Our Place in Space

The yellow arch holding Jupiter stands out against the Divis landscape

Our Place in Space is a free sculpture trail which brings the solar system down to earth. Expect out-of-this-world views as you explore the wonders of space from Divis and the Black Mountain. With panoramic views over Belfast, jog to Jupiter, visit Venus and sit by the Sun without ever leaving Earth.

About the trail

Designed by artist Oliver Jeffers with guidance from leading astrophysicist Professor Stephen Smartt, Our Place in Space is a playful experiment which asks: What happens to your perspective when you look back at earth from space? When you look at Earth from outer space, our differences of opinion can seem just a little less important. 

By bringing our solar system down to Earth, it sends us soaring into the stars to find new perspectives and reconsider what it means to live life on Earth. The three-dimensional walking trail, which crosses the blanket bog on Divis and the Black Mountain, invites visitors to consider how we might better share and protect our planet in future.

The scale of this solar system is 591 million to 1. At this scale the Sun is 2.35 m in diameter, the Earth is 2.2 cm, and Pluto only 4 mm! Led by the Nerve Centre, Our Place in Space is Northern Ireland’s project for UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, commissioned by Belfast City Council which runs at Divis and the Black Mountain from Saturday 11 June to Sunday 10 July 2022.

" For centuries, we’ve defined ourselves by who we are and who we’re not. Which side we choose, on what ground we stand, who and what we fight for. A human story that lives merely in human minds. But with distance comes perspective — and what happens to our perspective on everything when we look back at Earth from space? "

Frequently Asked Questions

Planning your visit to Our Place in Space

How do I get to Divis and the Black Mountain?

Visitors to arrive at Our Place in Space on Divis and the Black Mountain are encouraged to arrive on the free shuttle bus from Belfast. The free Translink bus service returns for Our Place in Space and visitors can hop on board from one of four city locations. Running every day from 11 June to 10 July, let the bus whizz you to the start of our solar system without having to worry about parking. View the full timetable below.

Our Place in Space Translink Shuttle Bus Timetable
Our Place in Space Bus Timetable Divis and the Black Mountain
Our Place in Space Translink Shuttle Bus Timetable

There are two car parks located at Divis and Black Mountain. Mobility parking is also available. Please check if there are spaces in the upper car park before parking in the lower car park. Car parking is limited so we expect places to fill up quickly during peak times. If you need to visit by car, consider travelling at quieter times like mid-week or early morning, or late afternoon at the weekend. Please do not park on the Divis Road. This results in traffic congestion which restricts access for residents and emergency services. Please also check the opening times for the gate to the upper carpark at the café. 

Do I need to book a ticket or pay an admission for Our Place in Space?

The Our Place in Space trail is free self-guided tour and visitors do not need to book. All the trails at Divis and the Black Mountain are free to access.

What should I wear to walk the Our Place in Space trail?

Pack your moon boots. The trail at Divis and the Black Mountain makes it way along heath, stone tracks and boardwalks. Ensure you wear appropriate footwear and clothing for this mountain terrain. Please check the weather forecast in advance of a visit.

Download the Our Place in Space App before your visit 

The Our Place in Space experience is supported by an interactive augmented reality app. Available for download on both Google Play and the Apple App Store, the Our Place in Space app will allow users across the world to take a walk through the solar system experiencing the planets in augmented reality. The app will let you track your steps through the solar system collect space souvenirs, including characters from the world of Oliver Jeffers and upload a personalised star to the ‘Universe of Us'. It’s going to augment your reality in ways you really didn’t expect! You can use the app to support your visit to the trail or experience it from anywhere on earth. Either way, you will never look at our solar system in quite the same way again. Note: The Our Place in Space app will continue to update regularly so make sure you have the newest version downloaded.

On the Trail

Are there toilets at Divis and the Black Mountain?

Yes there are toilets, including accessible toilets, located around the Barn Café at the start of the trail. 

Is there a cafe at Divis and the Black Mountain?

Yes the Barn Cafe is open serving drinks and light snacks with both indoor and outdoor seating available. While contactless payments are accepted, please bring cash to avoid disappointment. 

What is the route of Our Place in Space at Divis and the Black Mountain?

The Our Place in Space trail at Divis an the Black Mountain is 8.4km in length. The beginning of the trail is located around 800m from the car park. Look out for the Trail Guardians and volunteers who can provide you with more information about your journey. Below is the trail map.

Map of Our Place in Space at Divis and the Black Mountain
Map of Our Place in Space at Divis and the Black Mountain
Map of Our Place in Space at Divis and the Black Mountain

Start your journey on the Lough Trail near the cafe where you can zoom from the Sun to Mars. Merge with the Summit Trail and Ridge Trail to complete the experience.

How long does the trail take?

From the Sun to Pluto is 8.4km. At an average walking speed, the complete trail will take approximately 4 hours. If you want a shorter space journey, a round trip from the Sun to Saturn and back is approximately 5km. You may wish to explore the solar system more than once.

Can I bring a picnic?

Visitors to Divis and the Black Mountain are welcome to bring their own picnic. There are picnic benches located outside the Barn Café. We ask that visitors dispose of litter properly in the bins provided. If the bins are full, please take your rubbish home as that helps keep Divis and Black Mountain litter free for the wildlife which call it home. 

Can I have a BBQ?

Disposable BBQs are not permitted at Divis and the Black Mountain. Even a small spark from a barbeque or campfire can cause serious wildfires and devastate important wildlife habitats.

Thank-you for helping to protect this important landscape.

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs are welcome on Divis and Black Mountain. However dogs must be kept on leads at all times. Visitors with dogs should follow any signage on site. 

Is the trail accessible?

The Our Place in Space trail at Divis an the Black Mountain is 8.4km in length. The inner planets located along the Lough Trail are accessible. The Lough Trail was designed for visitors with limited mobility. This gentle circular route takes visitors across the open hill on a wide, flat and gently sloping path. Our Place in Space is also supported by an augmented reality app which lets everyone experience the entire trail from wherever they are.

Are the other trails on Divis and the Black Mountain still open?

Yes all the other trails at Divis and black Mountain remain open during Our Place in Space.

For more information on the trail, visit Belfast | Our Place In Space

Video

Looking after Divis and the Black Mountain

Sitting high in the Belfast hills, Divis and the Black Mountain is an iconic part of the Belfast city skyline. While it may seem like a remote landscape, thanks to National Trust supporters, vital work is taking place to help this landscape flourish. Watch the National Trust NI team explain.

Walking on Divis and Black Mountain

Video

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