Put simply, if you want to explore West Belfast and leave with a real sense of what the Troubles meant to the people within these communities, then you need to do this tour.
Robert and Mark have very different presentation styles and experiences, so you definitely feel like you're getting two different perspectives on the local history. They were both very insightful and generous in sharing their personal, sometimes gut-wrenching stories and welcomed questions.
You could walk these areas by yourself, but even with a guide book you wouldn't get the same personalised context behind a mural, a street corner, a derelict patch of land or former fish shop. Robert and Mark made the recent past vivid, while also explaining the gains made since the peace process and the distance still yet to go. I already had a good knowledge of the Troubles, but I left with a deeper understanding of the social and economic costs of 30 years of sectarian violence that still resonate within West Belfast to this day.
Practically speaking, this is a 3 hour walk along pavements and roads, taken at a leisurely pace with plenty of stops for your jaw to hit the floor.
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