The lovely Lagan Towpath, the perfect spot for a quiet, contemplative walk or bracing cycle, is the latest focus of our new series, the Seven Wonders of Northern Ireland, which highlights its beauty, its culture and its people.
Everyone is familiar with the Seven Wonders of the World lists, both modern and ancient, and this newspaper feels that we should promote those aspects of life here which make the province such an attractive destination to visit or place to live in — the true wonders of Northern Ireland.
Over the next month or so prominent personalities will tell readers why they feel a special attachment to Northern Ireland.
At the end of the series we will be asking readers to vote on which attraction they feel best represents Northern Ireland and those votes, along with the views of a specially selected panel, will decide what truly are the Seven Wonders of Northern Ireland.
Advocates include Barry McGuigan who loves the majesty of Slieve Donard; Dennis Taylor, the former snooker world champion who loves the humour of Ulster people; Eamonn Holmes who feels there is nowhere like home, and Lord Eames who loves sailing on Strangford ... and many more.
‘A Towpath run is one of my favourite things’
Nicky Kinnaird (46) is the founder of the highly successful beauty company Space NK which operates out of London and New York.
Every time I go home I love to walk along the coast past Cultra, through Crawfordsburn to Bangor. The moment you get off the plane, you smell the dampness in the air.
You have to appreciate the great outdoors in Northern Ireland and the connection with nature and the fresh sea air. When you are away from it, you crave it.
Another of my favourite things is to go running along the Towpath by the Lagan past New Forge Lane and Shaw’s Bridge. It gives me think-time. When I go running in Holland Park, London, it simply is not the same. I love walking, running and physical exercise all-year round in Northern Ireland. It is wonderful when the weather is cold and crisp and you are wrapped up for the run.
Another aspect of home that is different from London is the way everyone greets each other with a ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’. There is an old-fashioned friendliness you do not find elsewhere.
How you can shape the Seven Wonders
So what do you, the reader, think makes Northern Ireland special?
As our series runs every day over the next month we invite readers to vote on which landmark or aspect of life here as detailed by our celebrity contributors that they most agree with.
At the conclusion of the series this will enable us to draw up a list of the Seven Wonders of Northern Ireland — the things that really make Northern Ireland great.
Your choices can be sent to Belfast Telegraph, 124-144 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1EB or alternatively send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org