River Lagan, Belfast
I have made many comments about the remarkable regeneration of the River Lagan upon which the city of Belfast is situated. It has had a history of neglect but today it is a vibrant resource to be enjoyed by local people and visitors alike. With some pride it can now be regarded as an 'attraction'.
I live close to this spot and in Spring sunshine I captured this scene late in April. For me it conveys the new life the river communicates through the energy of leisure activity.
A family of eight in the first week of life is quite a big job! This female Mallard Duck is seen here taking her new family to the water on the River Lagan. I am told that a family of up to thirteen is not unusal. So as Mallard families go this is a small paddle.
Belfast Harbour: Belfast was one of the biggest shipbuilding ports in the world during the late 19th century. Harland and Wolf did the jobs and are still in business today as you can see their H&W logos on the cranes in the harbour.
I love ships and the sea and I had a chance to "tour" the harbour as my ferry left for Scotland. Mostly I was impressed by the huge offshore drilling rigs being worked on in the harbour.
For more pictures see the Travelogue.
The Lagan Boat Company run two different tours, each travelling in different directions on the Lagan River. Tickets for both tours can be bought from the small kiosk near the Big Fish, by the Lagan Lookout and weir (see picture/map).
The Titanic Tour operates from the jetty next to the Big Fish, by the Lagan Lookout and weir (see picture/map). The Lagan Tour operates from the jetty on the other side of the weir from the Big Fish (see picture/map).
The tour operating depends on the day, as the tours operate on different days. The advertised days may change though, so check the board at the kiosk to find out which tour is operating.
We went on the Titanic Tour, which was very interesting and informative. I learnt many things that I did not know about the Titanic and Belfast. The tour guide was friendly and had a great sense of humour.
Salmon of Knowledge, better known as the Big Fish, is a 10-metre ceramic-skinned salmon made to celebrate the return of salmon to the previously polluted River Lagan. This is just one of a series of fascinating pieces of public art by artists with connections to Belfast.
Created in 1999 by local artist John Kindness, the sculpture's 'skin' is decorated with a mosaic of texts and messages relating to Belfast's history. Included is material from Tudor times to recent newspaper headlines, along with contributions from Belfast schoolchildren.
This is yet another work of public art, created by Scottish artist Andy Scott. The 19.5m stainless stell and bronze statue depicts a girl standing on a globe of the world, representing hope, aspiration and spirituality.
The Lagan Weir Fish is down by the river (obviously). From across the street, it looks like your average ceramic big blue fish on the side of the footpath.
But if you go up close, you will see that the Fish's scales have individual pictures of important people and moments in Belfast's history.
On a bright February morning the wildlife is abundant in Belvoir Forest close the the River Lagan.
You can expect to see birds of many varieties and both the red and grey squirrels.
A walk along the Lagan towpath from Stranmillis will present many opportunites for photographs. Here at the weir at Shaw's Bridge I spotted this stranded log and just had to capture it's isolation.
Both sides of the river in the city centre have been redeveloped. There are landscaped areas to walk, cycle or run through. Also plenty of places to sit & take in the views of the city skyline.
Don't miss the giant fish at the Lagan Lookout.
It is made of mosaic of tiles - worth looking at closely.
As this picture shows, the revitalisation of the river as a resource for recreation has been a complete success. Rowing is a popular sport with several clubs developing on the banks near Stranmillis.