Sarah Explores: HMS Caroline

When thinking about World War One, in Northern Ireland we tend to think of the Battle of the Somme. That is to be expected, with many families having personal connections to the battle.

‘The battle that won the war’, or the Battle of Jutland was fought close to Denmark between the British naval forces and those of the German Kaiser. HMS Caroline is the only ship that fought in Jutland that has survived until today.

hms caroline belfast ship

To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the battle (31 May – 1  June 1916), HMS Caroline has been restored and opened as a visitor attraction at the docks in Titanic Quarter, Belfast. I am a massive history buff and the two world wars especially fascinate me, however, my knowledge of the World War One lies mostly with the happenings on the western front.

hms caroline belfast ship

The sun was shining brightly on the day I visited. This allowed for a lot of time on the top deck exploring the different weapons (including torpedoes) while also having some stunning views of the Belfast docks.

hms caroline belfast ship game of thrones studios

A sneaky glance at the studios Game of Thrones is filmed in

hms caroline belfast ship titanic pump house

Titanic’s pump house

hms caroline belfast ship torpedo

It’s torpedo time

Audio guides are provided and the natural starting point is the ‘Jutland Experience’ with a five-minute film on the battle. Gone are the days of an information reel listing out facts about the battle with black and white footage in the background (I was a big fan of those reels). On HMS Caroline, a film is played by actors as they progress through the battle on a screen that fills the whole room.

After the film has ended, you have free reign (almost) of the ship to explore:

hms caroline belfast ship officer cabin

The cabin belonging to one of the officers on the ship

hms caroline belfast ship captains bathroom

The captain had his own bathroom and private bathing area

hms caroline belfast ship captains toilet

What would a bathroom picture be without one of the fancy toilet?


Through the porthole…

hms caroline belfast ship mess

One of the mess areas on the ship

hms caroline belfast ship kitchen

The ship’s kitchen area – there were speakers playing the sounds of what the kitchen was like.

hms caroline belfast ship sick bay

You don’t want to be ending up here; it’s the sick bay of the ship. There’s even a fold down operating table for emergencies.

There is no end to the interactive sections of the ship. I suspect these areas were aimed towards folk younger than myself, but that didn’t stop me dressing up like a sailor. It also didn’t stop me trying to decipher coded messages. (Side note: I should have been better than I was)

hms caroline belfast ship interactive area

So many codes to crack..

hms caroline belfast ship hms caroline belfast ship

HMS Caroline is a fun and informative way to spend your day. It is suitable for all ages and I know I came away knowing what the Battle of Jutland was and the impact it had on the rest of World War One.

It is brilliant to see HMS Caroline restored to her former glory and it’s even better to enjoy a visit on a beautiful day.

hms caroline belfast ship

hms caroline belfast ship gun

Have you visited? Are there any other vessels worth visiting?

Practical information:

Address: HMS Caroline, Alexandra Dock, Queens Rd, Belfast BT3 9DT

Telephone: 028 9045 4484           Price: Tickets are £5 – £12


One of the newest attractions in Belfast (and Titanic Quarter) is HMS Caroline



  1. 29/08/2016 / 23:17

    I enjoyed reading your post. I, too, love historical exhibits like this, and it reminded me a lot of the USS Midway that is open for tours in San Diego, CA. Thanks for taking the time to document your visit with pictures and information we can all enjoy!
    Tami recently posted…St. George Inn and SuitesMy Profile

    • 31/08/2016 / 09:19

      Thanks Tami. When I’m back in CA, I guess I’ll have to hop on the USS Midway! It sounds right up my street!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge