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Fantastic Forest Parks to Visit with the Kids near Belfast

Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is surrounded by several stunning forest parks that are perfect for a fun day out with your kids.
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These parks offer a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and birdwatching. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best forest parks near Belfast that are ideal for families with children.

1. Tollymore Forest Park

Located in County Down, Tollymore Forest Park is a vast woodland park that covers over 630 hectares. The park is known for its stunning landscapes, including the picturesque Shimna River and the Mourne Mountains. The park is ideal for hiking, cycling, and picnics, and it is also home to a range of wildlife such as deer, badgers, and otters.

 

One of the most popular attractions in Tollymore Forest Park is the Tree Top Adventure Course. This exciting course is suitable for children aged six and above and features zip lines, rope bridges, and other obstacles. There is also a dedicated play area for younger children, which includes swings, slides, and climbing frames.

2. Crawfordsburn Country Park

Crawfordsburn Country Park is located on the outskirts of Belfast and covers over 300 acres of woodland and parkland. The park is home to a range of wildlife, including badgers, foxes, and a variety of bird species.

One of the highlights of Crawfordsburn Country Park is the stunning beach, which is perfect for swimming and sunbathing on a warm summer's day. The park also has several hiking trails that are suitable for families, including the Green Trail, which is a gentle walk that takes you through woodland and along the beach.

In addition to hiking and swimming, Crawfordsburn Country Park also offers a range of other activities, including cycling, horse riding, and golf. The park also has a dedicated play area for children, which includes swings, slides, and climbing frames.

3. Castlewellan Forest Park

Castlewellan Forest Park is a stunning park located in County Down, just a short drive from Belfast. The park covers over 450 hectares and is home to a range of wildlife, including red squirrels, otters, and a variety of bird species.

One of the highlights of Castlewellan Forest Park is the stunning castle, which dates back to the 19th century. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens, which are perfect for a leisurely stroll with your family. The park also has several hiking and cycling trails that are suitable for families, including the Lakeside Trail, which takes you around the stunning Castlewellan Lake.

In addition to hiking and cycling, Castlewellan Forest Park also offers a range of other activities, including horse riding, fishing, and boating. The park also has a dedicated play area for children, which includes swings, slides, and climbing frames.

4. Colin Glen Forest Park

Colin Glen Forest Park is located in West Belfast and covers over 200 acres of woodland and parkland. The park is home to a range of wildlife, including badgers, foxes, and a variety of bird species.

One of the highlights of Colin Glen Forest Park is the Gruffalo Trail, which is based on the popular children's book by Julia Donaldson. The trail takes you through the forest and features several large wooden sculptures of characters from the book, including the Gruffalo himself. There is also a dedicated play area for children, which includes swings, slides, and climbing frames.

In addition to the Gruffalo Trail, Colin Glen Forest Park also offers a range of other activities, including cycling, horse riding, and ziplining. The park also has a dedicated outdoor adventure center, which offers a range of exciting activities such as archery, rock climbing, and team building exercises.

5. Lagan Valley Regional Park

Lagan Valley Regional Park is a beautiful park located just outside of Belfast. The park covers over 4,000 acres and is home to a range of wildlife, including otters, kingfishers, and herons.

One of the highlights of Lagan Valley Regional Park is the stunning River Lagan, which runs through the park. The river is perfect for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing, and there are several companies that offer guided tours of the river. The park also has several hiking and cycling trails that are suitable for families, including the Lagan Towpath, which takes you along the river and through woodland.

In addition to hiking and cycling, Lagan Valley Regional Park also offers a range of other activities, including horse riding, golf, and birdwatching. The park also has several dedicated play areas for children, which includes swings, slides, and climbing frames.

Conclusion

Belfast and its surrounding areas are home to some of the most beautiful forest parks in the UK, offering a range of activities and attractions for families with children. Whether you're looking for hiking, cycling, fishing, or just a leisurely stroll through beautiful woodland, there is a forest park near Belfast that will cater to your needs.

So why not pack a picnic, grab your hiking boots, and head out to one of these fantastic forest parks for a fun day out with your kids? With so much to see and do, you're sure to have a great time and create memories that will last a lifetime.