Downtown Belfast from Cave Hill, Northern Ireland

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Cave Hill Country Park

Top choice in Belfast

The view from the summit of Cave Hill (368m) takes in the whole sprawl of the city, the docks, Belfast Lough and the Mourne Mountains – on a clear day you can see Scotland. Cave Hill Country Park spreads across the hill's eastern slopes, with several waymarked walks and an adventure playground.

The hill was originally called Ben Madigan, after the 9th-century Ulster king, Matudhain. Its distinctive, craggy profile, seen from the south, has been known to locals for two centuries as 'Napoleon's Nose' – it supposedly bears some resemblance to Bonaparte's schnoz, but you might take some convincing. On the summit is an Iron Age earthwork known as McArt's Fort, where members of the United Irishmen, including Wolfe Tone, looked down over the city in 1795 and pledged to fight for Irish independence. The path leading to the summit from Belfast Castle car park passes beneath the five caves that give the hill its name (it's a 7.2km circular trail; allow two hours).

To get here, take buses 1A to 1J from Royal Ave to Belfast Castle.

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