The Linen Hall Tours

Opening doors. Opening minds.

Explore the Linen Hall Library and its surroundings in the heart of historic Belfast. Our expert guides will take you on a journey of discovery through over 200 years of history, uncovering rare and unique items in our collections and delving into the story of both the Linen Hall and the city it serves.

The Linenopolis Tour

First Wednesday of every month, 11.00am
£10.00 per person

Scottish Provident Building, Belfast

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the city of Belfast was the hub of the world’s linen trade. Mills, warehouses, and shops produced, sold, and traded linen throughout Ireland and around the globe. The Linen Hall Library stands in the heart of the city facing the site of the old White Linen Hall. This building once graced the site of today’s Belfast City Hall, and it is from there that the library gained its colloquial name. This one-hour tour explores the old city, taking in the streets and buildings that accommodated this boom time in Belfast’s past.

Highlights include: The Linen Hall, Ormeau Baths, Scottish Provident Building, and Belfast City Hall.

The Blue Plaque Tour

First Wednesday of every month, 2.00pm
£10.00 per person

Blue plaque for Thomas Carnduff on the Linen Hall Library

Across Ulster, commemorative blue plaques erected by the Ulster History Circle mark notable sites. These plaques honour the men and women of Ulster who have contributed to its history. Erected with permission of building owners, these commemorations are a visual reminder of our rich and diverse past. This one-hour tour begins at the Linen Hall. There, a pair of blue plaques honour the roles played in the library’s history by two very different characters; United Irishman and former librarian Thomas Russell and the shipyard poet and caretaker Thomas Carnduff.

Highlights include: The Linen Hall, The Maritime Hotel, Chichester Street, and High Street.

Special Offer

Take both the Linenopolis Tour and Blue Plaque Tour on the same day for only £15.00 per person.

Advance booking is necessary to take a tour with the Linen Hall’s knowledgeable and engaging guides. Please contact the library on +4428 9032 1707 or, or speak to a member of staff at the General Lending Desk on Level 3.

Coming Soon

The popular tour of the library will return soon. Follow the Linen Hall on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for more information on tours, exhibitions, and events.

The Linen Hall Library Tour

Monday – Friday, 10.30am
£5.00 per person

The Linen Hall Library is one of the most fascinating cultural institutions in Ireland. Since 1788, the library has played an important role in the history of the development of the city of Belfast. This 45-minute tour begins at the foot of the stunning curved staircase and explores the beautiful listed Victorian former linen warehouse that is now home to the library’s collections. Uncover the history of the institution, the stories of colourful characters and early members, and explore some of the world-famous archives including the Irish and Local Studies Collection, the Genealogy Collection, and the renowned Northern Ireland Political Collection.

Group tours are available on request starting at £10.00 per person and including tea or coffee and traybakes.

Tours on Request

Staff at the Linen Hall are happy to accommodate small groups for bespoke tours. These start at £10.00 per person and allow visitors to explore some of the world-renowned collections in more detail.

Treasures of the Linen Hall

Uncover some of the rare archive material that makes the collections at the Linen Hall Library unique from the 1490 edition of Avicenna’s De Anima through to the rare 1922 edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Northern Ireland Political Collection

The Linen Hall’s Northern Ireland Political Collection now contains over 350,000 items. This world-famous archive is a definitive collection of items relating to the recent ‘Troubles’ and the subsequent peace process.

Irish Language and Ulster-Scots

Explore part of the significant holdings of the Linen Hall Library in both Irish and Ulster-Scots. The library archives hold a vast amount of material in both including the Gibson Collection of Burns and Burnsiana.

Genealogy Workshops

Find out more about the Linen Hall’s extensive genealogy resources. These include hundreds of books of family histories, newspaper records, and ancient pedigrees tracing the lineage of local families.

For further information on bespoke tours with the Linen Hall’s knowledgeable and engaging guides, please contact the library on +4428 9032 1707 or, or speak to a member of staff at the General Lending Desk on Level 3.

Membership Offer

All new members of the Linen Hall receive a complimentary induction tour as well as a 10% discount on all other tours. For further information, please visit our members’ area.

17 Donegall Square North
Belfast BT1 5GB
Northern Ireland
(full disabled access via Fountain St)

Location: Google Maps

Telephone: +44 (0)28 9032 1707
Fax: +44 (0)28 9043 8586

Linen Hall Library
Monday to Friday: 9.30am – 5.30pm

Linen Hall Café
Monday to Friday: 9.30am – 5.00pm

The Library is normally closed on all public holidays.