15 Best Walks in Belfast (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks in Belfast (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Are you looking for serene outdoor spaces to immerse yourself in and take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life?

Belfast is the perfect place to do just that.

With its lush green countryside, winding rivers, and stunning coastline, Belfast offers some of the best walks in Northern Ireland.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll by the river or an invigorating hike up a mountain, here we have compiled 15 of the best walks in Belfast.

1. The Divis Summit Trail

The Divis Summit Trail
Photo by David Purchase

If you’re looking for a breathtaking view of Belfast and beyond, the Divis Summit Trail is a must-see.

This trail is located in Belfast’s spectacular Divis and Black Mountain Regional Park.

It’s an easy two-mile hike that offers stunning views of the city, as well as the surrounding areas.

The trailhead is located at the Divis car park, which can be accessed by taking the M1 motorway to Clady and then following signs for Divis Mountain.

As you make your way up the summit, you’ll pass through ancient woodlands with plenty of native wildlife to spot along the way.

At the top of the summit, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning vista overlooking Belfast City Centre and out towards some of Northern Ireland’s most famous landmarks such as Cave Hill, Scrabo Tower, and Slemish Mountain.

On a clear day, it’s even possible to catch a glimpse of Scotland in the distance.

There are also plenty of opportunities to take photographs along the route or just enjoy some peaceful moments in nature.

Whether you take a leisurely stroll or set off on an adventure full of exploration, this trail promises incredible views that will stay with you long after your journey ends.

2. Cave Hill

Cave, Cave Hill, Belfast
Photo by Rossographer

Leaving the Divis Summit Trail behind, we now head to Cave Hill.

Located in north Belfast, this spot is sure to take your breath away. With its rugged beauty and rich history, Cave Hill offers some of the best walks in Belfast.

The landscape here is truly spectacular.

Views of Belfast City and County Antrim are yours to explore, as you wander through lush green fields and follow winding trails that lead up to the summit of Cave Hill.

Along the way, you can visit the remnants of an Iron Age fort, or stop by The Gobbins cliff-path attraction for a unique experience – a walk along a spectacular coastal path with breathtaking views.

Cave Hill is also home to Belfast Castle, which stands proudly atop the hill providing stunning panoramic views of the city below.

For those looking for a more leisurely stroll, there are plenty of paths that meander through this natural paradise where you can take your time exploring every inch of its beauty.

Whether it’s walking up to the summit for breathtaking vistas or just taking in nature’s wonder from the lower ground – Cave Hill has much to offer those seeking a peaceful escape from city life.

3. Carnmoney Hill

Carnmoney Hill Trig Point
Photo by Paul McVarnock

Carnmoney Hill is one of the best hikes near Belfast.

Located in County Antrim, it’s a popular spot for hikers and nature lovers alike.

The views from the summit are breathtaking – you can see all of Belfast and beyond.

The hike itself is also quite spectacular, with plenty of lush vegetation, an abundance of wildflowers, and a few small streams to cross along the way.

The climb up Carnmoney Hill is relatively easy, making it suitable for most hikers.

There are several different paths that lead up to the summit, so you can choose the one that works best for you.

Read  15 Best Walks In Aberystwyth (Hikes & Nice Walks)

Once you reach the top, take time to soak in the incredible panoramic views of Belfast and beyond before heading back down.

As you make your descent, keep an eye out for some of the local wildlife such as foxes and badgers – they often make appearances here!

All in all, this is a great walk that will leave you feeling inspired and rejuvenated.

4. Black Mountain Circular

The next stop on our journey is the Black Mountain Circular.

This beautiful walk takes us to the highest point in Belfast, offering breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings.

The trail starts at Divis car park, which is easily accessible from the Belfast city center.

From here we follow a path that leads up to the summit of Black Mountain.

This path winds through woodland and meadows with some sections offering stunning views over Belfast Lough.

As we ascend, we will pass a number of landmarks such as Divis Tower, Hightown Barracks, and the Belfast transmitter mast.

At the summit, there is a trig pillar which marks our highest point at 554 feet above sea level! Here we can take in 360-degree panoramic views across Belfast and beyond – a truly magical experience.

After taking in this incredible vista, we begin our descent back down into Divis car park where our journey began.

5. Cregagh Glen And Lisnabreeny

Cregagh Glen and Lisnabreeny are two of the best walks in Belfast.

Cregagh Glen is a three-mile walk along the banks of the River Lagan, with stunning views of Belfast’s cityscape.

The area is popular with joggers, walkers, and cyclists alike, making it a great place to get some exercise while taking in the sights.

Lisnabreeny, on the other hand, is an eight-mile walk around a nature reserve.

It features lush green fields, trickling streams, and an abundance of wildlife.

This peaceful stroll is perfect for those looking for some much-needed downtime away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

No matter what your preference – be it long walks or short jogs – Cregagh Glen and Lisnabreeny offer something for everyone.

