This basalt hill is a favourite place for local walkers and has views over Belfast all the way to Scotland.
Cavehill is a popular place for walkers because it’s only a few miles from Belfast city centre. On clear days you can see the Isle of Man and even Scotland from the top. It takes roughly one hour to climb to the peak and Belfast Castle is a good place to stop for a coffee on your way back down.
The hill is made of basalt and its original Gaelic name was Beann Mhadagáin, meaning “Madigan’s hill”, after a King of Ulaid. It’s a strategic point in the Northern Irish landscape and was supposedly where Theobald Wolfe Tone and Henry Joy McCracken met to launch the Irish rebellion of 1798. Later, during the first few years of the Second World War, the RAF Bomber Command had its base on Cave Hill before moving to Castle Archdale in County Fermanagh.
However, though a bomb did hit the hill during the Second World War, the real casualties of the hill were the Americans. In June 1944, an American bomber crashed into Cavehill during heavy fog. All 10 crew members were killed, and the accident inspired the film ‘Closing the Ring’ by Richard Attenborough. You can visit the site of the crash, known as “Bomb Hole Field”, through Carr’s Glen Country Park.