Bird’s Eye View of Belfast

Back to Belfast for our last day in Ireland, we decided to do something different and check out the city from an alternative perspective high up on the Divis Ridge Trail in the Black Mountain. This mountain forms a stunning backdrop to the city, it always seems to be looming large in the background and is perfect if you fancy a walk with a view. At one time this whole area was out of bounds, now in the hands of the National Trust there are stacks of well laid out trails and all come with the added bonus of amazing viewpoints. We picked the Divis Ridge Trail – a great choice.

07.16.03 - Divis walk

Easy enough to find from the National Trust instructions, we drove part-way up the mountain, found the little car park and set off. A warm day down below, up in the hills an extra layer was most definitely appreciated. Directions weren’t necessary, we just followed the path keeping the Divis transmitter masts in front of us. The paths are relatively flat and either gravel or at times a wooden boardwalk so easy going for the 5 or so miles.

07.16.04 - Black Mountain

07.16.08 - Black Mountain

The mountains are home to a host of wildlife, Son was endlessly fascinated with the fluffy bog cotton which seemed to be everywhere.

07.16.09 - Black Mountain

At the summit we were blow away by the views. The Antrim Plateau to the south, Scotland to the east and the Mourne Mountains to the south with the icing on the cake being the city of Belfast spread out before you below. Tiny except for Samson and Goliath – the hulking and huge yellow cranes of the Harland and Wolff shipyard. The sea glistened, the winds howled and we hung around for ages taking it all in.

07.16.10 - Black Mountain

07.16.11 - Black Mountain

07.16.12 - Black Mountain

07.16.16 - Black Mountain

07.16.17 - Black Mountain

Back at the car we kicked off our walking boots and headed for the university area for dinner. We discovered a little place called Cafe Conor and booked a table – just as well, it was already busy at 5.30, seemingly full of locals keen to make use of the very good and very reasonable early bird menu. I loved it as soon as we stepped through the door – once the studio of a local artist William Conor between 1944-54 it had a lovely ambiance. Light, airy with a high ceiling and a portrait of the artist the surroundings were lovely. The food was top notch too – hearty dishes and excellent service. Just the thing for our last night in Ireland.

07.16.19 - Cafe Conor

07.16.20 - Cafe Conor

07.16.21 - Cafe Conor

07.16.23 - Cafe Conor

36 thoughts on “Bird’s Eye View of Belfast

      • Food is usually the thing my husband remembers most. If I’m trying to get him to remember a place we visited, I just have to tell him what he ate and that’s when it comes back to him. He travels on his stomach.

    • I had never been up in the mountains before Andrew – this was a first for me, we loved the walk and the views over the city on a clear day are incredible! Looking forward to reading about your trip later too.

    • Places like this (and other ones in England) you can explore without actually being a National Trust member, we are members though and definitely get good value for money!! The meal was just the thing to finish off a great day.

  1. Joy, you take the best walking trails! The views are incredible! Food, of course, is a big part of travel and it looks like you scored big! Love your blog!! Pam (

  2. Spectacular views,Joy but you must give me a little description of that table of food, because like your husband, for me it’s one of the highlights of any trip….:)

    • We love our food too George!! That was a chicken and chorizo burger with paprika mayo – totally delicious. My husband doesn’t remember what he ate – only that it was good and our son is still raving about his mac and cheese there. Comfort food in an old artist’s studio – all round perfect I think!!

  3. What a fantastic way to wrap up your trip to Ireland! I particularly like the view down to the city (and the port) with the backdrop of the moody, stormy sky. I would have been a bit worried about finishing that hike without getting rained on 🙂

  4. What amazing views Joy! Plus a lovely way to end your trip with a meal out at Cafe Conor it looks fabulous am not surprised you needed to book. Great tips and photos thanks for sharing them! 🙂

    • It’s a gorgeous place to get some stunning views of Belfast Rosemary – a completely new angle on a city we know really well plus the walk wasn’t too taxing!! A good meal is always a great way to end a trip I think!!

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