Clandeblog 10 of the best country parks in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Experience the natural beauty of Northern Ireland by visiting its wonderful country parks. Whether you enjoy walking trails or are looking for family-friendly activities, these parks offer the perfect escape.
1. Crawfordsburn Country Park
Located on the County Down coast, Crawfordsburn Country Park combines woodlands, meadows, and beautiful beaches. It features a variety of walking trails, two beaches for (perfect for picnicking, wild swimming and water sports!), a visitor centre, and an on-site café.
2. Redburn Country Park
Close to Holywood, Redburn Country Park offers scenic walking routes and a panoramic viewpoint of Belfast Lough. It's also great for bird watching and plane spotting.
3. Slieve Gullion Forest Park
Located in County Armagh, Slieve Gullion Forest Park showcases rugged beauty of the region. It offers winding walking trails, a scenic drive, an Adventure Playpark for kids, and a coffee courtyard. There's also a Fionn's Giant Adventure children's story trail.
4. Carnfunnock Country Park
Boasting stunning views of the Irish Sea, Carnfunnock Country Park provides a range of activities for all ages. Explore the walled garden, woodland trails, and maze. Kids will love the adventure playground, and there's even a driving range and snack shop.
5. Tollymore Forest Park
Nestled at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in County Down, Tollymore Forest Park is a true gem in Northern Ireland. Its woodlands, rivers, and mountains offer a breathtaking backdrop. Fun fact: Tollymore Forest Park appeared in season 1 of Game of Thrones, as both the haunted forest north of the Wall and the Wolfswood outside Winterfell.
6. Castlewellan Forest Park
Set amidst mountains and sea, Castlewellan Forest Park features a lake, forest trails, picturesque gardens, and Castlewellan Castle. Enjoy panoramic views, walks, mountain biking, and family-friendly activities like the Castlewellan Peace Maze and Nature Play area.
7. Glenariff Forest Park
Known as the "Queen of the Glens," Glenariff is a breathtaking valley in the Antrim Glens. Glenariff Forest Park offers woodland, lakes, walking trails, horse riding, and picnic areas. Don't miss the Ess-na-Larach waterfall!
8. Cave Hill Country Park
Dominating the Belfast skyline, Cave Hill provides panoramic views of the city and is home to Cave Hill Castle. It offers a range of walking trails for all levels of difficulty. Fun fact: it is said to have inspired Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels".
9. Gosford Forest Park
Located near Markethill in County Armagh, Gosford Forest Park is a hidden gem with woodland and open parkland. Stroll along lakeside paths and explore the diverse flora and fauna. It's also home to Gosford Castle, an impressive 19th-century mansion that gained fame as the setting for House Tully in Game of Thrones.
10. Delamont Country Park
Situated on the shores of Strangford Lough, Delamont Country Park offers peace, beauty, and stunning views. It's perfect for walking, nature enthusiasts, and families. Children in particular, will love the Miniature Railway, a 1km train ride featuring a Thomas the Tank Engine lookalike engine (seasonal).
For more inspiration, discover some of our favourite local walking trails here.