The spectacular Cave Hill is becoming a wasted asset for Belfast
Published 04/09/2007 | 10:42
The views from Belfast's Cave Hill are absolutely spectacular. From McArt's Fort there is the magnificent view across Belfast, away to Slieve Croob and on to the Mournes. Turn slightly for a panoramic view over Belfast Lough and beyond to Scotland. Walk a few metres northwards and look towards the Antrim Plateau and Patrick's Slemish.
Unfortunately, the whole Cave Hill experience is spoiled due to the neglected state of the paths going up from Belfast Castle and Belfast Zoo.
The paths are litter strewn, overgrown, dank, muddy and, in many places, dangerously eroded. Rather than brave them, many walkers about turn and miss the rewarding views.
Cave Hill Country Park, sitting right on Belfast's doorstep, could be such a tourist draw. It must be one of the most understated and underdeveloped parks in Northern Ireland.
The trickle of foreign tourists who visit most weekends could easily be transformed into a flood. All it requires is an urgent make-over and a little creativity.
At the moment, the Cave Hill is largely a wasted asset, of benefit only to a few stubborn enough to make the effort.
T J McClean Belfast