The Great Light and Titanic Walkway Welcome over 170,000 Visitors in First Year
Two iconic experiences in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter – The Great Light and Titanic Walkway – have attracted more than 170,000 visitors in their first year, giving the city’s offering as a maritime heritage destination a major boost and opening up a previously unseen part of the waterfront.
In March 2018 the 500 metre Titanic Walkway on Victoria Wharf, which connects the Titanic Slipways to HMS Caroline and the Thompson Dock, opened allowing visitors to learn about the maritime and industrial heritage of the area. This iconic waterfront walkway was delivered by Titanic Quarter Limited and is open to the public 24 hours a day.
A key feature on the walkway is the historic Great Light, which gave Mew Island Lighthouse on the Copeland Islands its traditional revolving light and guided mariners to and from Belfast Lough until 2014. It is the world’s first and largest hyper-radial Fresnel lighthouse lens, installed in Tory Island Lighthouse in 1887 then reconfigured and moved to Mew Island in 1928.
The Great Light project from Titanic Foundation, the charity committed to preserving Belfast’s maritime and industrial heritage, in partnership with the Commissioners of Irish Lights, saw the optic given a new role bringing to life the story of lighthouses, their technological developments, their light-keepers and their role in the maritime and industrial history of Belfast and beyond.
Kerrie Sweeney, Chief Executive of Titanic Foundation, said:
“Through a relatively modest level of investment, we have been able to have a major impact on the area by developing a truly high-quality attraction. We wanted to create a daytime and evening experience that will appeal not only to the people who work and live in Titanic Quarter, but also attract further visitors from across Belfast and Northern Ireland. It is very rewarding to see so many people from all walks of life connecting with our unique maritime heritage.
“Titanic Foundation sought funding, in partnership with the Commissioners of Irish Lights, to save, restore and display the 130-year-old optic at a secure, permanent home in Titanic Quarter, which was once the world’s largest shipyard. It’s been an exceptional first year, with over 170,000 people visiting the Quarter’s latest iconic landmarks.”
Kerrie continued: “We have enjoyed working with our stakeholders ensuring that the City’s iconic waterfront is a shared place for the people of Belfast and Northern Ireland, and creating memorable experiences that are accessible for everyone, enhancing Titanic Quarter’s position as a rich and authentic maritime heritage destination.”
James Eyre, Commercial Director of Titanic Quarter, said:
“Attracting 1 million visitors annually to experience Titanic heritage, Titanic Quarter has acquired the status as a premier global destination for leisure and business tourism – contributing to Lonely Planet naming Belfast as the best place to visit in 2018.
“The 500 metre Titanic Walkway now provides a seamless connection between our maritime heritage assets from the heart of the city centre to HMS Caroline and the Thompson Dock and we look forward to welcoming more visitors to the area in the years to come.”
ARC Resident, Jennifer Rydqvist, regularly walks the Titanic Walkway. She commented:
“We love living in Titanic Quarter – we have everything we need on our doorstep, from great places to eat and drink, to fantastic 5 star attractions including Titanic Belfast and HMS Caroline. The Titanic Walkway is great because of how it links all of the heritage attractions – our little pug Weenie just loves it.”
For further information visit www.greatlighttq.org