Atop a 360m (1,181-foot) basalt cliff, this park offers panoramic views, walking trails, and archaeological and historical sights (including Belfast Castle). Its name derives from five small caves thought to have been Neolithic iron mines; several other ancient sites are scattered about the place, often unmarked. These include stone cairns, dolmens, and McArt’s Fort—the remains of an ancient defensive hill fort in which Wolfe Tone and his fellow United Irishmen planned the 1798 rebellion. It’s mostly gone now, but you can explore the ruins, which sit atop the park’s most famous viewpoint. The Cave Hill Visitor Centre, on the second floor of Belfast Castle, contains a diverting exhibition on the history of the park and the castle. You can also pick up maps of the park here. For a great walk around the entire park, check out www.walkni.com, a site promoting hiking in Northern Ireland. To explore the park’s mountain-bike trails, rent a Belfast Bikes or hire a proper mountain bike at Full Cycle, 326 Crumlin Rd. (www.fullcyclebikeshop.co.uk; 028/9074-1569); make reservations at least 24 hours in advance, preferably a full week ahead.
Cave Hill Country Park
Visitor Center: Belfast Castle, off Antrim Rd., 4 miles (6.5km) north of city center, Belfast, BT15 5GR
Our Rating Hours Park: 7:30am–dusk. Visitor Center: Tues–Sat 9am–10pm, Sun–Mon 9am–5:30pm. Phone 028/9077-6925 Prices Free admission Web site Cave Hill Country Park
MapVisitor Center: Belfast Castle, off Antrim Rd., 4 miles Belfast
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.