Things to do

As well as a range of programmes which take place on our site, there is plenty to do to enhance your stay at Ardnavally.

Within walking distance of Ardnavally
Lagan Valley Regional Park – Northern Ireland’s first and only Regional Park.
Lagan Valley Regional Park is located between Stranmillis, Belfast and Union locks, Lisburn and covers some 4,200 acres of countryside and eleven miles of riverbank. The backbone of the Regional Park is the River Lagan and towpath.
Barnett Demesne – beautiful park 10 minutes walking distance from Ardnavally, also home to the Belfast Activity Centre

Belvoir Forest Park – located right next door to Ardnavally Outdoor Activity Centre.
Belvoir Park Forest is unique in the UK as it is a working forest within a city. Walks within the forest link to the River Lagan ‘Towpath’ and the Lagan Valley Regional Park. You can also catch a great cup of coffee and scrumptious carrot cake at the Lock keepers Cottage!

Mary Peters Athletics Track – built in honour of Dame Mary Peters following her Olympic Gold Medal in the women’s pentathlon, at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
It opened in 1975 and has 30 acres of conifer woodland containing a network of forest trails leading to Shaw’s Bridge and the Lagan Towpath.

Giants Ring – The Giant’s Ring is a henge monument at Ballynahatty, near Shaw’s Bridge.
The site consists of a circular enclosure, 180m in diameter and 2.8 hectares in area, surrounded by a circular earthwork bank 3.5m high.

Lady Dixon Park  – a superb park where there are numerous events throughout the year, great walks and a coffee shop. Takes about 45 minutes steady via the Lagan towpath.

By Public Transport

Belfast City Hall – Belfast City Hall is the civic building of the Belfast City Council.

Belfast Zoo – Belfast’s main zoo, it’s based in the North of the city and will take about 45 minutes to an hour to get there, using the public buses.

Titanic Quarter – a great place to come and learn about the great days of the Belfast shipyards, where the Titanic (‘she was working ok when she left here’ ) was built. Easily accessible from the main bus routes.

SSE Arena – A large exhibition, cinema theatres, sporting, ice hockey and concert arena in the Odyssey complex.

Further Afield
Belfast Hills & Divis Mountain. Fabulous views over Belfast. Takes 20 minutes to get there by car from Ardnavally.
Variety of different walks available to suit different groups, lots of local history. Also links to Colin Glen Forest Park (walks, fossil hunting, forest, river) and Lady Dixon Park, for a great day out.

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum – accessible by train or bus, just the far side of Holywood.
Set in over 170 acres of rolling countryside, this outdoor museum tells the story of life in early 20th century Ulster. Loads of different events so click on the website link to view pricing, activities and opening times.

Derry City Tour – If you fancy learning a bit of the history of Northern Ireland’s second city, with a bit of local craic, then this is the tour for you. Allow an hour and half to get there by car, though we recommend you take the train and enjoy the fab scenery on the way.
Derry or Londonderry? You decide. A suggested compromise of “Derry/Londonderry” (read “Derry stroke Londonderry”) has given rise to the jocular nickname “Stroke City“. Gerry Anderson, a local radio presenter who espoused this term, became known briefly as “Gerry/Londongerry”.

Marble Arch Caves – you’ll need to get a bus to Enniskillen. There used to be a train, but that’s another story. By car its about one hour 45 minutes from Ardnavally.
The Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark is located in the rugged mountainous uplands and the gentle rolling lowlands of counties Fermanagh and Cavan and boasts some of the finest natural landscapes in Ireland.

Mourne Mountains – made famous by yer man Percy French. Takes about 40 minutes from Ardnavally by car, or one of the regular buses.
The Mourne Mountains are a granite mountain range in County Down in the south-east of Northern Ireland. It includes the highest mountains in Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster. The highest of these is Slieve Donard at 852 metres. The Mournes is an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Giants Causeway – located on the north coast, takes about one hour 20 minutes to get there by car. Regular trains and buses tho if you are taking the train the last part of the journey will be by bus or taxi from the seaside town of Portstewart.

Exploris Aquarium – easily accessed by bus or car, stunning coastal drive down the Ards Penninsula.
Northern Ireland’s largest sea aquarium, located in the town of Portaferry