Take a break from your daily routine and enjoy these beautiful sites that Belfast has to offer.

Escape the confines of everyday life and immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.

Relax in peace as you take in all that these wonderful places have to offer – there’s no better way to clear your head!

6. Ridge Trail Circular

The Ridge Trail Circular is a great hike for anyone looking to get out and explore Belfast.

Starting in the heart of the city, it follows a steady climb up Cave Hill, before descending into the tranquil Belfast Hills.

This hike offers stunning views of Belfast and beyond, as well as peaceful woodland trails.

The 5-mile (8 km) route takes around two hours, but with plenty of stops along the way there’s plenty of time to admire the scenery or take some photographs. From the summit of Cave Hill, you can see all across Belfast Lough and far beyond.

The descent to Belfast Hills is a pleasant walk through woodland trails, offering glimpses of wildlife and wildflowers in season.

With its varied terrain and spectacular views, this is an ideal walk for nature lovers and hikers alike!

7. Ligoniel Dams

Ligoniel Dams are a great way to enjoy the beauty of Belfast from a different perspective.

This walk is especially popular for those who love nature and want to explore the surrounding countryside.

The route takes you along the River Lagan, with stunning views of the city skyline as you go.

You can also take in some historical sights along the way, such as old mills and castles.

The walk is mostly flat, so it’s suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. It’s also well-signposted, so you won’t get lost.

There are plenty of places to stop along the way for a rest or to take in the views, and if you’re lucky enough you may even spot some wildlife!

All in all, this is a fantastic opportunity to appreciate Belfast from a different angle – one that most people don’t get to see.

8. Belfast Hills

Leaving the Ligoniel Dams behind, you’ll soon find yourself in the Belfast Hills.

This picturesque area offers breathtaking views of the city and its surrounding countryside.

You can take a leisurely stroll on a number of well-marked trails, or if you feel up to it, embark on a more challenging hike through the hills.

Read  15 Best Walks in Snowdonia (Hikes & Nice Walks)

Whichever path you choose, you won’t be disappointed by the stunning scenery that awaits you.

The Belfast Hills are made up of rocky outcrops and grassy slopes, blanketed in lush greenery and wildflowers.

There are plenty of vantage points where you can take in panoramic views across Belfast and beyond – great for a photo opportunity!

If you’re lucky enough to spot wildlife such as deer or badgers as you explore, then so much the better.

As you wander through these hills, feel your worries slip away and savor this moment of peace and tranquility.

9. Stormont Estate

Stormont Estate is an ideal destination for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike.

Located in the east of Belfast, this sprawling estate boasts some of the finest views of the city and its surrounding countryside.

The estate is home to a variety of habitats that are perfect for wildlife spotting, with hidden glens, ancient trees, and Meadowlands.

There are various walking trails available, from easy routes suitable for all ages to longer treks that take in some of the best sights in Belfast.

The grounds are also home to Stormont Castle and Parliament Buildings, making it a great place for those interested in politics or history.

Visitors can explore the nearby gardens or take part in one of the many educational events held on-site.

The estate is also popular with cyclists, as there are plenty of paths available for those looking to get out on two wheels.

Whether you’re keen to take a relaxed stroll or embark on a more intrepid journey, Stormont Estate has something for everyone.

10. Botanic Gardens

Leaving the Stormont Estate, take a leisurely stroll to Botanic Gardens.

This historic and beautiful garden is located in the heart of Belfast and provides visitors with a peaceful retreat from city living.

Enjoy the lush greenery while getting lost in this tranquil oasis.

There are many attractions to explore, including bedding displays, rock gardens, and a Victorian Palm House, which is an impressive glass structure where tropical plants are displayed.

Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife like ducks and swans who call this place home.

Visiting the gardens is a great way to spend a day or two away from it all.

Whether you’re looking for some peace and quiet or just want to soak up the beauty of nature, you’ll find something here that will satisfy your needs.

Take your time as you wander through this stunning landscape—you won’t regret it! Be sure to bring along your camera so you can capture all the spectacular views of Belfast from the gardens.

With plenty of seating areas and benches dotted around, you can sit back and relax while taking in everything around you.

11. Antrim Lough Shore Park

Antrim Lough Shore Park is a stunning nature spot situated along the banks of Belfast Lough.

It boasts a range of walking trails, from easy to moderate difficulty, so there’s something for everyone.

Visitors can enjoy a beautiful stroll through the tranquil parkland, taking in the sights of the ancient woodland and wildlife that reside here.

The lough itself offers breathtaking views and perfect photo opportunities – it’s no wonder it’s so popular!

At Antrim Lough Shore Park you’ll find plenty to explore; walkers can amble down a path lined with wildflowers and admire the vibrant colors that adorn the landscape.

There are also plenty of benches for those wanting to take a break and soak up the scenery.

Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy spotting some of the many species found here, including ducks, swans, herons, bats, and even otters!

And if you’re lucky enough to visit during late summer or autumn, you may be able to catch sight of salmon leaping upriver as they head off on their migratory journey.

So why not take a day out in Antrim Lough Shore Park – you won’t be disappointed!

12. Maritime Mile

The Maritime Mile is one of Belfast’s best walks, and it truly lives up to its name.

Stretching along the seafront from the iconic Titanic Quarter, this mile-long path is a great way to experience the city’s maritime history.

With a mix of cobbled streets, parks, and promenades, visitors can take in the sights of the harbor and some grand old buildings.

Starting at Titanic Belfast, visitors will be amazed by the sheer size of this iconic building that stands as a monument to one of history’s most famous ships.

Read  15 Best Walks In Winchester (Hikes & Nice Walks)

Around the corner lies HMS Caroline – a restored warship from World War One – and it’s well worth taking some time to explore her decks and cabins.

Further along are several public parks, including Customs House Square which hosts a range of events throughout the year.

The endpoint is SS Nomadic – another historic ship with tales to tell that will leave you wanting more.

The Maritime Mile is an excellent choice for those looking for an enjoyable stroll with plenty to see and do along the way.

Whether you’re after history or just want to admire some stunning views, this route will certainly not disappoint!

13. Giant’s Ring Trail

The Giant’s Ring Trail is a popular walk near Belfast, Northern Ireland that rewards hikers with spectacular views across the city and beyond.

This 7km circular route starts off in the village of Ballynahinch and takes you around the Giant’s Ring, an ancient earthwork built over 5000 years ago.

As you make your way along the trail, take some time to appreciate the beauty of nature; rolling hills, peaceful woodlands, tranquil loughs, and secluded fields.

Along your journey, you’ll also come across a number of historic sites like a Bronze Age burial mound and a mysterious standing stone.

For those looking for an extra challenge, why not try taking one of the many side trails that branch off from the main path?

This leisurely stroll offers something for everyone; whether you’re looking for some peace and quiet or simply want to see some incredible views.

With its stunning landscapes and rich history, Giant’s Ring Trail is definitely worth exploring.

So grab your shoes and get ready to explore this magical place!

14. Colin Glen

Colin Glen is a perfect spot for those looking to explore nature in Belfast.

With its lush greenery, incredible views, and its rich history, this park has something for everyone.

It’s also a great place to go for a leisurely walk or an invigorating hike.

The trails vary in difficulty, so you can choose the route that best suits your needs.

There are plenty of places along the way to stop and take in the scenery, or even take a picnic if you’re feeling adventurous.

And if you’re lucky, you may even spot a few wild deer! The park also has plenty of artifacts from its past—from abandoned mills to old churches and roadways—so make sure to take some time to explore them as well.

Colin Glen is truly an amazing place that offers something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for an exciting adventure or just want to relax and enjoy the scenery, it’s definitely worth checking out!

15. Redburn Forest

Next on the list of Belfast’s best walks is Redburn Forest.

Located just a few miles west of downtown, Redburn Forest is an idyllic spot with plenty to explore.

From the entrance at the bottom of the hill, visitors will find themselves surrounded by trees and wildlife.

The terrain is mostly flat with some gentle slopes, making it easy to traverse.

As you walk through Redburn Forest, you’ll be delighted by an array of birdsongs, rustling leaves, and the calming scent of pine needles.

With its diverse flora and fauna, this forest provides a wonderful escape from city life.

Redburn Forest also boasts impressive views over Belfast and beyond.

There are several benches along the trails where visitors can take a break and admire the scenery or simply enjoy some peace and quiet away from it all.

Whether you’re after an easy stroll or a challenging hike, Redburn Forest has something for everyone to enjoy!

Best Walks in Belfast – Final Thoughts

Wrapping up this list of the best walks in Belfast, I feel it’s important to point out that there are many more trails and paths waiting to be explored.

Whether you’re looking for a casual stroll or a challenging hike, Belfast has something for everyone.

Personally, I can’t wait to go back and experience some of the trails I’ve missed.

From the winding paths of Cregagh Glen and Lisnabreeny to the summit of Divis Mountain, each walk offers something special.

Whether you’re a local resident or just passing through Belfast, I highly recommend getting out and exploring these beautiful trails.

You won’t regret it!

FAQs

What are some easy walks in Belfast?

Some easy walks in Belfast are Ridge Trail Circular, Giant’s Ring Walk, and Ormeau Park.

What are the best circular walks in Belfast?

Some of the best circular walks in Belfast are Divis via Ridge Circular, Ridge Trail Circular, and Giant’s Ring Circular Walk.

What are some good family walks in Belfast?

Some good family walks in Belfast are The Gruffalo Trail, Colin Glen Forest, and Hillsborough Forest.

You may also like:

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.