Barge Open to Public!

After a long preparation period, the wait is finally over! The barge is now open to the public! You can pop in for a nosy on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10am and 3pm. It is also available for bookings, call the office for more details: 028 90 491922

Park under threat from DoE cuts - click for more information

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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 event is:

Winter Discovery Morning ~ 06.02.2015

Our first event of 2015 and the first of four seasonal walks enjoying the splendour of Lagan Valley Regional Park! These walks give you the opportunity for an informal and informative walk with one of our Rangers to learn a little bit more about the Park.

Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear for uneven and mixed terrain. The walk is expected to last around 2 hours.

Date: Friday 6th February 2015

Meet: Barnett Demesne car park, 11am

Cost: FREE!

Industry Along the Lagan ~ 07.02.2015

A short stroll downstream along the Lagan canal from Lisburn to Hilden to explore the industry of the past and present. We will also make a refreshing stop at the Hilden Brewing Company for a tour of the brewery.

Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear, this event is expected to last around 2.5 hours.

Date: Saturday 7th February 2015

Meet: Island Civic Centre, 11am

Cost: £9 (includes Hilden Brewery tour)

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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 21st January 2015: 11:00 - 15:00
Thursday 22nd January 2015: 10:00 - 15:00
Friday 23rd January 2015: 11:00 - 15:00
Monday 26th January 2015: 10:00 - 15:00
Tuesday 27th January 2015: 10:00 - 15:00
Wednesday 28th January 2015: 11:00 - 15:00
Thursday 29th January 2015: 10:00 - 15:00
Friday 30th January 2015: 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 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 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. You can get involved in:

  • Saturday Conservation Team
  • Heritage Guides
  • Volunteer Rangers
  • Wildlife Monitoring
  • Red Squirrel Surveys
  • 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 02890 491922.