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.

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 events are:

Fungal Foray - October 10th

Join us and explore the amazing variety of fungi. Along with our expert guide, join the LVRP on a walk through the autumnal splendour of the Lagan Valley Regional Park


See whats happening on our facebook page



Lock Keeper's Cottage and Barge

The Lock Keeper's Cottage and the Industry Lighter have been fully restored through a range of Heritage Lottery, European, Government and Council funding.

The Regional Park opens these facilities to the public as part of our living heritage through Volunteer Heritage Guides.

Generally the cottage and barge will be open from 10am to 4pm, but this may vary as it is dependent on the availability of our volunteers.

The opening times at present apply from Monday through to Friday with weekend opening on the last weekend of the month.

We would like to extend a big thank you to all the hard work and dedication of our Volunteer Heritage Guides.

Please note that these times are not written in stone and may vary depending on volunteer availability - if you have arrived and found one of the facilities closed, please ask at the office, we may be able to help.

Lock Three

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

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. You can get involved in:

  • Saturday Conservation Volunteers
  • Volunteer Heritage Guides
  • Volunteer Rangers
  • Wildlife Surveying and Monitoring
  • For more information on all of these opportunities check out volunteering section, or to speak to our Volunteer Coordinator: call us on 02890 491922.


    The Industry Lighter

    The Industry: An Original Lagan Lighter

    In August 2014 the lighter 'The Industry' once again felt the waters of the Lagan lap against her hull as she was finally returned to her original working place. She now rests at the site of the Lock Keeper's Cottage at Lock No.3 and can be seen from the towpath. Take a dander down and immerse yourself in the local history. The Industry is now open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is also available for private bookings for talks, meetings, school visits etc., call the LVRP office for more details.Barge being positioned