Travelling to BES2023

Find out about our recommended routes to Belfast.

We are very excited to be returning to Belfast this year for our Annual Meeting. This year the even will be held at the ICC Belfast, located in the heart of the Northern Irish capital.

Be advised that industrial action has been announced for 15 and 16 December 2023, affecting trains and buses in Northern Ireland. We are working with our contacts in Belfast and will keep you up-to-date with any developments through our website and Whova app.

Venue Address

ICC Belfast,
2 Lanyon Pl,

Getting to Belfast

The BES represents a global community, and therefore we recognise that getting to our Annual Meetings can represent a considerable carbon impact. There are many ways to travel to the great city of Belfast from mainland UK, and we are encouraging our delegates to consider alternative ways to travel

Knowing that the majority of BES Annual Meeting delegates come from the UK and the Republic of Ireland, we have brought together some information on the carbon costs of transport options from these areas to BelfastHowever, we recognise that some delegates will need to fly to Belfast so have also included some information about public transport options from airports to the city centre. 

If you’d like to find out more about the steps we’re taking to make our Annual Meeting more sustainable, click here.

Recommended routes from within the UK 

Our recommended mode of travel from mainland UK to Belfast, based on the carbon cost, is via public transport and ferry. 

If you are unfamiliar with travelling via ferry and aren’t sure how to get started, you can use Rome2Rio to help you plan travel from anywhere in the UK.  

From England and Wales

If you are travelling from England and Wales, we recommend taking the ferry from Liverpool to Belfast. Taking the train and ferry to Belfast uses on average 83% less carbon than flying directly from major cities in England and Wales. The ferry crossing from Liverpool to Belfast departs two times daily and takes approximately 8 hours. Overnight ferries are available. The crossing from Cairnryan in Scotland is significantly shorter, if you are based close to the Scottish border, we recommend exploring both options. 

The Stena Line Liverpool Port is located at 12 Quays Terminal, Birkenhead. It is a short walk from Hamilton Square rail station and bus services run frequently from the city centre.

Belfast ferry port is connected to the city centre via multiple train and bus services.   


(KG CO2 per person)

Train and Ferry
(KG CO2 per person)

London 77 14
Birmingham 58 9
Cardiff 73 12


While trains and ferries are typically more expensive than flying, if you book your travel well in advance this should not significantly add to your travel costs.  

From Scotland 

If you are travelling from Scotland, the ferry crossing from Cairnryan to Belfast takes just 2 hours and 15 minutes. Coaches depart for Cairnryan ferry port from Glasgow Buchanan bus station daily. 


(KG CO2 per person)

Train, Bus, and Ferry
(KG CO2 per person)

Edinburgh 35 7
Glasgow 27 5


Belfast ferry port is connected to the city centre via multiple train and bus services.   

From Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland 

Our recommended mode of travel from the republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland is via train or bus where possible. 

ICC Belfast is within walking distance of both of Belfast’s city centre train stations, with Lanyon Place Train Station just a two-minute walk from the venue. There are eight daily Enterprise rail services connecting Belfast Lanyon Place Station and Dublin Connolly Station. 

The two city centre bus stations are also a short walk from the venue and there is a Translink Glider stop right outside. The Aircoach bus service connects Belfast with Dublin Airport and Dublin City Centre, operating over 10 daily routes. 

Other transport options

By car 

It is possible to take a car ferry across to Belfast but please note that travelling alone via car over long distances emits more carbon than flying. If you plan to travel via car ferry from Liverpool or Cairnryan, please consider carpooling with other delegates you know.  


Car with no passengers
(KG CO2 per person)

Car with 3 passengers
(KG CO2 per person)

London 88 33
Edinburgh 48 14
Cardiff 78 23


If you are driving, there are two privately owned car parks beside the venue.  

By air 

If you do need to fly to Belfast there are two airports with convenient links to the city centre. 

Belfast City Airport is just three miles from Belfast City Centre and has flights from Aer Lingus Regional, British Airways, KLM, Flybe, EasyJet and Eastern Airways. The Translink Airport Express 600 bus service runs between the airport and Belfast City Centre. 

Belfast International Airport is a 30 minute drive from Belfast City Centre and has flights from EasyJet, Ryanair, Jet2, Virgin Atlantic, TUI and Wizz air. The Translink Airport Express 300 bus service runs between the airport and Belfast City Centre. 

How we calculate our carbon

We used Rome2Rio to plan several potential routes from major UK cities to Belfast. We then used the latest UK government conversion factors to calculate estimated CO2 emissions for travelling from major UK cities to Belfast via train, plane, and ferry. This is the same method we use to calculate and track our own carbon emissions.  

If you would like to calculate your own travel carbon emissions from cities across Europe you can use Direct Ferries carbon calculator. (Please note that this carbon calculator may vary slightly from our calculations, but should give you a reasonable estimate.)