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Quality Walk

Giant's Ring Trail

A green oasis in the heart of the city of Belfast, Minnowburn is full of beautiful trails verging the Lagan or heading through woodland and farmland. It lies in the Lagan Valley Regional Park and is a great place to walk through fields alive with the sounds and smells of nature, or stroll along the banks of the Lagan and Minnowburn. You may spot spawning salmon or sea trout.

As you leave National Trust lands and enter Ballynahatty you pass through the famous Giants Ring, a Neolithic earthwork circle set in the middle of beautiful farmland.

 

County

Down

Distance

3 miles

OS Map

Sheet 15

Nearest Town

Belfast

Route Shape

Circular

Route Type

Riverside, Woodland

Terrain

Dirt, gravel & wooden boardwalk

Grid Reference (Start)

J325686

Grid Reference (End)

J325686

Point of Interest

Minnowburn Bridge, Giants Ring

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Lagan Valley

Route Description

From the car park, follow the Lagan riverbank path upstream. After about 656 feet (200 metres), take the first path you come to on the left-hand side. Follow this path, cross the Edenderry Road and continue on with the mature woodland on your left. You'll enter young, broadleaved woodland. Carry on until you reach the Ballynahatty Road. Cross the road and take the path opposite. Follow the path which has fields on either side for about half a mile (1 kilometre), until you reach the Giant's Ring. After exploring the Ring, make your way out through the gate at the opposite side from which you arrived. Pass through the car park and carry on down the avenue until you reach the road. Cross the road, taking care to watch out for traffic, and climb over the stile opposite. You're now in the Sandpit Field, a marvellous natural amphitheatre that was carved by retreating glaciers during the last Ice Age.

Follow the track around the top of the big pit until you come to a stile beside a road. Climb over the stile and cross the road. Go through the pedestrian gate opposite, follow the path through a second gate and continue on the old tarmac path up Terrace Hill. This path used to be the main avenue to Terrace Hill house, in spring the bank on the left is filled with daffodils and bluebells. Carry on until you reach the garden. Once you've explored this magical place go back the way you came and take the path on the left, leading downhill through a young woodland. Follow the path until you reach the Minnowburn River; here you'll walk along the banks of the river downstream until you reach Minnowburn Bridge and the car park beyond.

Note: This walk crosses agricultural land in parts. There are two fields in which you may encounter stock grazing. Always close gates behind you and please keep dogs under control.

Getting to the Start (by Public Transport)

Translink - journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

Getting to the Start (by Car)

Minnowburn is just off the Ring Road next to Shaw’s bridge. Follow the signs.

Getting to the Start (on Foot)

Cycling: Access is available through Lagan Valley Regional Park and is part of the National Cycle Network (route 9).
Boat: Access to a canoe dock is available from the Lagan.

Dogs

Dogs are allowed. Dogs are allowed but must be kept under control.

Accessibility Grade

Grade 5

Accessible Facilities

The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility:

Disabled toilets

Facilities

Toilet and refreshments nearby at Barnett’s Demesne or Forestside Shopping centre. Also free car parking, viewing point and canoe landing. Leaflets are available.

Publication

None

Publication Availability

N/a

Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
 
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