Right beside the main Queen’s campus, Botanic Gardens is great for a short stroll, a wander around the Victorian Palm House or Tropical Ravine or a lie on the grass.
A hive of activity and a riot of colour in the summer months, the Gardens are immaculately maintained all year round and are home to numerous varieties of trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers. A hugely popular part of south Belfast.
A mere fifteen minute walk from Queen’s, the park was opened in 1871 and is Belfast's oldest municipal park. At 100 acres, it is also one of the largest.
A multiple Green Flag award winner, the mature and diverse park is suitable for running and cycling as well as numerous other sports, such as football, basketball, tennis, netball, and even lawn bowling.
Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park
A little further out of Belfast, this huge park comprises a variety of grasslands and woodland.
There are also more ornate spaces such as the International Rose Garden, which attracts thousands of visitors, and the Japanese Garden. It once formed the estate of a grand house, and its grounds were used for growing and bleaching linen, one of the exports for which Belfast was internationally renowned.
The compact Drumglass Park has recently been reopened, neatly situated in a bustling residential area.
Close to the cafes, restaurants, boutiques and bars of the Lisburn Road, the park was once part of the grounds of a large house, as shown by the gate lodge at the entrance.
The Meadows are the gateway to the Lagan towpath, which stretches eleven miles from Belfast to Lisburn.
The walk starts in Stranmillis, near the Belfast Boat Club on Lockview Road, and is also accessible from other sites in south Belfast. Natural scenery, teeming wildlife and architectural heritage awaits you, and there are pubs and cafes along the route as well.
Belvoir Park Forest
Despite being located within the city boundaries, Belvoir Park Forest is a mature woodland packed with historic sites such as a Norman motte.
Best of all, the forest is easily reachable via the Lagan towpath, just over a mile from the Stranmillis entrance, so is ideal as part of a longer walk or cycle.