Parks and Gardens
Belfast has thousands of acres of beautiful parkland. Manicured gardens and untouched meadows weave throughout the fabric of the city, offering lush green spaces where you can catch a breath of fresh air and take a stroll.
Find Botanic Gardens in the heart of south Belfast, where residents, students and visitors use the park as a place to relax, eat and (on good days) soak up some sun. This beautiful park has a Green Flag Award, recognising it as one of the UK’s best open spaces, and is home to exotic tree species and plants from the southern hemisphere that have been a part of the park since it was established by Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society in 1828.
The grounds at Stormont Parliament Buildings have also won a Green Flag Award, recognising this woodland park in east Belfast as a prestigious space to walk, play and relax. Take one of the three walking trails – the History Trail, Woodland Trail and Environment Trail – to discover the heritage, fauna and wildlife on the Estate. There’s also a huge children’s playpark, dog park, outdoor gym and plenty of points of interest, including the magnificent Parliament Buildings themselves.
Lagan Valley Regional Park
Between Stranmillis in south Belfast and Lisburn, Lagan Valley Regional Park covers 4,500 acres of countryside and 11 miles of riverbank. The Regional Park is a mosaic of countryside, urban parks, heritage sites, nature reserves and riverside trails, offering miles of level walking in tranquil, attractive surroundings. Get there by bike – the Lagan Towpath is perfect of cycling and it runs from Stranmillis, through Lagan Meadows to Lagan Valley Regional Park.
Barnett Demesne is a sprawling park in south Belfast comprised of marshland, meadows and woodland. It features an arboretum, daffodil garden, ecotrail, orienteering routes and a children’s playground, as well as bike trails and jump parks for those with an adventurous streak! The award-winning park is also home to lots of wildlife including rabbits, badgers and grey and red squirrels, and more than 70 species of wildflower grow in the meadows during the summer months!
Belfast lies in the footprint of a series of hills in the north and northwest of the city. Pull on your walking boots and explore these rolling landscapes home to many species of flora and wildlife.
For generations, Cave Hill has been synonymous with Belfast, with its imposing outline visible throughout the city. Its most famous feature, known locally as Napoleon’s Nose, is believed to have been the inspiration for Jonathan Swift’s novel, Gulliver’s Travels. The Country Park boasts , an ecotrail, gardens, orienteering routes, scenic views and waymarked walking trails suitable for casual walkers or serious ramblers.
Divis and Black Mountain
Travelling from Black Mountain on to Divis, walkers are rewarded with spectacular views of Belfast Lough, the Ards Peninsula, the Isle of Man, Scotland, the Mourne Mountains and Carlingford Mountains on the one side, and on the other the Sperrins, Antrim Plateau and Lough Neagh. The hills are a combination grassland and heathland bog, and are home to a host of wildlife and archaeological remains.
Attractions and Experiences
Many of Belfast’s tour operators and attractions have been recognised for their sustainability. Check out then green accredited and low impact visitor experiences.
Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen
Escape to the unspoiled shores of Strangford Lough for an authentic Irish bread baking experience in Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen. You’ll join Tracey in her home, where you’ll be welcomed with the aroma of freshly made griddle breads, soda and wheaten, and a table laden with homemade treats – then have a go at making your own! The experience has a Green Tourism accreditation and is a great opportunity to get off the beaten track, meet locals and try something new.
Belfast Bike Tours
There’s no better (and cleaner) way to see the city than from two wheels! Go for a spin with Belfast Bike Tours and take in top landmarks including Titanic Belfast, the Big Fish, Belfast City Hall and Botanic Gardens, all while hearing little known facts about the city. You’ll also have a chance to stop at St George’s Market and sample tasty, local produce.
There are a host of walking tours to choose from in Belfast, and each is as low impact and good for the environment as the next. Explore our maritime history on the free, self-guided Titanic Trail or choose a specialised guided tour such as If Building Could Talk tours or DC Tours.
Jurys Inn Belfast is a member of the Green Tourism Business Scheme and the hotel is committed to reducing the environmental impact of their operations through pro-active environmental and social policies. Jurys Inn Belfast is right in the heart of the city centre, making it the ideal base for exploring the city.
Belfast is a walkable city and many of our landmarks and districts are within walking distance from the city centre. If you’re venturing further out, grab a low-emission taxi or use public transport.
Over 60% of Value Cabs’ fleet is now low-emission and you can request a low-emission vehicle in advance, promising a more environmentally-friendly way to get around the city.
Hop on a Translink Glider service that runs from the west to the east of the city, or use the Metro bus services to get to and from the city centre from just about anywhere in Belfast. The NI Rail service is perfect for exploring greater Belfast, Lisburn, Bangor or for venturing to the Causeway Coast.
Electric Vehicle Charging Point
Spend the night at Stormont Hotel, which has a charging point for electric vehicles in their on-site car park. Located on the Upper Newtownards Road, this contemporary hotel is just across the road from Stormont Parliament Buildings and its sprawling woodland park.