On Sunday the inaugural Bark on the Barge Dog Friendly Belfast Tour II, took place in the City Centre. Our usual meeting place for all Belfast Tours is the Dirty Onion on Hill Street, which is dog friendly inside and out, so tour guests met at 11.30am for a welcome tea or coffee, water and dog treats. We were blessed with the weather…not too hot and a nice light breeze. Perfect touring conditions for humans and dogs.
We set off on our short walking tour, imparting some quirky Belfast facts and history to tour guests before arriving at the Lagan Boat Company to meet our tour hosts Joyce, Seamy and Captain Ruby the dog! It was like boarding the ark, as tour guests embarked 2 x 2 (human and dog, human and dog) onto the Mona boat. As a private tour we had our choice of seats – upfront or up top! Joyce was our hostess with the mostest, as we enjoyed our coffee and locally made treats on board during our cruise. Its been a while since I’ve enjoyed a day on a boat, and certainly my first time on the Titanic boat with my side kick Georgie. All the other tour guests where the same, and the smiles said it all. It was a real treat. To an outsider, you would have been hard pushed to know there were any dogs on board at all, as their behaviour was impeccable. They were chilled and relaxed, enjoying the wind in their fur. It was great to see how much Belfast has changed from a different perspective, seeing the wonderful regeneration of the Titanic Quarter and the Laganside. A real highlight of the trip was seeing seals and their pups on the river bank.
When we arrived back we disembarked and stopped for a group photo shoot in front of the ‘Salmon of Knowledge’ – did you know it was also a time capsule? We continued our short walk over to the Belfast Barge to meet our hosts Susan and vice-captain Bob! Considering all these strange doggos were entering ‘Bob’s’ domain, there was only one bark, and that was to welcome us all on board! The barge private function room was all lit up with beautiful lights, and the lunch and drinks were sitting waiting to be devoured! We were treated to the wonderful flavours of the charcuterie meats from Jonny Cuddy at Ispini , Dart Mountain cheeses and chutneys from Tamnagh Foods, Focaccia and Ciabatta breads from the Yellow Door deli , the new and uber tasty Belfast Ginger Ale and to keep us cool Clearer Water (a social enterprise supporting disadvantaged people based in Larne). If that wasn’t enough, we also had some naughty treats from Knotts bakery and Draynes Farm Ice-Cream. We were delighted to welcome on board the lovely Mark from Farmageddon who talked us through the flavours of the beers and gave us all an informative overview of the brewing process and the flavours in each type. He converted the tour group into beer drinkers!
Following the beer tasting, another highlight was the delightful voice of the lovely Emily Rose Conlon, who was accompanied on the Barge by her little cutie pie dog – Miss Pickle! Emily Rose regularly sings in various restaurants and bars in the city, and I would highly recommend her for any gigs! You might have to get past Miss Pickle first though!
All in all, it was a super tour with guests all enjoying their day out with their beloved dogs and taking home their ‘doggy bags’ including treats from LetzPet and Oralade. Having returned home much later, I was overjoyed, humbled and grateful for the fabulous reviews from tour guests. Job done.
As, I approach Dog Friendly Tours 1st Birthday Celebrations, its been a wonderfully fun and full on year, getting to meet so many lovely tour guests and their canine companions on the tours. To celebrate this momentous occasion, the Belfast Tour and Portrush Tours will be the ‘Special Price‘ of £45 per human and dog. Only a few dates are left for the rest of the calendar year for these tours.
Thank you everyone for all your support to date – without you and your dogs there would be no tours. Continue to follow us on Social Media, as we announce some great new activities/tours for you and your dog! Yippee!
Next tour: Little Legs Belfast Dog Friendly Tour – June 24th – Belfast.