What should we make of present-day Belfast and its compelling, fractious backstory? English visitors have long found the city invigorating, confusing or exasperating – often all three – but undeniably characterful. Philip Larkin, who lived there for five years in the 1950s, noted its ‘draughty streets, end-on to hills, the faint/Archaic smell of dockland’ and found himself enjoying the ambiance: ‘the salt rebuff of speech/ insisting so on difference, made me welcome’.
- Unlimited access to spectator.com.au and app
- The weekly edition on the Spectator Australia app
- Spectator podcasts and newsletters
- Full access to spectator.co.uk
Unlock this article
You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first month for free, then just $2 a week for the remainder of your first year.