World-class gastronomy, exciting nightlife and a wealth of historical attractions have put Belfast on the map. Andrew Doherty discovers a city on the cusp of a renaissance.
Techno music throbs as throngs of revellers wrapped in rainbow flags dance and embrace around me. I’ve wandered into the path of the Belfast Pride celebrations, and the streets outside City Hall are packed with thousands of supporters.
Suddenly, a troop of police officers appear, uniforms in stark contrast to the sea of colour. This is the second year that the police have marched at Pride, demonstrating their commitment to promoting inclusiveness and diversity. As they pass I glimpse an officer hugging a bearded dancer in six-inch heels and silver hot pants.
It’s a long way from the dark days of the Troubles and a fantastic start to my Belfast trip, the city I once called home.