the Titanic Quarter

• The tour will last two and a half hours and cover around two miles

• The tour will go ahead in all weathers, so please dress accordingly

• There are public toilets near the start and end points

• The route is fully accessible, but please inform us in advance of any mobility issues

• Well-behaved dogs are welcome on the tour

• Your guide is a fully qualified Level 4 (blue badge) tour guide with a lifelong interest in the monstrous and the macabre

• The tour is fully insured through Tour Guides NI

Very important:

• The tour is open to all ages, but parental guidance is strongly advised due to the graphic and disturbing nature of some of the stories. You have been warned!

Hit the North Block Party

Watching paint dry has a bad reputation.

Actually when there’s 70+ artists hitting a city block and the sun’s shining and David Holmes is on the decks and the roads are closed and there’s Hennessy and Ginger in your hand… there’s actually not many better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Hit the North’s Block Party will be the climax to our 12th year, but also keep an eye out for work going on across the city in the preceding days and head to for our full programme of workshops, tours, exhibitions and live events happening right across the weekend.

Artist line up for this year…

Ben Eine, Zabou, Veks Van Hillik

Lydia Cao, Kos Dos, Sr Papa Chango, Psoman, Malarko, Dalal Mitwally, Dreph,

Caryn Bearkoh, Oddhouse, Qwynto, Sepr, Yazan Mesmar, Percpicer, Artista, Solus, Friz, Sophi Odling

Kone, ELno, LoURS, Shona Hardie, VaneMG, Lucie Flynn, KVLR, Decoy, Rob Hilken, Eoin, Noys, Signs of Power, FGB, Vents, Emma Blake, Razor, David McMillan, Pens, G.W. Joyce, Joke, Codo, Horhey, Danny Simpson, Jess Tobin, Mac Signs, JMK, Fenz, Leo Boyd, Kerrie Hannah, Alana McDowell, Kaos, Jayde Perkin, Verz, Glen Molloy, Lovely Letters, Killian Dra, Magdalina Karol, AnaFish, Alexandra

Bang Bike- Let’s Ride!

The Bang Bike is literally a festival on a bike powered by Dimebag DJs. It is hitting the road for its very first time. Deck out your bikes and let’s ride with the Bang Bike.

Finishing at the Deer’s Head for a very special CQ street party.

If you have seen the bike perform at festivals, you know what to expect. If not – it’s a portable sound system with a DJ on board.

Please meet up at the Botanic Bandstand at 6,00pm and we’ll move into town in an orderly fashion.

Park up your bike and the Street party starts at 7pm.

Join Justin Robertson upstairs at the Deers Head.

Dimebag DJs performing outside the Deers Head from 8pm – 1am

Admission is free but please book in advance.

John Was Trying to Contact Aliens – Screening and DJ set

The American Bar presents a very special screening and live DJ set from John Shepherd, beamed live to the bar after the screening.

A rural electronics whiz broadcasts radio signals into space and monitors for signs of aliens, but makes a more important connection here on Earth.

John Was Trying to Contact Aliens introduces us to John in a room where, wedged between a couch and a giant bookshelf of LPs (and a record player), two tall shelf towers stand, filled with archaic electronic devices that resemble the sort of gear featured in old NASA movies.

“My interest is in finding out the unknown. And the unknown is just that—unknown. And you search, and you continue searching, because of your desire. Because you know that something’s there.”

Through a concise blend of new footage, archival photographs, and commentary from John, Killip’s short elucidates that, from an early age, John became consumed with trying to communicate with otherworldly beings. To do this, he invented and constructed a wide array of complex contraptions that beamed “non-commercial music”—jazz, reggae, Afropop, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream—and which soon took over his grandparents’ residence, where he lived.

A testament to the spirit of exploration and innovation. Moreover, it’s a sweet and subtly profound portrait of the universal desire for something more.

Despite its short length, there’s a lot packed into this thoughtful little film- not so much about aliens, but about a very earthly desire for connection.

A little sliver of humanity that’ll give you a lot of hope.
John Serba

Hero of Belfast: The Mary Ann McCracken Walking Tour

Experience Mary Ann McCracken’s Belfast, as you walk in the footsteps of this remarkable abolitionist, philanthropist and social reformer.

Mary Ann McCracken, who was born over 250 years ago, is intrinsically linked to the city of Belfast. She lived her fearless life championing causes, moving from place to place, always on a mission to make life better for those less fortunate than herself.

Hear too about her more radical nature. Her role in the work of the United Irishmen, the 1798 rebellion and beyond. How she was devoted to her older brother Henry Joy – hanged for his leading role in the rebellion.

This walking tour takes in the locations linked to her life, her endeavours and that of her family. You will be led by an experienced guide through the same streets she walked over 200 years before. This new walking tour starts at Clifton House, where Mary Ann’s thirst for philanthropic causes first began, and where her impact can still be seen today, and finishes near Belfast City Hall.

Planning your visit:

Walking tour lasts approx. 2 ½ hours

Cost: £17.50/£16.50 concession

Please arrive 10 minutes in advance of the tour start time

Includes a complimentary tea and coffee

Free parking at Clifton House

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The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and Out To Lunch are annual festivals of music, comedy, theatre, art and literature which take place in January and May in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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