Visiting Divis and Black Mountain: What you need to know

Family preparing for a walk on Divis mounatin. Children are in the back of the car which has its boot open as father helps thenm put on wellies. Its raining.

Help us combat traffic congestion, littering and dogs off leads by playing your part in caring for this beautiful outdoor space.

Our Place in Space
Our Place in Space on Divis
Our Place in Space

Play your part in keeping Divis Mountain a safe, litter free and beautiful natural environment for everyone to enjoy by following these guidelines.

Divis and the Black Mountain attracts over 200,000 visitors a year, most of who respect this beautiful place and the surrounding local community.

The Belfast ranger team are dealing with ongoing anti-social behaviour on the mountain including fly tipping, bad parking, dogs off leads, littering and BBQs. The thoughtless actions of a few not only spoil the enjoyment of this beautiful site for others, but also pose a risk to people and the sites unique, diverse wildlife.

Divis and the Black Mountain, please follow Divis and the Black Mountain is a mosaic of different habitats. The area boasts blanket bog, wet and dry heath and several protected species. Do your part in helping us care for this beautiful site by following these guidelines.

Arrival and facilities

There are two carparks, an upper and lower. The lower carpark is always open. The gate to the upper car park will be closed when the cafe is closed or during bad weather. Please check our website for opening times and updates. If car parks are full, please be mindful of the surrounding community and other visitors and park responsibly to ensure everyone can access the site. The cafe is open everyday and there are toilets within the building to use.

During your visit

Divis is home to a variety of delicate ecosystems and protected species, with cattle and horses on site at various times of the year. To look after these habitats, and keep yourself and other visitors safe, please keep to the designated trails at all times. The Heath bog trail is closed to facilitate ongoing wildlife conservation.

You are welcome to pack a picnic. Picnic tables are available near the cafe. Please respect other visitors and staff, by using bins and taking excess litter home with you.

Children must be supervised at all times as there are water features and uneven surfaces on site. Dogs are welcome but please keep them on a short lead at all times.

Travelling by car

  • Divis has two car parks which quickly fill up during peak times. Please check if there are spaces in the upper car park first before parking in the lower car park.
  • If you are planning on visiting by car, consider travelling when it’s quieter such as mid-week or early morning and late afternoons at the weekend
  • If the car park is full, please come back another time
  • Do not park on Divis Road as this results in traffic congestion which restricts access for the local community and emergency services

Walking your dog

  • Please keep your dog on a lead at all times
  • Cattle graze on Divis Mountain and can be spooked by dogs off leads
  • Dogs running off leads can disturb ground nesting birds, livestock and local wildlife like the Irish hare.
  • Please pick up your dog poo, bag it and bin it. If the bins are full please bring it home with you and dispose of it responsibly.

More information on our dog policy can be found here

Keeping safe around cattle on Divis and the Black Mountain:

  • Avoid getting between cows and their calves
  • Be prepared for cattle to react to your presence, especially if you have a dog with you
  • Move quickly and quietly, and if possible walk around the herd
  • Don’t hang onto your dog if you are threatened by cattle - let it go as the cattle will chase the dog and not you
  • Don’t put yourself at risk by walking close to cattle
  • Don’t panic or run – most cattle will stop before they reach you; if they follow just walk on quietly
  • Keep us informed of any problems you experience

Cycling or mountain biking

  • Please stay on tpaths when you are cycling up and down the mountain. For more information please read our access statement found under 'Facilities and Access' on the homepage. 

Eating and drinking on the mountain

  • We love to see people enjoying picnics on the mountain or take-away food from our café but please, dispose of your rubbish responsibly in bins provided.
  • If the bins are full, please take your rubbish home with you
  • Please do not use disposable barbecues as there is a risk of grass fires starting, especially in the summer.

Thank you for your support in looking after this special place.

Planning your visit to Our Place in Space: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to Divis and the Black Mountain?

There are a number of ways you can get to Divis and Black Mountain to experience the trail. You can check our ‘How to get there’ tab on the homepage. From 11 June to 10 July, in partnership with Translink, there will be a free Divis shuttle bus in place. Plan an out-of-this-world adventure from one of four city locations. Running every day for the duration of Our Place in Space, the free bus service will whizz you to the start of our solar system without having to worry about parking. View the full timetable here.

Translink Shuttle decorated with Our Place in Space graphics
Translink Shuttle decorated with Our Place in Space graphics parked and waiting for passengers
Translink Shuttle decorated with Our Place in Space graphics

Do I need to book a ticket or pay an admission fee?

There is no need to book for this event. It's free for all to access and there are no admission fees to pay to access Divis and Black Mountain

Can I bring my dog?

Divis and Black Mountain, like many National Trust properties is dog friendly. However, we require that dogs are kept on leads at all times. Visitors with dogs should follow any signage on site. You can read more about walking your dog on Divis, here.

Is the trail accessible?

The trail is 10km in length. The inner planets located along the Lough Trail are accessible. The Our Place in Space app however lets you experience the entire trail from wherever you are, so you needn’t miss our on this out of the world experience.

Are the other trails still open?

The other trails along Divis and black Mountain remain open as normal during this time.

Is there somewhere to park?

There are two car parks located at Divis and Black Mountain, One lower and one upper. Car parking spaces are limited. The gate to the upper carpark (and café) opens and closes and set times throughout the year. Please check our opening times for more information. We ask all visitors travelling by car to be mindful of the surrounding community and other drivers, parking in a responsible fashion to ensure access is maintained.

Are there toilets?

There are toilets located in the Barn Café located before the start of the trail. These include accessible toilets.

Can I bring a picnic?

There are picnic benches locates near the café and you are welcome to bring your own picnic with you. We ask that you dispose of your litter properly in the bins provided. If these are full, please take your rubbish home with you and help us keep Divis and Black Mountain litter free for the wildlife that call it home. Disposable BBQ’s are not permitted.

For more information on the trail and how to plan your visit, click here: Belfast | Our Place In Space

The yellow arch holding Jupiter stands out against the Divis landscape

Our Place in Space

Every day until 10 July 2022

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.

Summer walk

Follow the Countryside Code 

With more people than ever enjoying our coast and countryside places, we’re asking for your help in looking after them during your visit. Please help us protect wildlife and landscapes by following the Countryside Code, which includes taking any litter home with you and not lighting a barbecue or campfire.