Parks and public playing fields
Good quality parks enhance the quality of life in towns and cities. Parks provide a focal point for communities, a place for relaxation or recreation, and the opportunity to experience nature in an urban environment. Most parks and public playing fields are managed by local councils. For more information about parks in your area, visit your council's website:
Explore the countryside at one of Northern Ireland’s country parks. With woodland and mountain walks, cycle trails, fabulous beaches and excellent visitor centres - it won't be a dull day out:
There are over 100 public forests in Northern Ireland where you can enjoy walking, running, orienteering, and in some forests, cycling, camping, caravanning, picnicking, horse riding or organise events. Find out more:
Interested in the outdoors, exploring nature, wildlife and geology then visit Northern Ireland’s many nature reserves which are open to the public every day of the year and free to explore:
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
There are several Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Northern Ireland. Each AONB is a distinct and spectacular landscape, such as the Lecale Coast, the Mournes or the Ring of Gullion:
Nature and wildlife
As you make your way through one of Northern Ireland's parks or open spaces, keep your eyes open for amazing wildlife. Ulster Wildlife runs campaigns and events for you to learn more about your local wildlife, including summer schemes for children. For more information, visit Ulster Wildlife website.
There are also nature reserves owned by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). These are ideal for bird watchers and nature lovers. Some provide a wide range of facilities suitable for family days out, while others have only minimal services. To find out more about RSPB Nature Reserves, visit the RSPB website:
Green Flag Award
The Green Flag Award recognises high standards in the management and maintenance of public parks and green spaces. Getting involved is voluntary. Awards are made annually.
Stormont Estate has been awarded the Green Flag for four years in a row since 2014:
Coasts and beaches
Along the Northern Ireland coastline, there is so much to explore, see and do. Find beaches to visit: