Enjoy fun-filled family days this spring with these top ideas of places to go in Belfast and beyond. Explore the great outdoors, pack a picnic and make some memories.
Discover Belfast’s historic waterfront with a stroll along the Maritime Mile, which covers one mile of water and 10 kilometres of connected pathway. Stretching from Sailortown to the Titanic Pump House the pathway includes the Big Fish, SS Nomadic, Titanic Belfast and Titanic Slipways. It’s also perfect for cycling so why not bring your bikes and experience the whole thing on two wheels?
From the stunning formal gardens of Mount Stewart and Rowallane to the rolling hills of Black Mountain, get outside and enjoy a day out exploring nature, just moments from Belfast. All outdoor attractions are able to open again, including Castle Espie, Lets Go Hydro, Sky Trek and Archery at Colin Glen and The Jungle NI.
Colin Glen Forest Park
Visit Colin Glen Forest Park for some fun-filled, action-packed adventure! Have a go on the SKYTrek high ropes and low ropes course, try your hand at archery, or challenge friends to Laser-Tag combat. There’s also mountain biking trails, a driving range, a golf course, guided nature walks, and a Gruffalo Trail for little ones. Get your adrenaline pumping with the Black Bull Run, the Forest Flyover zipline and if you’re feeling really brave, check out Ireland’s longest zipline, the River Rapid.
Ark Open Farm
If you enjoy the great outdoors and lots of interaction with animals of all kinds, then the Ark Farm is just the place for you. Young and old, it suits all ages. The farm is open everyday from 10AM – 5PM!
Belfast Golf Courses
Tee off on beautiful tree-lined courses and enjoy some fresh air. Golf is a great sport to do alone or with company. Find out what golf courses are nearby and pop in for a round of golf.
Redburn Country Park
Spring is one of the best times to visit Redburn Country Park, when a carpet of bluebells, wood sorrel and anemones emerges among the woodland. The park is also home to lots of wildlife including birds, rabbits and the shy red squirrel, and it offers a variety of marked trails perfect for walking, exploring or running.
Moira Demesne is a parkland offering beautiful walks, picnic sites and a children’s play area. Explore the varied selection of award-winning rose beds and wander through the nearby village of Moira for coffee and food.
Escape to the grounds of Mount Stewart where you’ll find miles of walks around the historic demesne, magnificent views of Strangford Lough and a picturesque lake surrounded by beautiful swathes of woodland.
Wallace Park is ideal for families, with an exciting children’s play area for little ones and a variety of gentle walks suitable for all ages. The park is located in the heart of Lisburn and encompasses 25 acres of mature parkland.
Visit Cairn Wood this spring – a haven of serenity, with enchanting walks through mature conifers and young trees in the hilly hinterland of Holywood. Look out for beautiful views towards Bangor and beyond. The wood boasts well marked paths popular with walkers, ramblers and runners.
Hillsborough Castle & Gardens
Hillsborough Castle’s glorious gardens boasts ornamental grounds, peaceful woodland, meandering waterways and picturesque glens, with over 100 spectacular acres to discover. Don’t miss the Yew Tree Walk, Ice House, a Quaker Burial Ground and the beautiful Granville Garden created by HM The Queen’s aunt Lady Granville.
Bangor Walled Garden
Find Bangor Castle Victorian Walled Garden in the tranquil grounds of Castle Park. It was designed by the Ward family in the 1840s and opened as a visitor attraction in 2009. The garden is divided into four different sections, each with its own horticultural personality and sculptures inspired by North Down’s maritime history.
Lose yourself in Rowallane Gardens this spring where you’ll find unusual plants, colours, sculptures and many more magical features. This outdoor areas at this National Trust property are open for walks. Don’t forget to get a drink or bite to eat at the café.
Millisle Beach Park
Millisle Beach Park is a stunning rural beach off the Ballywalter Road on the Ards Peninsula. The park provides a small sandy beach, picnic facilities and a nearby children’s playground which includes fun interactive equipment – perfect for a day out with the whole family.
Hillsborough Forest covers an area of almost 200 acres and has clearly marked routes providing a variety of different walks to suit everyone. Enjoy stunning lakeside viewpoints, a huge woodland-themed children’s playpark and picnic areas throughout the park, and pick up a hot drink from Percy’s Coffee cart in the car park.
Lagan Valley Regional Park
Lagan Valley Regional Park offers miles of walking or cycling surrounded by beautiful scenery. Enjoy the flora and fauna in tranquil surroundings. Begin your journey from the many access points to the River Lagan and the towpath by foot, bicycle and car at Stranmillis, Loughview Road and Shaws Bridge.
Discover world class angling and fishing locations somewhere local to you. 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.