Cooke Car Park Closed Fri 15th and Mon 18th August

Due to the much anticipated arrival of the barge at Lock 3, for health and safety reasons there will be no access to the towpath from Cooke car park 15th and 18th August. The nearest access point by foot will be New Forge Lane and by car will be Shaw's Bridge. The whole stretch of the towpath will remain open for public access.

Tree Disease in Belvoir Park Forest

Phytpopthora-ramorum has been discovered within Belvoir Park Forest. Forest Service operations to save the veteran trees will take place in due course. Access to the forest will be affected. For more details please contact DARD or follow this link:

Lagan Valley Regional Park Facebook Page

Stay connected with LVRP with up to the minute news on our facebook page, head on over and give us a "like"!


The Park and AONB welcomes the views and opinions of our users. If you wish to have your say, you can download our questionnaire and return the completed form by post or email.



Welcome to Lagan Valley Regional Park and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

From the headwaters of Slieve Croob in the peaks of Dromara, beyond the Mountains of Mourne, the River Lagan grows in its vastness and arrangement of tributaries as it sweeps and meanders down to the Lagan Navigation and out to the Irish Sea. The patchwork of valley landscapes from wet meadows, ponds and ditches to mixed beech woodland, parkland and pine plantation provides a network for wildlife and a passage to our past.

Begin your journey from the many access points to the River Lagan and the towpath by foot, bicycle and car at Stranmillis, Loughview Road, Shaw’s Bridge and many more; click here for map. Alternatively you can take the No. 8b bus from Belfast City Centre to Stranmillis College or start from the Lisburn end and take the No. 38a bus to Sprucefield Shopping Centre and the Blaris Road to Union Locks.

Step out onto the towpath and immerse yourself with the sounds of the ebb and flow of the river. An alarm call from a shy moorhen as it quietly stalks the riverbank reeds and twists of overhanging willow. The male and female mallard duck and crested grebe weave silently or land like water-skiers along the surface. The many willows, looming beeches and hawthorn hedgerows provide their own music as they creek in the wind during the winter months, laden heavy with lichens.

Breathe in the pine scents of Belvoir Forest, the musky aroma of ancient oaks and fields of Meadowsweet at Lagan Meadows in the spring. Gasp at the hugeness of Ballyskeagh High Bridge and uncover the long history at Shaw’s Bridge. Discover carpets of bluebells in Minnowburn, whisper stories of faeries and folklore or let smells of the turf fire at Lock Keeper’s Cottage transport you back to another time.

Enjoy a picnic by the river or warm up with a hot drink at one of the few cafes. Pick a trail and explore the rose garden at Terrace Hill with superb views across the valley of the Belfast Hills, finishing the day as the sun casts a long shadow over the ancient stones of the Giant’s Ring.

Our next event is:

Secret Garden

Join us for a relaxing evening stroll through Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, famous for the International Rose Garden. The walk will reveal some of the less well known aspects of the grounds and local history of the park.

Wear sensible footwear for uneven and mixed terrain.

Wear appropriate outdoor clothing - check the weather!

Thursday 24th July - Meet at Lower Stables car park at 7pm.

Cost £2 per head, under 12 free!

Contact Park Office to book and for details of start - 02890 491922


The World of Butterflies and Moths

Join LVRP staff and the Butterfly Conservation Officer for Northern Ireland to learn all about moths and butterflies. There will be a short talk at 7pm and the opportunity to adopt a moth trap for the night. Join us again in the morning to discover the moths that have been trapped and release them! A short walk to take part in the National Big Butterfly Count will follow.

Wear sensible footwear for uneven and mixed terrain.

Friday 25th July at 7pm and Saturday 26th July at 10am - Meet at Lock Keeper's Cottage.

Cost - Free!

Contact Park Office to book and for details of start - 02890 491922


See whats happening on our facebook page






Lock Keeper's cottage

Through the Laganscape Project the Lock Keeper's Cottage has been fully restored. Lock Keeper's CottageThis week, thanks to our volunteers, the cottage will be open
Wednesday 16th July 2014: 11:00 - 15:00
Thursday 17th July 2014: 10:00 - 13:00
Friday 18th July 2014: 13.00 - 15:00
Sunday 20th July 2014: 11:00 - 13:30
Monday 21st July 2014: 10:00 - 15:00
Tuesday 22nd July 2014: 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 23rd July 2014: 11:00 - 15:00
Thursday 24th July 2014: 10:00 - 13:00
Friday 25th July 2014 11:00 - 15:00
Times may be subject to change.

Lock No.3

Lock number threeWorks have been completed on Lock No.3. This project has been delivered as part of the Laganscape Project with our partner Department of Culture Arts and Leisure. Work commenced in June 2009 and has involved replacement of stone work on both sides of the canal chamber, removal of the watermain pipe and re-introduction of Lock gates. 

Along with the restoration of the Lock Keeper’s Cottage, this site is the only authentic example of lock, cottage and original bridge anywhere in the Lagan Valley.

Wildlife recording card

Calling all wildlife spotters

We have identified a number of key species that we would like to monitor and we’re hoping that you can help us by taking note where and when you see them as you walk through the park. The information we receive will help us to gain a better understanding of our local wildlife and will help us to direct management of the Regional Park to maximise its value for biodiversity. To download our wildlife monitoring leaflet click here or on the image (1.48MB).

Wildlife recording card


Laganscape volunteers in a willow weave bird-hideLagan Valley Regional Park has an exciting range of volunteer opportunities through the Laganscape Project for 2010. If you are interested in volunteering you can get involved in:

  • Saturday Conservation Team
  • Wildlife monitoring
  • Red squirrel surveys
  • Heritage Guiding
  • Wildlife & Heritage photography

For more information on all of these opportunities check out volunteering section, or to speak to our Volunteer Coordinator call us on 028 90 491922.