The largest city and capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast sits on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast of Ireland. This is a historic city and industrial center whose recent history was marked by ‘The Troubles’, the conflict between the Catholics (republicans/nationalists) and Protestants (loyalists/unionists) that still define the city’s geography. Running in Belfast is defined by this history, the River Lagan, and the hills northwest of the city.
Belfast is a compact city and many of our favorite places to run are somewhat overlapping. We’ve designed a 10k ‘runseeing’ tour of Belfast’s major sights, and a separate tour along Falls and Shankill roads that defined the conflict. There’s good running along the River Lagan, and a combo run in Ormeau Park and the Botanic Gardens. Just outside Belfast, we love the grounds of Stormont — northern Ireland’s government and Parliament buildings. For some beautiful and hilly trail running near the city, head to Cave Hill Park or the Divis and Black Mountain trails.
Belfast is a compact city and easy to get around. Most of our routes are easily accessible from downtown or the city’s good bus system. And be prepared for Belfast’s weather — often cool, windy, and wet or overcast. Plus, short days in winter!