Derry and Donegal have loads to see and Belfast’s Line of Duty locations aren’t bad too!
With the weather slowly but surely changing for the better and lockdown restrictions being relaxed, thoughts are again turning to being able to get away from it all for a break.
The North West is, of course, blessed on both sides of the border with many beautiful areas to visit whether on a day trip or for a longer stay.
As our video shows, Derry and Donegal can boast many of the jewels in Ireland’s crown.
In fact, Lonely Planet recently named Ireland’s best beaches to visit, and Donegal has two beaches in the top ten - Trá Mór, Dunfanaghy, and Ballymastocker Bay, Portsalon.
Buncrana, of course, is a hugely popular desitnation for Derry people, as is pretty much any of the beauty spots on the Inishowen peninsula.
And Derry has some of the island’s best attractions too, from ancient landmarks and the city walls to the Peace Bridge.
If you’re thinking of travelling further from home for a staycation when it’s possible, Tourism NI has today highlighted a chance to visit Belfast and to take in many of the sites associated with Line of Duty.
Belfast has the perfect mix of culture, shopping, restaurants and pubs, all within walking distance. Not only that but it has become a famous filming location for many popular TV shows over the last few years!
Who isn’t gripped each Sunday evening watching our favourite characters fight off bent coppers, all in the beautiful surroundings of Belfast? The hit show keeps pulses racing with action packed car chases, nail biting cliff-hangers and of course Ted Hastings infamous one liners.
The shows popularity and cult following of Superintendent Hastings, DS Arnott and DS Fleming has grown immensely over the years, with fans catching a glimpse each week of Belfast landmarks.
The actors themselves have shared their own fondness of Belfast, and who better to be their Tour Guide than Enniskillen native Adrian Dunbar AKA Ted Hastings.
Martin Compston has said how he always feels so welcome in Belfast and loves to come back. While Vicky McClure has missed the Belfast Nightlife filming during the pandemic. We round up the famous Belfast landmarks below, be sure to have your camera at the ready!
Royal Avenue, Belfast
Famous in its own right, there is no better starting point for tourists than the mile long shopping area of Royal Avenue, which ends at the beautiful and iconic Belfast City Hall. However, it is also home to Belfast Central Library, which fans will know as the outside of the Police 12 Headquarters.
Not to be forgotten- the Invest NI building, and more importantly the Tourism NI offices have been used as filming locations for the inside of the AC-12 Headquarters, as well as the famous underground car park where many secrets and disguises have been found out. Just a short walk from Bedford Street is the popular James St. restaurant where filming also took place in Series 3.
Cathedral Quarter is a famous hotspot in Belfast for those seeking some food, a bit of craic and a pint or a glass of wine. Enjoy the cobbled streets, filled with bars and restaurants which also feature in the hit TV show. If you are lucky you may even spot the cast when they are off duty, as they’ve been known to enjoy a pint in The Spaniard or birthday celebrations in Six by Nico.
St Anne’s Cathedral
The beautiful St Anne’s Cathedral featured in Series 2, serving as the backdrop of a funeral for three police officers. The iconic building, which is over 100 years old, is well worth a walk around, taking in the beautiful stained glass windows. Find out how the Cathedral’s story is intertwined with that of its home city, discover the rich historic artefacts and be introduced to the people who helped shape this sacred place with an audio guide tour.
The Titanic Hotel - Titanic Bar
The Titantic Quarter in Belfast is one of the most visited locations in Northern Ireland. Fans of Line of Duty will know that The Bar in the Titanic Hotel appeared in the Series. An expansive urban waterfront with one of the great global visitor attractions, Titanic Belfast, as its centrepiece, you can’t truly experience Belfast without taking some time to explore the area. Attractions include the SS Nomadic, the boat that brought passengers over to the Titanic, HMS Caroline, the Great Light and the Dry Dock and Pumphouse. For a river’s eye view of the neighbourhood, its docks and the famous yellow Samson and Goliath shipyard cranes get on board a sea safari or boat tour.
No trip to Belfast would be complete without trying some local seafood. Tedfords was used in Series 2 of the show, a beautiful restaurant overlooking the Waterfront and the River Lagan. You can almost hear Ted Hastings infamous line, ‘I didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble.’
Royal Courts of Justice
The Royal Courts of Justice have been used for a few famous shows filmed in Northern Ireland including Dublin Murders and of course Line of Duty. The building itself is situated beside the River Lagan so why not take a short walk down along the river, taking in the scenery such as the ‘Big Fish,’ before stopping at St Georges Market for some fresh local produce.
Series 2 filming took place in McElhattons Bar (also known as The Front Page), and rightly so as it is just around the corner from the AC-12 offices. A traditional 19th Century Belfast bar, if these walls could talk, they would have a story or two. Not a stranger to the limelight McElhattons Bar can also be seen in the famous film Mickybo and Me.
Belfast Street Art Tour
Although not featured in Line of Duty, if you spend any time in Belfast you’ll know that it’s walls are covered in art. Follow Adam on this incredible tour, as he unlocks the stories of how he has brought street artists from across the globe to join a new breed of Belfast based street artists leaving their spectacular and colourful mark throughout the city. You may come across some artwork involving Ted Hastings infamous one liners, perfect for a cool Instagram post!
The Graffiti Underpass
Where all the whisperings and secret meetings occur between the Officers and other dodgy characters, no trip to Belfast would be complete for fans of the show without getting a picture of the infamous meeting point. Situated beside the Albert Memorial Clock, walk down through the underpass on your way to the ‘Big Fish’ and The Royal Courts of Justice.
For more inspirational places to visit in Northern Ireland, when it is safe to do so, visit www.discovernorthernireland.com. Northern Ireland’s giant welcome will be here for you when the time is right.
For the latest government guidelines on COVID restrictions, visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19