Cavehill Country Park
Cavehill Country Park is a popular area for both casual walkers and serious hikers.
Beginning at Belfast Castle, you have several trail options depending on your physical level. You can choose a gentler route, Castle Trail, which would take only 30 minutes to walk, covering 0.8 miles and with views over the city at 120m above sea level. For a more moderate walk, you can take the Estate Trail which covers 2.4 miles but if you want a more challenging route, you can take the Cave Hill Trail or the Ballyaghagan Trail. The Cave Hill Trail covers 4.5 miles where the highlight of your walk is the spectacular McArts Fort, which stands almost 368m above sea level.
The Black Mountain, Divis and the Mourne Mountains can be best admired from this spot. The Ballyaghagan Trail can be accessed through Upper Hightown Road car park, which will lead you to a river up towards Carin (a pile of stones), and the highest point of Cave Hill. You can continue ahead to McArt’s Fort and Strangford Lough or towards Lough Neagh in the opposite direction.
Cavehill Country Park got its name from five caves located on the side of the Belfast cliffs. This basaltic hill overlooks the city of Belfast and is famous for its unique feature, locally known as Napoleon’s Nose, believed to be the inspiration for Jonathan Swift’s novel, Gulliver’s Travel. Swift imagined the hill as a sleeping giant safeguarding the city.
While at the Park, make sure to visit the Cave Hill Adventurous Playground, Cavehill Visitor’s Centre and the Cellar Restaurant inside Belfast Castle. The Visitor Centre is in the basement of Belfast Castle with a free entry museum which opens Tuesdays to Sundays from 9.00am to 10.00pm and Sundays and Mondays from 9am to 5.30pm.
*Times and prices may change so please check their website directly for updated information.