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Name: Belfast City
Nearest Town: Various
Access Road: Various
Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, which lies over Counties Antrim and Down is set spectacularly in the valley of the River Lagan, on the shores of Belfast Lough.
However, Belfast’s scenic position between the Divis, Black and Cave hills contributes to its reputation as ‘The Big Smoke.’
The name dates back to the 19th century when the city grew up around its linen and ship building industries and remains because car petrol and factory fumes hang trapped between the mountains as part of a phenomenon called the fishbowl effect.
Between austere Victorian buildings in the city centre a vibrant social and cultural life, is focused around the theatres, concert halls, bars, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, museums, galleries, discos and dance clubs. Like all world cities there are areas of town which the casual visitor should enter with caution; in Belfast these are easily recognisable by the painted kerb stones and paramilitary wall murals.