The atmospheric 900-foot-long dock where Titanic was built—in its time the biggest in the world—is open to the public and ranks as one of the great attractions in Northern Ireland. Since 2012, and the events held for the 100th anniversary, Titanic's Dock—officially known as the Thompson Dry Dock—has been accessible to visitors. Steps lead deep down 44 feet (13½ meters) to the floor of the dock, where you can bask in the evocative spirit of this remarkable place well below sea level. In its heyday in the early 20th century, the dock could hold 21 million gallons of water. Today it is Belfast's outstanding relic of Titanic's legacy and strikingly represents the ship's physical footprint. Built by 500 men over a period of seven years, it was the beating heart of the shipyard's operation during the construction of the great White Star Liners—Britannic, Olympic, and Titanic. But it was a tight squeeze; the Titanic barely
fit in. The original steel-casing gate (now showing some signs of rust) that enclosed the dock and kept ships watertight weighs a staggering 1,000 tons. The best way to access the dock and pump-house is to join one of Colin Cobb's fascinating, fact-filled walks that help visitors—through visual aids of the Titanic—imagine, relive, and reflect on both a singular marvel of engineering and the importance of shipbuilding in Belfast's heritage. The tours are 10% cheaper if booked online; early booking is recommended. Taking Metro Bus No. 26, 26b, or 26c from City Hall is the easiest way to get to the Dock and Pump-House; you can take a train to the Titanic Quarter stop or opt for a 20-minute walk from Belfast city center to Queen's Road (home to the Odyssey Arena and W5 science center).