Having gone into the city centre to tax my car just after New Year’s Day, I decided I would do some walking. I was in the regenerated Gasworks site so I went over towards the Halifax building, under the railway bridge taking trains in and out of the not-so-Central Station, and joined the path alongside the River Lagan, where there is also a cycle lane. The path goes past the remains of the McConnell Weir as far as the Ormeau Bridge, where it is necessary to cross the main road and continue along the footpath beside the embankment, which begins at the Chinese Welfare Association centre.
The route alongside the river goes past the King’s Bridge, where the Lyric Theatre is situated. There is an underpass for cyclists which can also be used by pedestrians at Governor’s Bridge and the path continues up to Lockview Road and the Cutter’s Wharf pub. The road leads up to the roundabout at Stranmillis College where the first turn on the left is Lockview Road. The entrance to the Lagan Valley Regional Park and the start of the towpath walk alongside the river is just past the car park near the entrance to Belfast Boat Club. The Lagan Canal Trust has ambitious plans for the regeneration of the Lagan from Lough Neagh all the way to Belfast.
The Lagan Canal offers an opportunity to walk along a forgotten history that helped shape Ulster, encounter wildlife, enjoy peace and tranquillity, and experience this nationally important heritage site. Originally stretching for 27 miles from Lough Neagh to Belfast the Lagan Canal passed through towns and villages transporting goods and materials.