By Sam Whalley
Whilst Belfast may not be renowned for its cyclists, don’tdoubt that the Northern-Irish capital has its fair share of quaint and charming cycle trails paired with incredible views. In recent years, the city has witnessed an increase in its popularity for cycling, thanks to improvements made tocycling routes. Now, travellers are eager to visit the area, with green spaces covering the city and the iconic Lagan River passing over scenic hotspots. Cyclists are spoilt here in Belfast, with a plethora of different trails scattered over the city. This is why we have decided to make a list of ourfavourite routes located here in Belfast.
This four-mile cycling route can either begin at Corrs Corner or on the shores of Belfast Lough, which verge into the core of the city centre. The path is perfect for cyclists due to the absence of busy traffic and public transport. Along the trail through Monkstown Wood, you are fortunate enough to pass an open viaduct and over 8,000 trees of varying species, which leads to Glen Park and Glenavna Manor. Once you have reached the end, you can look out onto the historic dockyard. Overall, the cycling route is relatively easy, with mostly flat surfaces and few obstacles to traverse – for those who get tired easily, there are frequent passing places every few hundred metres.
The Comber Greenway is a popular division of the National Cycle Network, spanning seven miles from the Queen Elizabeth bridge in Belfast over to Comber. The route is also free from traffic and takes you down the old railway line that was closed in the 1950s. Throughout the journey, cyclists will find themselves passing by the CS Lewis Statue, the Parliament buildings at Stormont, the stunning Belfast hills and also the iconic Harland & Wolff cranes, that have lit up the Belfast skyline for decades. The terrain here is also flat, meaning anyone can enjoy the route and take in the rural landscape.
As a cycling fanatic, you should have heard of the Lagan Towpath already. Arguably, one of Northern Ireland’s most famous coastal cycling trails, it spans 21 miles, connecting the city of Belfast to Lisburn and Jordanstown. From start to finish, the path is fairly flat and constructed from tarmac, allowing you to experience the breath-taking panorama of the Belfast Hills and the National Trust park at Minnowburn without breaking a sweat. If you are travelling as a family or alongside cycling novices, this is one of the more pleasant trails to begin with.
Divis Ridge Trail
Whilst this trail is great for cyclists, it is also used by walkers and so care must be taken when travelling along the road. The path is circular and approximately 5-miles long. The highlight of this route is the view from the top of Divis mountain, where you can catch a glimpse of the Isle of Man, the Mourne Mountains and even Scotland in the far distance. Along the way, there are numerous facilities, meaning you can stop for a quick break and enjoy a coffee before setting off once again.
As you can see, Belfast is the perfect location for avid cyclists, providing a multitude of different cycle routes suitable for all abilities. If you are flying into Belfast and plan to take your bike along with you, it may be worth booking your Belfast airport transfers before you arrive, to allow you to reach your accommodation hassle-free. Of course, there are many more places to go cycling in Belfast – the city is brimming with areas for you to explore and become one with nature.
If you have any other routes you would recommend please let us know!