Cregagh Glen and Lisnabreeny
This route follows an attractive glen into the Castlereagh Hills with superb views over the city from the top.
This is an Ulster Scots walk. Part of the ‘Danders Aroon’ series, the East Belfast Ulster Scots Walk (also known as Cregagh Glen and Lisnabreeny) is a beautiful walk with rich heritage that you can learn about as you take a stroll.
This East Belfast walk will be a challenging climb for many. It begins at the entrance to Cregagh Glen and initially follows the river.
Check out the ‘Danders Aroon’ videos in the Route description below to find out more about the Ulster Scots history of the area and this walk.
Distance 1.5 (one way) miles
OS Map Sheet 15 + Belfast Street Finder
Terrain Unsurfaced paths, steep steps
Nearest Town Cregagh, Castlereagh - Belfast
Route Shape Linear
Grid Reference J36326 71057
Route Type Hill, Riverside, Woodland
This is a linear route, which returns by way of the same path. It can be walked in either direction, parking in local streets at the Knockbreda Road end, or in the National Trust car park on the Lisnabreeny Road. Care should be taken if crossing the Upper Knockbreda Rd – this is a busy dual carriageway.
Beginning at the entrance on the Upper Knockbreda Road, follow the path uphill through Cregagh Glen. At certain points along the glen you can choose to follow the main path or follow the samller path along the Glen River itself. The path hugs the sides of Cregagh glen as it climbs through pools of sunlight cast by the trees. You’ll hear the waterfall, but also keep an eye out for the carpets of bluebell and wood anemone in spring.
The first part of this walk is through a picturesque wooded glen. At the top of the glen, cross under the Manse Road via a walkway and into the grounds of Lisnabreeny House.
Follow the lane past Lisnabreeny House, once the home of poet Nesca Robb, briefly a youth hostel and army headquarters before restoration as part of Lagan College. Look out for the ivy-strewn walls of the old garden, now replanted with broadleaves and build a den in the natural play area.
You will then pass through several gates as the laneway winds its way uphill. Continue along the gravel track as it weaves through gorse bushes and passes through a field.
From here you will see a stand of mature trees marking the site of a rath. Continue to follow the path to explore the rath. Form here, the path continues a short distance to the National Trust car park on the Lisnabreeny Road.
Retrace your steps downhill to the Manse Road, and through the glen to the starting point.
East Belfast has lots of Ulster-Scots heritage, illustrated in these videos for Graham Little’s ‘Danders Aroon’ series:
Waterfalls in Cregagh Glen, Rath, farmland birds
Entrance on Upper Knockbreda Road A55, north of the Cregagh Road junction. Parking in adjacent streets. A small car park is also available at the end of the route on the Lisnabreeny Road off the Manse Road.
Translink – journeyplanner.translink.co.uk
Dogs are allowed. Dogs to be kept under control
None on site, refreshments available locally.
- The path may not be hard and firm in all weathers with loose stones (not bigger than 10cm) with occasional tree roots and pot holes and will be at least 80cm wide for its entire length.
- The path gradients and cross slopes will be greater than 6 degrees
- Obstacles such as steps or stiles are to be expected and surface breaks may be larger 75mm in width.
- There will be a clear head height of greater than 2.10m for the entire length of the route.
- Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.