Big Fish

One of the most unusual and striking attractions in Belfast is the Big Fish. Located on Donegall Quay, close to the Lagan Lookout and Custom House, the 10-metre long sculpture is loved by visitors and natives of the city alike.

This stunning piece of art was commissioned to celebrate the regeneration of the River Lagan. The location is especially significant as it is where the Lagan meets the Farset – the river that the city of Belfast is named after.

The Big Fish was sculpted by multimedia artist John Kindness, a native of the city who also attended the Belfast College of Art.

Completed in 1999, visitors will be attracted to the grand scale of the Big Fish and few leave the city without a souvenir photo.

A printed ceramic mosaic, the outer skin of the sculpture is made up of a cladding of individual ceramic tiles, each decorated with an image or text celebrating Belfast’s rich and varied history from Tudor times right up to the modern day.

Many of the images were sourced from the Ulster Museum, but children from the local schools also contributed drawings that appear on the skin of the fish.

Commissioned at a time when Belfast was starting to rediscover its confidence in a proud past and an exciting future, the Big Fish is a compelling – if somewhat unconventional – highlight of an exciting city.

Explore More of Belfast

Belfast Castle

The city of Belfast in Northern Ireland is steeped in history and the impressive Belfast Castle is a significant part of this heritage. Built in the early 19th Century to replace the original Norman fortification that once stood in the centre of the city, Belfast Castle is an opulent structure built in the grandiose Scottish Baronial style.

Giant's Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway is one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic and most photographed beauty spots, instantly recognisable the world over. It is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in all of Ireland, having earned this rare distinction back in 1986. Yet only through personally experiencing the many moods and overlooked facets of the wild north-east coast’s ancient volcanic bays, cliffs and beaches is it possible to appreciate their true splendour as wonders of the natural world.

Fortwilliam Golf Club

Formed in 1891, Fortwilliam Golf Club is Belfast’s oldest, and certainly one of its most beloved, golf clubs. Located just off the Antrim Road, easily accessible from the north of the city, the course has a par of 70 spread over around 6,000 yards. Yes, it is a short course, relatively speaking, but it packs plenty of punch. Expect tricky greens and fairways lined with trees that pose substantial hazards to even the most experienced of golfers.

Grand Opera House

Belfast’s majestic Grand Opera House opened its doors in 1895 and since then has played host to some of the biggest names from the world of entertainment. Located in the heart of Belfast’s bustling city centre, this magnificent Victorian building has provided enchanting theatre for over 100 years as well as engaging with the local community and igniting a love of the stage in the city.

Malone Golf Club

Majestically beautiful, with a rich pedigree and proving a challenge for first-timers and old hands alike, it is surprising that Malone Golf Club is still relatively unknown, since this is clearly one of Northern Ireland’s premier parkland courses. Founded back in 1895, the club has actually moved four times since then, arriving in Dunmurry, five miles to the south of Belfast, in the early 1960s. Malone has played host to many amateur and professional competitions over the years - it was here, for instance, that the legendary Tony Jacklin won his first professional victory.

Malone House

Malone House in Belfast is a prime example of what a historic country house should be in the modern day. This 19th century gem of Northern Irish architecture is no dusty museum, but is still regularly used as an events venue. A range of modern sculptures complement its 19th century landscaped gardens and the demesne is commonly used for walking and biking. A mansion steeped in history, Malone House is historically austere but still full of life.

Balmoral Golf Club

Northern Ireland’s lush foliage and rolling hills make this the perfect country for a golfing getaway. However, if you’re visiting Belfast and want to practise your swing without venturing deep into the countryside to do so, why not pay a visit to the historic Balmoral Golf Club?

Queens Film Theatre

An annual audience in excess of 72,000 is testament to the sense of loyalty that has been inspired by this superb Belfast cinema over the past 40 years. Catching a movie here is far from what you’d get at your standard multiplex, with two screens between them seating more than 3,000 people allowing for an intimate film-going experience. The Queen’s Film Theatre shows a healthy mix of recent films and classics from the past, but a refined ambience doesn’t mean it takes itself too seriously - the programme organisers take care to present fun crowd pleasers such as the Rocky Horror Picture Show on a regular basis too.

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