Cave Hill Summit loop from Belfast Castle

Page Type
Northern Ireland, Europe
Route Type:
Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Half a day

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Cave Hill Summit loop from Belfast Castle
Created On: Jun 25, 2009
Last Edited On: Jun 25, 2009

Route Description

Route Distance:
4.5 miles (7.2 km.)
Average Time:
2 1/2 hrs – 3 hrs.

This is a challenging loop begins at Belfast Castle and follows the green arrows posted regularly & prominently along the trail. (However it can be joined from Bellevue car park, Upper Hightown road or Upper Cavehill road). Begin at the interpretive panel in the parking lot just before the entrance to Belfast Castle. Climb up the path on your left until you reach the first junction. Turn right. Follow this path through the woodland keeping to the left of any junctions you come to. This path leads up into the trees, climbing on to a
plateau that provides excellent views of Belfast and Belfast Lough .
Continuing on, take the next path on your left. This skirts round the edge of the Devil’s
Punchbowl, passes below the largest cave before veering to the right. Follow this path as it climbs steadily up the hill, pausing to take in the surroundings and views on the way.
Continue climbing up the steps to a cattle grid and fence and before reaching the escarpment. Veer to the left and follow the grass path to the top of the hill and McArt’s Fort (5). Pause again to take in the magnificent views before joining the main trail on its gradual descent down the south facing slopes of Cave Hill.
Continue downhill taking the next lane on your left. This leads down past the top of Carr’s Glen and carries on for some distance before reaching the Upper Cavehill Road.

Getting There

By bus- Belfast Castle and Hazelwood entrance;
Metro Services: 1A-1H (Mon-Sat) 1C-1E, 1H (Sun),
Carr’s Glen; 12, 61.
By car- Car parking at Belfast Castle, Belfast Zoo
(Hazelwood), Upper Cavehill Road, and Upper
Hightown Road.

Essential Gear

Water, raingear and good boots for the often muddy trail
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Cave Hill Summit loop from Belfast Castle

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