World Daffodil Convention 2008

January 18, 2008

Categories: General, Societies and groups

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17th April:

Arrive at either Belfast International Airport or Belfast City (George Best) Airport and take an airport bus to Belfast city centre.  Try asking the driver to let you off at your hotel which is very close to the bus depot.  Some of you are staying in the Europa others in Jury’s Hotel.  The Europa is about 100yds from Jury’s, on Great Victoria Street.  Registration will be in the Europa from 5:00-9:00pm and there will also be a reception there, with  buffet between 7:00 and 9:00pm.


!8th April:

Board your buses and head out of town to visit the Transport Museum.  You will pass the two huge gantry cranes known as David and Goliath.  This is Harland and Wolfe’s ship yard where the sister ships Titanic and Olympic were built. Through the village of Holywood to Cultra and the museum.  There is a wonderful collection of transport relevant to Northern Ireland.  This ranges from horse-drawn carts to DeLorean sports cars and steam trains.  There is also an exhibition dedicated to the Titanic.


Around midday you will leave for Strangford Lough.  This beautiful sea lough was named “Strong Fiord” by the Vikings when they struggled to get through the strong currents in the Narrows, the lough’s entrance to the Irish Sea. Once they were in they found this beautiful and peaceful haven. At Ringhaddy you will be welcomed by Nial and Hilary Watson at their house on the shores of the lough and home to Ringhaddy Daffodils.  You will be their guests to lunch and then have the afternoon to view the daffodils.


The evening will be yours to enjoy.  Between the two hotels is the Grand Opera House

Where “Aspects of Love” a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber will be playing.  Opposite the Europa is The Crown Bar which is world famous.  There are also many excellent restaurants.  You might also like to join the Northern Ireland Daffodil Group members staging their daffodils at the show venue. Try for other ideas.


19th April:

A free morning to explore Belfast by day.  There is an optional trip to visit the SS Nomadic.  Built in Belfast in 1911 she was the tender to RMS Titanic and RMS Olympic and carried passengers to the Titanic from Cherbourg in France for that fateful voyage.  She is the last remaining ship of the White Star Line and has returned to Belfast.  You could  also visit the  Botanical Gardens and  the Ulster Museum which are situated next to each other.


In the afternoon  the buses will take you to the Belfast Spring Fair held at Malone House and the parkland of Barnett Demesne where the main N. Ireland daffodil show is held.  There are also classes for shrubs, pot plants, orchids and floral art. There are many other attractions such as craft stalls, side shows, archery, birds of prey, rare farm animal breeds, a samba band, harpist and a replica of a Celtic hut depicting life in Ireland thousands of years ago.


In the evening buses will take you to dinner in Belfast Castle where you will be guests of Belfast City Council, Parks Service.  This old building sits on the side of Cave Hill looking out over Belfast. It was designed by John Lanyon in the Scottish Baronial style.  It belonged to the Chichester family  who donated it to Belfast city in 1934. 


20th April:

Buses will leave early for Omagh.  One bus will take you to the Ulster American Folk Park which is an open air museum that tells the story of emigration from Ulster to North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. . You follow the footsteps of the emigrants though old Irish streets  and houses to the dock and onto a ship bound for America; you disembark into the American Arrivals Hall and then to a typical American street of that period.


The other bus will go to Brian and Betty Duncan’s house where you will have a chance to see their lovely garden and to spend some time amongst Brian’s daffodils, study the species that he has collected and see the new miniatures that he has raised.


The two buses will meet in the centre of Omagh where you will have lunch as guests of Omagh Town Council.  After lunch the bus that was at the Folk Park will go to the Duncan’s and Vice Versa.


The Farewell dinner will be held in the Silver Birch Hotel in Omagh and will be preceded by a sherry reception courtesy of Brian and Betty Duncan.  There are rooms set aside to allow people to freshen up before dinner.


After dinner the buses will leave for Belfast to get you back to your hotels in time for a good night’s sleep prior to leaving for Holland the next day. Or you could go out on the town again!


21st April:

Depending on what time your flight to Holland is you may have some time to continue your explorations of Belfast and the surrounding district.


We look forward very much to welcoming you all to Northern Ireland and hope that the sun will be shining in April!


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