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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 events are:

Secret Garden - Thursday 16th July
Meet at Lower Stables car park, Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park
Time: 7pm  (duration 2 hours)
Cost £2 per head ( under 12 free)
Booking Essential - Tele: 02890 491922

The Beauty of Butterflies - Saturday 25th July
Meet at Lagan Valley Regional Park Visitor Centre
Time: 2pm
Cost £2 per head
Duration - around 2 hours
BOOKING ESSENTIAL - Tele: 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:                                                 the barge will be open:
Monday 22nd June 2015: 10:00 - 15:00                        Monday 22nd June 2015: 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 23rd June 2015: 12:00 - 15:00                       Tuesday 23rd June 2015: 10:00 - 13:00
Wednesday 24th June 2015: 10:00 -15:00                  Wednesday 24th June 2015: CLOSED
Thursday  25th June 2015: 10:00 - 13:00                    Thursday 25th June 2015: 11:00 - 13:00
Friday 26th June 2015: 10:00 - 15:00                           Friday 26th June 2015: 11:00 - 12:00
Saturday 27th June 2015: 11:30 - 15:30                      Saturday 27th June 2015: 11:30 - 15:30
Sunday 28th June 2015: 11:30 - 15:30                        Sunday 28th June 2015: 11:30 - 15:30
                                             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.


    Art Competition

    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