There are plenty of great places to enjoy outdoor sports in and around Belfast. It is never to late to try a new sport or rediscover a long-time sporting passion.
Northern Ireland has a world-class golf scene that is home to some of the biggest names in the sport, and you’ll find some of the country’s most renowned courses right here in Belfast. With Balmoral Golf Club, Malone Golf Club and Belvoir Golf Club all within five miles of the city centre you don’t have to go far to find the perfect place for a round.
Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a total beginner, you can buy permits and find a full list of places to fish for salmon, brown, sea and rainbow trout on the Department’s website. Fishing is permitted in designated areas along the River Lagan, including Stranmillis and Shaw’s Bridge.
Try your hand at archery at Colin Glen Forest Park! This exciting sport is suitable for all ages and abilities, and it’s a great chance to test your accuracy, concentration and mental discipline. Colin Glen offers one-hour lessons perfect for families and household bubbles.
For those looking adventure, try the mountain bike trails and jump parks at Barnett Demesne. The trails consist of a shared use 3.4km green trail and a 3.9km blue trail with three red loop options (1.5km). Colin Glen Forest Park in west Belfast also has a purpose-built, single track mountain bike trail, with a new 5km blue grade course due to open soon!
Belfast offers miles of cycle lanes taking you through the city and to the leafy suburbs beyond. Follow the Maritime Mile along the historic waterfront in the Titanic Quarter, or explore east Belfast by bike on the traffic-free Connswater Greenway and Comber Greenway.
Surrounded by lofty hills thought to be the inspiration behind Jonathan Swift’s novel Gulliver’s Travels, Belfast offers spectacular hiking just minutes from the city centre. Climb Divis and Black Mountain for breathtaking views, or make your way to the top of Cave Hill an open vista of Belfast Lough. Belfast Hills Partnership provides lots of information on walking trails and how to get to them.
Cairn Wood is a popular spot for rambling and orienteering with its network of well-marked trails through a sprawling forest of mature conifers and young trees. Enjoy beautiful views of Bangor and beyond, and look out for an abundance of local wildlife. Or follow orienteering trails in Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, an award-winning expanse of rolling meadows, copses, woodland gardens on the Upper Malone Road.
Skateboarding and Skating
Bridges Urban Sports Park has facilities for skateboarding, in-line skating, parkour and BMX. The park, which was the first urban sports park in Northern Ireland, has handrails, hips, quarter pipes and grind boxes. It’s free to access and there’s a car park next to it on Little Patrick Street which is free on weekends and after 6.30pm on weekdays.
Open Water Swimming
Take a dip at Let’s Go Hydro, where open water swimming is available every Monday and Thursday from 6pm and Saturdays from 9am. Pre-book on their website and don’t forget a swimming kit, towel and tow float.
Visit Colin Glen Forest Park’s state-of-the-art driving range, suitable for everyone from beginners to the top young and senior players. The range includes 15 heated bays and world-class ball tracking technology.