Visit Stormont – Northern Ireland Assembly
The Parliament at Stormont is one of the most striking buildings in Belfast. You can see it from most of the city and the Portland Stone reflects any sunlight that might sneak its way through the usual blanket of clouds above our city.
Once a home for the Government of Northern Ireland, it now seats the Northern Ireland Assembly. This power-sharing institution was established in 2007 and is made up of 108 elected representatives. The assembly has two leaders sharing a joint office – one leader is a Unionist and one leader is a Nationalist – thus representing the two main identities within our community.
How to visit Stormont Parliament Buldings
Stormont Parliament Buildings is a fascinating place to visit. You can spend an hour here, there are tours running Monday to Friday at 11.00am and 2.00pm
In July and August tours operate every hour between 11.00am and 3.00pm – Monday to Friday.
Anyone who wishes to have a tour of Parliament Buildings and who requires assistance due to hearing or sight impairments can request that a sign language interpreter attends, ask for a braille tour script or for the provision of ‘Hearing Helpers’, however the Events Office will require advance notice and this can be done by telephone 028 9052 1802 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Visit Stormont
- Board the Belfast City Sightseeing tour at Castle Place in Belfast city centre – buy discounted tickets here
- Hop off after 25 minutes at stop #5 – Stormont Parliament Buildings
- Complete security to the right hand side of the Parliament Building
- Join the tour in the Great Hall on entering the building
- See the Great Hall and amazing design and symmetry
- Visit the Assembly Chamber and even sit in a politicians hot seat!
- See the old Upper House chamber
- Explore the gift shop
- Take some time to enjoy the fabulous and extensive grounds
- Rejoin any Belfast City Sightseeing tour that passes through the estate and hop on at the statue of Edward Carson
- The last tour that will come through Stormont is at 3.25pm so make sure you are on this!
When walking around, be sure to spot some of the more subtle symbols. Look at each lamp post and see Canadian Moose depicted.
The very design of the roads and paths look like a Union flag and the number 6 re-occurs throughout Parliament Buildings – such as the six columns at the front of the building.
This number 6 represents the counties that make up Northern Ireland. It is exactly one mile from the Parliament down to the Newtownards Road so if you are feeling energetic then you can stretch your legs before heading back into the city centre.
It really is a fascinating place and plays an every day role in ‘ Living History ‘ that is here. You might even get to meet a few famous or infamous local politicians!
It is of course free of charge – Book your hop-on / hop-off tour here
Tours Operate Monday to Friday only and will not be available on public holidays
Walk in Stormont Estate and Grounds
The estate in which the Northern Ireland Parliament is sited in over 400 acres of the most beautiful woodland which includes red twigged lime trees lining Prince of Wales avenue planted in such a way to give the illusion that the trees are politely giving way to give the visitor a better clearer view of Thornleys stunning creation!
There are statues of men who played such a big part in Belfast and Ireland’s past. Some of the pieces of artwork are so small in size and yet so big in what they symbolise! There is non more relevant than ‘reconciliation’ by Josephine Vasconcellos representing the two traditions here reaching across the divide!
A similar divide having been crossed after the Second World War explaining ‘reconciliation’ appearing in Hiroshima Berlin and Coventry. So much to see and yet so few realise they can enjoy and explore this amazing place.