Albert Memorial Clock is a well-recognized feature of the Belfast landscape. The Victorian structure stands at 43 meters (113 feet), overlooking Queen’s Square and River Lagan beyond. Built on reclaimed marshland, the tower is known for its slant, and is affectionately referred to as Belfast’s answer to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Built between 1865 and 1869, as a memorial to the then queen’s late husband, the clock tower has been a focal point in Belfast for more than 150 years. A number of city tours stop here, including shore excursions and some round-trip tours from Dublin. Enjoy an intimate look at the tower’s Gothic facades, noticing the Prince Albert statue and royal lions, or absorb views from the renovated Queen’s Square, or the Lagan Weir viewpoint opposite.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The 150-year-old landmark is a must-see on any city tour.
- Don’t forget an umbrella or raincoat on rainy days, as Queen’s Square is unsheltered.
- It is not possible for visitors to enter the tower’s interior.
- The wide, paved footpaths around the tower are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Albert Memorial Clock is a 10-minute walk north of Belfast Central railway station. Many buses serve Queen’s Square, including the 3A, 5A, and 27. The city does have some free parking, but as with all capitals it’s easier to avoid driving where possible. Instead, take advantage of city tours that offer round-trip transport.
When to Get There
The city landmark is observable throughout the year. At dusk, particularly in winter, the building offers a striking silhouette against a darkening sky.
Ireland and its Royal Monuments
Ireland was ruled by Britain until 1922, when 26 of Ireland’s 32 counties declared independence. Many of the Republic’s royal landmarks and names were replaced. However, Northern Ireland, of which Belfast is the capital, remains part of the UK today and is therefore still home to much royal iconography.