This route explores a beautiful Local Nature Reserve in the Lagan Valley with varied wildlife habitats. A rare chance to see cows grazing within a few miles of the city centre.
Point of interest:Lesters Dam, woodland, Morelands Meadow
Nearest town:Stranmillis, Belfast
OS map:Sheet 15 + Belfast Street Finder
Terrain:Surfaced and unsurfaced paths
Route:Enter this Local Nature Reserve via the kissing gate at Knightsbridge Park and follow the path to your right. After a short distance you will find a path to the left leading to Lester’s dam and pond. Retrace your steps to the main path, and continue along for a good distance through wooded areas and past meadows until you come to a steep set of steps.
These lead down to the Lagan towpath. Turn left along the towpath for a short distance, then take the bridge on your right over the former canal and cross the stile. Keeping the River Lagan on your right, follow the grass path that leads round Moreland’s Meadow. At far end of the meadow, you will cross another stile and then a small bridge.
From here turn right on to a narrow path that leads to a footbridge and back over the canal onto the towpath. Turn right and follow the river as it winds its way downstream. Pass by the first kissing gate on your left (taking this gate is a shortcut via Lester’s Dam to the starting point). Continue along the towpath taking the next path on your left.
Follow this path to the end, pass through another kissing gate and take the path to your left. This path leads around the edge of the meadows and back to the car park.
Facilities:None on site.
Facilities available locally on Stranmillis Road.
Accessible terrain:Mixture of surfaced and non surfaced paths, some hills
Publication:A Walk in the Park, Ulster Wildlife Trust Lagan Meadows leaflet
Publication availability:Belfast City Council Parks & Cemetries. Tel 02890726345 x6653
Getting to the start by public transport:Entrance at Knightsbridge park, accessed off Stranmillis Road at Richmond Park, and off the Malone Road at Bladon Drive. Metro Services 8 (A-C) to Malone Rd, get off at Bladon Drive and walk 0.4 mile (0.7 km) to Knightsbridge Park.